Like Aliens, But More So

By Alec Meer on September 26th, 2007 at 3:42 pm.

Okay, so Soulstorm, a new Dawn of War expansion has been officially announced.. It’s got Dark Eldar and a ooh-still-a-mystery race in it, and there’s no point in asking me what the latter is because I honestly don’t know. Honestly. Stop staring at me like that. Alright, alright, it’s Ewoks. Now go away.

Actually, a lot of guessers reckon it’ll be Tyranids, the most notable ommission amongst the Warhammer 40,000 RTS’ ranks, but developer Relic have claimed in the past that they’d never do the big space-lizard-monster-insect-horror-things because the old game’s engine isn’t quite up to how they’d like to do them. Minds change though, so I’m not personally going to definitely believe that old statement just yet.

I can think of some people who are surely praying for it to be a different faction though, and that’s the chaps behind the DoW Tyranid mod. More on which follows should you be so kind as to click on the red words below.

[Yes, in case you're one of the twelve people who read it first time around, this is a repost. And no, there is no need to mention this. It's back now, and that's all that matters, 'kay? Thanks.]

Tyranids, for the uninitiated, are kind of brainy Aliens (capital A entirely deliberate) with a penchant for the more horrific peninsulas of genetic modification, and have the occasional firearm to back up their towering, drooling claw-monsters. And yes, they’re a bit like the Zerg, but that’s really a fault of science fiction at large often defaulting to this type of vicious alien lifeform. There are doubtless several dozen inaccuracies in that brief summation that will ire Warhammer 40,000-heads, so I’ll warn them now: unless it’s something the average RPS reader really, really needs to know, snobbily correcting me in comments will result in your words being replaced with “I care more about the incidental details of a fictional universe than I do the feelings of other human beings. Also, I smell of day-old chips.”

Last time I looked, this mod had Genestealers (boggo footsoldiers in this context) and that was it – everything else was Space Marine buildings given a suitably bio-horror silly name. Now, give or take the odd Carnifex, it’s pretty much all there. Slimy hive buildings, towering Gaunts and, most importantly, they play recognisably differently from DoW and its two expansions’ existing races. There’s a little bit of Chaos in there, a nod to the Ork mechanics, sure, but these guys really swarm. Even if you’re losing, they create a sense of truly terrorising your foe. I do like me a Necron or two, but I don’t really want to play as anything other than Tyranids now. It’s an excellent mod, made with a clear love for both the source material and Dawn of War. Download it here. As it stands, it’s almost a full, free expansion.

So, while I’d love to see official Tyranids, I’d feel absolutely awful for these chaps if they were to be Soulstorm’s second race. Ooh, I just don’t know what to wish for now. What should I wish for, readers? Tell me!

On a final note, if you start typing ‘Tyranid’ into the Google searchbox built into Firefox, it offers to look for sites about Tyra Banks for you. A shame it doesn’t work the other way, thus distressing men seeking pictures of large-foreheaded former supermodels.

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24 Comments »

  1. Stuart White says:

    Personally I pine for a Total War style approach to every war game of this type – vast open battlefields with scope for epic carnage.

    I loved DoW but the inability to move the camera more than a few feet of the ground, the unit population caps and relatively small maps caused me some ire.

    You could also scale the battles with every add on pack – first of starting with infantry and the like then slowly moving upwards to epic titan level, expanding the battlefield to suit.

  2. Dan Trott says:

    I care more about the incidental details of a fictional universe than I do the feelings of other human beings. Also, I smell of day-old chips.

  3. faceometer says:

    Had a Tyranid army in my youth, a real one that is (well, not a *real* one (but it was real to me (oh shut up))), and have been constantly frustrated by their sad absense from DoW for years! I shall definitely be checking this out. And washing the chips out of my coat..

  4. Kieron Gillen says:

    What about the Squats, eh?

    KG

  5. David Hayward says:

    Apparently, all the Squats got gobbled up by Tyranids, but that’s what they made up to get rid of them because they were getting too similar in play to imperial guard or something. Or so someone who stank of chips told me.

    The devs have stated a few times that they absolutely wouldn’t do tyranids for DoW, because the overheads were just too high… that camera is only a few feet above the battlefield for a reason :/

    Still, the Tau mod and imperial guard mod teams were made redundant by the other expansions (Now there’s a story I’d like to know more about), and I wouldn’t be surprised if Relic have now decided that up to date systems can handle tyranids.

