Review by Halo 2 Gamer

"Revolutionary Gameplay, Classic Setting"

I entered this game having lacking a bit of knowledge of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, having never actually played the table top game. But this game didn't make me feel like I was missing out on the experience as it is easily accesible, but yet possesses somewhat of a challenge.

Gameplay: Since the first time I played the demo I knew this was something special. I really liked the squad based tactics that are found in this game. You have the ability to reinforce squads to maximum strength, give them some leaders, and upgrade them with the necessary weapons they will need on their journey to conquering the galaxy from opposing threats. Base-building is also well-done, as you have the necessary barracks and HQ type structures but will also have to manage resources by capturing points and placing listening posts (names for these vary for each race) on them. Your units will follow your orders quite well, assuming that they're not low on morale and being charged by a decent force and an enemy hero. Also, I had no problems with pathfinding in this game. This game also has alot of depth as it features 4 distinct races that are somewhat similar but play differently enough that you're sure to find a favorite or two. Included are the Oks, Space Marines, Eldar, and Chaos Space Marines.

Graphics: This game looks absolutely wonderful. The beautiful environments perfectly complement the detailed structures and units. And speaking of units, this game has quite a few to go along with each race- from colorful spacemarines to cute and cuddly orks. Also, there is a variety of animations that the units show off. The Eldar infantry hunch over when in cover as the Orks flail their arms as they rush in for an attack. Also this game is very cinematic. You may zoom in on your custom-painted soldiers and watch them fight for ground. It's always fun to see cool deaths-- somtimes you'll see enemies finish off one-another at close range by blasting them in the upper body to a boot to the face, maybe even a combination of each. Also expect a glorious amount of eyecandy from the hot opening CG-animated cinematic. The game features quite a few cutscenes but they all use in-game graphics.

Sound: The sound in this game is pretty good, as the music plays in the background when your troops attack, it helps set the mood awfully well. Also the units' have a variety of things to say, some of them can get annoying, however, but for the most party, they're all well done.

Inteface/ Control: Another aspect of Dawn of War that is well-done. The interface makes it easy for players to get started and try out all of the different races for the first time. As I mentioned earlier the game controls great as well and the units follow orders as they should.

Closing Thoughts: This game makes for some great strategizing from the short, yet fun Campaign, to the multiplayer that'll challenge you a bit at first. Go pick this game up, chances are you'll be thanking yourself later when your Orks rush through Eldar lines and take over their base. This game is a gem of RTSes and the only reason you shouldn't pick it up is if you computer seriously can't handle it or if you just don't like the genre and setting, but I urge you, even if you haven't ever played a Warhammer Table-Top game (I hadn't) go pick this up.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/10/04

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