Dawn Of War II In PC Gamer

By Jim Rossignol on April 21st, 2008 at 10:21 am.


A lengthy preview written by that Jim Rossignol guy.

This time, the focus is going to be on the actions of a small team of personalised soldiers. It’s about “five or six squads of elite warriors” whose actions are going to define the course of galactic events in the Warhammer universe. It’s closer and more intimate than the original game, moving away from that anonymous unit production-line feel of the previous Dawn of War titles.

Dawn of War 2 has another parent, however: the mighty Company of Heroes – a game which has done more to alter our perception of real-time strategy than any other title in the past five years. Company of Heroes created a game in which the more realistic behaviour of our units made for compelling play. We saw buildings collapse, craters form, and soldiers dive for safety behind shattered scenery.

You can read the full thing here.

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23 Comments »

  1. Alex says:

    uuhh.. me wants. As I really really hate the DOW series, this next installment will be much more like I originally wanted a good WH40k game to be. Gritty close combat, focus on less squads, no “darn, just lost a dreadnought, I don´t care… just build another holy moly uber machine, and another one… and another one…” anymore. This looks very promising to a 40k tabletop veteran like me.

  2. Biggles says:

    Yep, definitely sounds like the right direction to take things. Just picked up the Platinum edition a few days ago for a tenner and loving it so far.

  3. Jae Armstrong says:

    Maybe this is a better take on WH40K, maybe not, but I really want to find whichever tosser is responsible for this trend towards smaller armies in strategy games and beat them to death with their own spine.

  4. Kommissar Nicko says:

    Smaller armies to me is a huge plus. I yearn for the day when a commander is a commander, ordering forces on a grand scale, rather than a goddamn sergeant ordering each individual squad to hide from artillery, put the tank up on top of the ridge for a good field of fire, repair this building, set up this tent, take a shit and good god wipe your ass. RTS developers need to realize that without an extremely solid group AI, everyone’s a squad leader, and commanders only command groups of squads, not groups of individuals.

    This is a step in the right direction. And co-op sounds fun!

  5. ImperialCreed says:

    I’d still love an update of the Epic 40k stuff, with thousands on each side backed up by Titans and other giant war machines. I remember the original game was quite fun, if a tad broken.

    What we need is SupCom40k, essentially.

    Still, Jim’s article has got me hankering after this, so mission accomplished I guess.

  6. Gurrah says:

    Sounds more like a 40k version of Shadow of the horned rat and the likes, which is more or less THE MOST AWESOME NEWS THIS YEAR YET! I usually don’T abuse my caps-lock key, but not using it here would have been a crime, punishable by plucking lice out of a Ork Warboss’s groin area. Seriously, I can’t wait to play this game or even see more Screenshots and videos of it, I am getting goosebumps just hinking about it.

  7. Stuart White says:

    It strikes me as a mix of good and bad. Mostly good of course but with some reservations. I’m not really convinced that character development was a big part of Warhammer and much prefer the tactical interaction of contrasting troop types either on a micro or epic scale.

    So i dont really care that my general goes with me from fight to fight, or can pick up armour, or has attitude. Im much more interested in the tactical aspects of the squads on hand. Much like Total War in fact (from which DoW could learn a huge deal). The generals are a nice touch and i appreciate their character but when you get into battle it’s a side-consideration unless he is really good or its a very small fight.

    I’d like to fight tightly packed streets or corridors with a few troops and i’d like to fight epic battles accross huge landscapes with Titans blasting away. If nothing else, simply reassure me that DoW2′s camera will allow more than 5 units on screen at a time. Again i point to Total war as a great example of the scope that would be perfect…

    one day…

  8. matt says:

    Well i’m all excited and all, and the new directions taken do look like it could make for a very good game, too.
    I’m just pretty anxious as to know if they’ll go “Hero way” or no.. In Warcraft 3 you had this emphasis on particular characters, the “Heroes”, that could loot critters and thus gain useable gear; it was even scripted and part of the campaing. I actually did not like that aspect of the game, it reduced the startegy somehow, and made for overpowered characters that could nearly turn the tides of a battle in a way that seemed a little artificial to me when i played.. It could be argued that Dark Crusade has the same kind of mechanism with the gear you get from achievements, but it does not feel so off-balance as it did in W3.. or is it just me ?
    So here’s me hoping they won’t go too much in that direction with the “special” characters and pickable wargear…

  9. Homunculus says:

    Has anyone mentioned Myth yet? Myth. Mythly. Mythish. Mythesque.

  10. much2much says:

    I’m sure the tactical gameplay will be excellent. A fusion of Dawn of War and Company of Heroes would be awesome in itself.