  6. faceometer says:

    hahah the squats! there’s a blast from the past

  7. Homunculus says:

    Also of note is the semi-recently completed Daemonhunter mod, that adds the Inquisition as a playable faction.

    http://forums.relicnews.com/showthread.php?t=152821

    The quality of which is exemplary. I’m really rather taken with the detail of the texturing on the vehicles and Grey Knight units (not to detract from the unit modelling, animations and the invisible hand of code that moves it all). G. K. Chesterton wrote of the dedication of the amateur, and how their loving efforts often surpass that of the those who undertake similar endeavours to earn their living. Thus the word “amateur”, sometimes laden with connotations of being second rate, more takes on the meaning of “unpaid enthusiast”.

    The dedication of this and similar teams is one of the primary means by which the PC distinguishes itself as a gaming platform.

  8. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    So, who can it be other than Tyranids? Grey Knights or Witchhunters? Yet MORE Imperial stuff? Well, whoever it ends up being, i’m excited!

  9. Alex Hopkinson says:

    Squats!

  10. F'yth says:

    “A plea of innocence is guilty of wasting my time. Guilty.”

    Witchhunters!

  11. Kieron Gillen says:

    Putting aside the Giger-esque Elephant in the Room, with the Dark Eldar being one side, you’d expect something towards the more light side to oppose them. Something Imperial would make sense in that way.

    Extreme Long-shot: The Harlequin?

    KG

  12. Alec Meer says:

    Sisters of Battle, p’raps. They’d have a certain mirroring of the Dark Eldar’s s&m approach.

  13. Gulag says:

    Unless they decide to focus on some sub-group of the marines, say Grey Wolves or Iron Fists, then it’s almost certainly going to be an Imperial faction, i.e. Sisters of Battle, or the Inquisition, who get the DeathWatch Marines as part of the mix.

  14. Andrew Mayer says:

    Do all the geeky Brits know chapter and verse of the 40K universe as a matter of course?

  15. Kieron Gillen says:

    Games Workshop is what lower-middle class kids do instead of heroin to waste all their money.

    KG

  16. MisterBritish says:

    There’s a few screenies up at gamespot:

    http://snipurl.com/1rabq

  17. David Hayward says:

    I used to be eager about DoW expansions, but the patches tended to result in see-saw balance changes. The experience after each one became “Play game online for a few days. Relearn game due to balance changes. Find out which unit is insanely overpowered *this* time. Weep as one cockbag after another now cranks out that same build order because it’s an easy way to win. Await next patch”.

    Strategies would be rendered unrecognisable from one patch to the next, and they’d have ridiculous oversights. At one point, IG bayonets were some of the best anti-building. Kroot hounds with shapers could eat a base in seconds.

    There *was* some really nice team play, like one player concentrating on melee units to tie enemies up for an Eldar player’s dark reapers, or backing people up with IG artillery, and some eloquent tactics were available to individudal factions, like loading up grav tanks with fire dragons to quickly take down key parts of enemy bases. They always pretty much got swept aside by cranking out masses of one overpowered unit or another though.

  18. David Hayward says:

    “They always pretty much got swept aside by cranking out masses of one overpowered unit or another though.”

    (The tactics, not the fire dragons).

  19. Ging says:

    Much as I’d like to see official Tyranids, I suspect it’ll be more IG-esque units – Sisters of Battle or some mix of the various “Ordo” chapters (Hereticus and Xenos are most likely, as Malleus is represented by the Grey Knights already) and that would give you the Sisters and the Deathwatch to play with.

    I’d love to see a DoW sequel with a further beefed up CoH engine – preferably keeping the scale somewhere near where it is right now, so you can view the action and all the various “nice” touches during the more furious fights like kill animations. I suspect anything that moved out to the level of Epic scale would become more strategic and less tactical (though I was never an Epic player, I always preferred straight WH40k) and that would lose the “DoW feeling”.

  20. Jacob says:

    it’s been announced hat the sisters of battle will be the team to accompany the Dark Eldar in the upcoming expansion Soulstorm. Which means if they could ever do it, Tyranids would get their own expansion.

  21. connor says:

    It is dark eldar and sisters of battle i read the reveiw of the demo

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