Review by nickthegun
"My outsider Game of the Year"
Warhammer 40k: DoW
40k Finally gets the game it deserves.
As good as ive ever seen for an RTS. If you are packing a decent card you can fly around, zoom in, out and view the bloody action from any angle you should wish.
And you will. time and time again.
There are dozens of animations for each unit, who each interact differently with each other. They attack, defend, run and taunt and all within the personality profiles of their species. In addition, the maps are all gorgeous, with varying terrain and choke points.
There is nothing quite like massing your troops and running them headlong into your enemy. Swooping around the action, getting close in for the hand to hand action or following your tank on its path of destruction.
And the Intro is as good as any game ive seen.
Its perfect really. The music is suitably haunting, yet powerful and really gets you pumped. The characters are all well voiced with a variety of sayings (especially the Mockney Orks) and always let you know whats happening.
DoW offers a lot to most gamers. Im not usually an RTS fan. Infact the last RTS I spent more than an hour playing was C&C: Red Alert. But DoW just hooked me.
The resource gathering is streamlined to the nth degree, making peon management a thing of the past. You just need to know about power (build more generators!) or Requesition (take more points!). Which, for me, is fantastic. You just have building units and Infantry. The game is concerned with full scale battles and territory gains. Not cutting down trees or mining gold.
As i said, DoW offers a lot. The single player is short-ish (tbh, i found it perfectly acceptable, but others have complained), but perfectly formed. You take control of the Blood Ravens. A bunch of the hardest SOBs to every strap on a heavy bolter. The first few levels teach you the basics of how to marshal your troops and build your bases. After that its a fairly steady climb up the difficulty level until you reach the end (which in all honesty is only difficult if you ramp the difficulty up to its top level). The levels are all fun, have distinct objectives and never really become dull.
And after the campaign you can skirmish till your hearts content (with any of the 4 races) which is always a great way to kill half an hour.
The 4 races themselves are all fun to play with and have authentic, inventive tech trees (although there are units you will NEVER build, like the troop carriers) and skirmish is a great way to warm up for online action as the tech and builds for each race differ greatly. For example, the Orks rely on strength in numbers and have a pop cap of 60, which you have to build until you end up with a full scale Jihad. Whereas the space marines are more tech oriented and have a pop cap of 20. They rely more on weapon upgrades and armoured support. I usually find myself defaulting to Chaos when I play as they have some fun units. I never really got the hang of the eldar.......
Now onto the multiplayer. You can play all 4 races and challenge anyone. Its a really intuative set up which allows for quick and easy creation of matchups. Once created the game itself rarely suffers from lag. I have a friend who plays on dial-up and he says its the only Multiplayer to come out in the last 6 months that he can actually play.
All in all DoW has been my surprise hit of the year. Its grabbed me and not let go, which for an RTS is very rare indeed.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/16/04
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