Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
Reviewed on PC
Eamon Ward / Sun 15th Jan 2017
115 views / 2 bites
OVERVIEW Developed by Relic Entertainment, Dawn of War is, without a doubt, one of the best strategy games of all time. Combining massive armies with visceral combat and forfeiting high end strategy in favour of endless war, this game continues a legacy started way back in 2004.
Gabriel Angelos, a captain of the Blood Ravens, has been deployed to Tartarus to stamp out the Ork threat and restore order to the system. But, all is not as it seems. The mysterious Eldar and the vile forces of Chaos soon make their presence known and the planet descends into all-out war.
From a lengthy campaign, to both single and multiplayer battles, there is no shortage of things to do.The four races are all quite different. Space Marines are solid all-rounders, deploying the best standard infantry in the game and generally being decent at everything. Chaos are a twisted race, sharing many traits with the Space Marines while also being able to field daemons and other twisted aberrations. The Orks are melee focused, relying on leading overwhelming numbers of under-powered grunts. Finally the Eldar are a fragile race that prefer ranged attacks with fast infantry. Gameplay is divided into two sections, building and combat. Building is mostly standard fare; where it differs is the resource system. Having only two resources, requisition and power, everything is easier to manage with the exception of expansion.
In combat however, things are drastically different. Infantry are built in squads instead of the usual single soldier, with a number elements that need to be managed, namely reinforcing and morale. There are numerous buffs and de-buffs to this system, including special units that can be attached to squads and certain weapons and attacks that deplete morale. Vehicles on the other hand, have no morale and are a means with which an attacking force can punch through a defensive line. And that's not including the incredibly powerful relic units such as terminators or the mighty squiggoth. It's fun and violent, and that's what it needs to be.
Dawn of War is not a young game. Released in 2004, it has aged surprisingly well and still looks decent on the highest settings. From particle effects to the nicely detailed units, everything is polished and runs like greased lightning on modern machines. For a game that's over a decade old, it's still impressive
As for the sound effects, they're equally enjoyable. Weapon sounds are easily distinguishable amongst the cacophony of battle. Soldiers bellow war cries and gasp screams of agony as they are vanquished. Footsteps stomp across the maps and engines of vehicles hum quietly. There are sounds for almost everything, and it's all well done.
VERDICT If you like the Warhammer 40000 universe or strategy games in general, you'll probably enjoy Dawn of War. It was the first strategy game I ever bought and have since purchased more copies of it, and I regret none. It's undoubtedly a classic of the genre and holds up years after its release. Online or single player, Dawn of War will provide hours of fun and is well worth the relatively low price of admission.