Review by Necrontyr
"Dawn of War... Epic or Wartorn?"
I am an avid fan of the Warhammer 40K tabletop game and thus had to go out and buy this game as soon as it was released. I hoped that it would not just become a Frisbee like Fire Warrior had... I was glad to see that I had no desire to toss this one out the window!
Sadly the gameplay fell short in many areas, you can play as four different armies (of the more than a dozen that are in the tabletop game) The Space Marines, Orks, Eldar, and Chaos Space Marines. However there is only a short campaign for the Space Marines, don't expect one for each army, as is usually the case in RTSs. Even this is a short and badly designed series of missions.
While the campaign may be lacking, the game more than makes up for it in Skirmish and Multiplayer. A very competitive spirit shows itself in the Multiplayer, and the freedom of Skirmish will appeal to most. The layout of the game will be familiar to RTS players, you start with an HQ and a builder and build up your base and amass an army with which to crush your foes. There are many differences from a standard RTS however, one example being that you do not gather resources instead you must build power-plants and take and hold Strategic Points/Relics/etc... to gain your primary funds.
The visuals are absolutely splendid, you can easily get lost in the gritty landscapes. The detail is superb. I have yet to see an RTS match or even come close to the graphics you will see in this game. Of course all of this comes with a price, you will need a powerful computer to truly appreciate these splendid graphics.
The music is rather generic to an RTS game and you will quickly phase it out. The sound effects are very well done and help to pull you into the atmosphere. The speech blurps that the units say are a refreshing detraction from the norm. Instead of hearing comical script such as "I built a flying machine!" you will hear somber sayings such as "His terror Rains from the Heavens!" and "Death to the False Emperor!"
In closing I will say that this game is definitely worth a look if you are a fan of Warhammer 40K or even if you are just a fan of RTS games. You simply cannot find a better RTS on the market today. Even if you don't think your computer can handle it, at least give the Demo a try. My computer doesn't even come close to the requirements and I can run the game at full settings. If you mainly want an RTS for offline play you will probly get tired of this one rather quickly, however if you want to play online. You will find this to be a lasting favorite!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 10/22/04
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