Dawn of War II: Retribution
Reviewed on PC
Eamon Ward / Sat 1st Apr 2017
39 views / 1 bite
OVERVIEW The final expansion to Dawn of War II comes in the form of Retribution, a game so far removed from those prior that it's difficult to comprehend exactly what Relic was thinking.
Gone is the nameless force commander. Now in his place is Apollo Diomedes, a minor character introduced in Chaos Rising. Diomedes has taken it upon himself to prove his chapters innocence following the events of the past 10 years. If he cannot do so then he himself must seek out and destroy the heresy running deep within the sector. That's the canon story at least.
Retribution introduces a new campaign setup wherein you can play as any race, including the newly introduced Imperial Guard, and experience mostly the same missions (albeit with differing cutscenes). Why Relic took this path instead of continuing the more story focused campaign of Chaos Rising is beyond me. Basically, outside of the cutscenes themselves and a couple of neat throwbacks to prior games, the campaign for Retribution feels like an afterthought.
While the base gameplay hasn't changed much, RetributionWhile the base gameplay hasn't changed much, Retribution introduced a sixth race in the form of the Imperial Guard and a new game mode, Last Stand.
To begin with, the Imperial Guard are hands down, the most interesting race in the game. They have a strong focus on powerful vehicles, as well as the ability to amass large amounts of disposable infantry. But where they shine is in defence. The ability to build cover and turrets, while fielding heavy weapons teams means that a good player can deny whole sections of the map to their enemy. While their early game units are easily beaten by the likes of Chaos and Space Marines, they have easily the most powerful tanks around. Once you get the hang of them you can crush your enemy 100 corpses at a time.
Last Stand is an entirely new mode to the franchise and it's quite a lot of fun. While it is little more than a cooperative hero survival game it has enough depth through both its difficulty, a levelling system and different arenas that I found myself coming back to it again and again. It's also available separately as The Last Standalone which is cheap enough to justify its existence as an easy pickup-and-play game.
As far as gameplay is concerned, Retribution is the most refined of all in this series. It brings a new race, a new game mode and numerous small changes that overall make it a more enjoyable experience when playing against AI or other players.
GRAPHICS Not a whole lot has changed between games here. The new Imperial Guard units look nice though many of them were reused from models in earlier games. For an RTS it's hard to deny it looks good though.
AUDIO Best soundtrack ever. Best voice acting for the franchise. To say Relic has high standards when it comes to their audio would be an understatement. Retribution is a joy to listen to.
VERDICT While the mediocre at best campaign is something of a let down considering the prior title's claim to having the best campaign ever, Retribution is still fun enough when played online. The Imperial Guard are interesting enough to bring new life to the game and once you've played that you can spend dozens more hours in The Last Stand. It's value for money and is far from a bad game.