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March 9, 2009 | by  | in Games |
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Dawn of War II

In the lead up to the release of Dawn of War II, Relic claimed to be producing a redefining new type of strategy game. It would do away with the conventional base building and resource hording in favour of dynamic action. And I was inclined to believe Relic’s claim because of their history of innovative games; remember Homeworld anyone? If this weren’t enough, Relic revealed their secret weapon of mass nerd hysteria, Tyranids. The insect, hive-mind, alien terror race that was glaringly omitted from the original. Hopefully this would be the first game of note since Starcraft that would give me the opportunity to defeat my opponents with a health dose of alien wing-wong to their faces.

If Quake killed Doom, then Dawn of War II is thirsty for the blood of Blizzard’s children. Though the effect is more of an aggravated assault on Diablo2/Starcraft/WoW. In single player campaign you level up and customize six different character based squads each specialising in their own field. Couple this with mission loot (colour coded á la WoW) and the game has a tangible RPG feel. To the ire of many an internet fanboy there is a complete lack of production buildings, which is a bold move by the designers, but it does free up the player to focus entirely on the fast-paced, chaotic combat. And believe me, you’ll need to be paying attention. Skirmishes are won by activating a great number of different explosives and powerups (both ability and equipment based) and effectively using cover to shield your troops. Shooting from behind trees, artillery craters and city debris gives the battles an intense feel.

Ripping through single player campaign faster than an Australian bushfire rips through dreams, it soon became apparent that this game is all about novelty. Boasting stylised movies inspired by Games Workshop art, a pioneering combat system and Windows Live achievements that adds re-playability make this game a winner. My only hope is that the inevitable expansion packs will unlock more than the initial four races and fingers crossed the Tyranids will get their first line of dialogue.

Rating: 8/10

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  1. The Gentlemen Gamer is a babe <3

  2. Gohan_Aro_01 says:

    “Ripping through single player campaign faster than an Australian bushfire rips through dreams”

    HAH. I’m right there with you. Laughing at those Australians. Throw another shrimp on the barbie now huh. Like to see you try.

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