    Space Marines picking up “loot” and using it? Was it not the Emperor himself who said “The path to Chaos is paved with battlefield goodies”. Heresy.

    Having persistent characters who you will leave out of the fight until you absolutely need them? Cowardice. Tag team anybody?

    The dropped items collecting sounds like a great idea for an Ork campaign, trying to use and maintain Marine equipment.

    Relic please make this game great!

  11. Phil says:

    @Homunculus
    They could at least get the actor who voiced the wonderfully world weary yet resolute narrator in the second game to play a disillusioned yet resigned senior Guardman, or better yet, the Emperor, returned to kick xyno ass and sigh wistfully..

  12. Matthew says:

    much2much – I always laughed at that philosophy given that at least two Marine chapters let their commanders carry weapons retrieved from Chaos champions into battle.

  13. Kieron Gillen says:

    It’s also not unknown for Inquisition to go on hunts against Space Marines.

    KG

  14. Noc says:

    I’d definitely like it if picking up shiny things on the battlefield carried some element of risk, in keeping with one of the overarching themes of 40k fiction.

    “Well, I guess that suit of Power Armor was dedicated to a Chaos god after all. And now it’s corrupted the command squad.”

    “Oops.”

  15. Andrew Armstrong says:

    Hmm, as long as they don’t simply make it like Dawn of War, and have 30 space marines against…30 Orks…or 30 Imperial Guardsmen. Having their strengths so similar made it quite samey (and annoying for pathfinding your armies). I like the idea of small squads in singleplayer, I wonder how multiplayer will work though – will it be World in Conflict-like, “from the skies” or CoH “build only near your base” or the original Dawn of War style “build anywhere near a random post and in your base”.

    Could be interesting stuff, I’ll get it regardless, I quite enjoyed the singleplayer campaigns so far in Dawn of War, had some interesting bits in them.

  16. Riotpoll says:

    It’ll be good if Ork Warbosses can bitch slap every armoured unit in a few seconds! (like TT) Which I hope is the case after reading the article.

  17. Jochen Scheisse says:

    I’ll certainly check that game out, because DoW1 was really good, although Relic’s post release support has become awful (still no patch for Soulstorms game breaking bugs).

    I am suspicious of the loot thing. I liked the equipment reinforcing of DOW1 and I feel anything above that will add too much micro management.

    I also feel that the game has a lot of room for improvement and customisation in the general reinforcement mechanic. SM via drop pods, IG only at buildings, Orks can maybe drop their mushroomy DNA somehow and respawn at these places…looking forward to playing this.

  18. Wolfman says:

    Wow …. I was fearing DOW2 was going to be more of the same on a larger scale. Thank god Relic have suprised me! This sounds ace.

    More of a Chaos Gate style but in real time. God I played too much Chaos Gate. That was a game where you felt each and every marine was valuble and oh god when you got terminators the just seemed such hard b***ards it was as its supposed to be in the 40K universe!

    Now all we need is a story penned by the twisted mind of Ian Watson to go with the gameplay! :)

    -wolfman

  19. SBF says:

    FOR THE EMPEROR!

  20. Scandalon says:

    I second Homunculus – Myth had veteran units (the more kills they got, the better they got (faster movement, reloading, more hit points, etc) so keeping them alive became a priority. And (in the campaigns) there were hero units, but they were few and far between (and only available for certain missions, or parts of missions, sometime scripted, sometimes under your command, sometimes a mix). They added to the whole thing greatly, unlike WarcraftIII, that didn’t know what it wanted to be.

  21. Crispy says:

    I think basically making it more tactical, more personal, more like 40k is the right direction to be heading.

    Wargear isn’t just for one character, it’s for special units and for squad commanders. Most special units can be attached to squads to give a morale boost and so on.

    I agree in WC3 the Heroes became just too powerful after a stint. But there’s nothing wrong with picking up items on the field – it just encourages players to scout around and cover ground instead of just base-rushing within the first 4 minutes.

    I’d far prefer something a little more persistent, a little more personal and a little more manageable.

  22. Jonathan says:

    What on earth is everyone talking about? The Warcraft 3 rpg mechanic was very streamlined and kept discreet. It certainly wasn’t the center of the game.

    Also I have to say, Space Marines finding better armour just lying on the ground? Also no bases? Please don’t tell me it’s World in Conflict style, that system removed all sense of risk or satisfaction from skirmishes and made the campaign so ruddy dull.

  23. JKT says:

    I want an Ork Warwagon or bring back the Squiggoth. Please say they kept the almighty creatures.

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