The Chaos Periscope

By Alec Meer on March 10th, 2010 at 3:44 pm.

I have a dream. That dream is a submarine game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe – Das Boot with Nurglings. This day will never become, of course. Today, however, we have come as close to it as we ever will – for Eurogamer is currently hosting adjacent reviews of Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising, by me, and *******’s Silent Hunter V, by Quintin. One of these reviews is happy, and one is angry. Before you click over to find out, though, take a guess as to which game each of these quotes refers:

Will you pet this cute puppy, or kick it into the nearest canal then tell the little girl who owns it that it always hated her anyway?

VS

But all of these missteps pale in comparison to how unfinished this game is. Any notes I take while reviewing a game tend to be of the angry variety; when I’m having fun I don’t often stop to jot things down.

Ooh!

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70 Comments »

  1. AndrewC says:

    Whatisthetwistwhatisthetwist?

  2. Nihilille says:

    When you say in your review that it’s a shorter experience, just about how many hours would one average playthrough take?

  3. Alec Meer says:

    Reckon you could blast the core missions in six hours, and stretch it to 8 or 9 by doing all the sidemissions. Will take significantly longer at higher difficulty. Plus there’s Last Stand, and the option to replay the story as corrupt rather than pure, or vice-versa – which affects the end game, loot and some of the mission content. It’s not exactly a stingy package.

  4. Fumarole says:

    Queue the “What? No Slaanesh/Nurgle/the other one units?! Khorne is so boooring!” comments now. Or am I thinking of the first one?

    • gryffinp says:

      You”re probably thinking of the other one. Plague marines are an individual unit in Chaos, and the big final expensive guy is a Great Unclean One.

      No Slaanesh though, but fuck’m.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch all get units. Slaanesh is sadly absent, but the story suggests Chaos will continue to be involved in the ongoing story, so it’s possible they’ll turn up in a future expansion.

    • Garg says:

      @Fumarole: As said, Chaos have access to Tzeentch and Nurgle as well as Khorne. In the multiplayer the three commander options are a Plague Champion (Nurgle) and a Sorceror (Tzeentch), as well as the Chaos Lord for Khorne. As well as the units Alec mentioned the more generic units all get unique upgrades depending on the god you choose. e.g. the Predator can be upgraded with a Mark of Nurgle to boost its health or to Khorne for a move speed boost.

    • Patrick says:

      Next expansion will probably add in demonettes. Nekkid ones.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I was surprised when I heard we wouldn’t get Grey Knights for the armies of the faithful to combat Chaos.

      I guess they’re a bit overpowered?

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Grey Knights showed up in Dow 1…. (In the second expansion, specifically. The one that added the Tau and Necrons.)

  5. Primar says:

    Can’t wait for Chaos Rising.

    Just so people know – if you have DoW2, they’ve just released a patch that lets you play with all your new toys in Multiplayer (except for Chaos, of course).

  6. Severian says:

    I am pleased and intrigued. One question: while I loved the leveling and looting of DoW II’s single-player, I was a *little” frustrated at the lack of variety in loot and leveling options. It always just seemed like there was one correct path to take, and one optimal team make-up. This could have been just me. Is there a lot more variety in this sequel? Do the loot options feel expansive?

    • Latro says:

      Well, in the original, some of the squads had 1 clear path of improvement, yes. Not much sense into having melee scouts.

      The Commander and the Dreadnought had both melee and ranged options, but the Dread ranged attack with explosives was too good to pass, yes. Unless you didnt get any autocannon till the end of the campaing like me, once :-/

  7. Psychopomp says:

    Please tell me the Chaos Marines laugh maniacally when they whooshbam.

  8. Heliocentric says:

    ******* *******! God, I’m off to read the reviews, I hope drm gets a proper mention.

  9. Andy says:

    My big shining question though is how to actually go about buying this game (whether or not I would was largely not in doubt, a 6/10 would’ve done).
    It’s menacingly expensive on Steam but I’ve become rather dependant on the platform to the point that my optical disc drives have atrophied from disuse.
    Equally it’s dead cheap on any number of online retail sites but will they let me activate my copy in Steam?

    • Koozer says:

      Yes. It’s a game that requires Steam regardless of where you bought it from.

    • Howl says:

      It’s 30 quid but for some developers, like Relic, I’m quite happy to throw bags of money at them and will support their products fully. On the back of Company of Heroes alone, Relic can have some more money from me, whatever crap they make in the future.

      As Coach says in L4D2, “Hell yeah, I got all their albums. Even their new stuff that ‘aint no good.”

  10. Sam C. says:

    Imagine controlling a Captain with two peglegs who’s trying to maintain his dignity while an important part of his job is still climbing ladders. Imagine him squinting at his cramped ship through tear-glossed eyes. That’s Silent Hunter 5.

    That’s hilarious.

  11. somnolentsurfer says:

    Um… I guess you noticed that RPS appears to be quite broken at the moment? I keep getting redirected to a 404 page with massive Battlefield Heros ads on it. If I hit back about 30 times I can usually get back to the page I wanted to be on, but it’s making the site very hard to access. Too hard for me to bother checking other comment threads to see if anyone else has already reported it, in fact. Sorry.

  12. Latro says:

    So, Chaos is the good one (firewall at work kills Eurogamer by having gamer on the URL. Still clueless about this site).

    Looking forward to it, in fact, I cant wait for tomorrow to get it – preordered on Steam. I dont know why, DOW II was a bit meh, I can see the design flaws in it (the main one being the constant cycle of go, scratch the enemy, die, have somebody run like hell, come back, resurrect, repeat)… and yet in anticipation of this expansion I’ve finished the campaing 3 TIMES.

    I either need the expansion or to talk to my therapist.

  13. Tei says:

    “I have a dream. That dream is a submarine game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe – Das Boot with Nurglings.”

    Humm… something like “Nexus Jupiter Incident” capital ship management, with Warhammer 40.000 lore. One game where a “Space Hulk” enviroment is not forced. One with epic minivideos (like “Sid Meir Alfa Centauri”) for tech’s, and some squad based gameplay much like “X-Com”.

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      Holy crap i forgot all about Nexus – what a monstrously awesome game. *runs of to install*

    • Nickiepoo says:

      Wow, i’ll rant about Nexus any time I get the chance, but this is the first time i’ve actually seen someone else talk about it.

  14. Shalrath says:

    Man the deck gun! Man the deck gun? Man the deck gun!? Man the deck gun!

    Hahahaha, what an awesome review!

  15. Skusey says:

    Chaos Rising sounds superb, I think I’ll buy it when Im finished with SupCom2. I really like the Corruption idea, from what I remember of DoW2 it seems like it’ll work fantastically with the leveling up system already there.

    And the SHV review was surprisingly interesting taking into account my very low interest in submarines.

  16. Acidburns says:

    I was sad about not being able to play Silent Hunter 5 thanks to Ubisoft’s crazy mental DRM. Now I am feeling a weird mixture of disappointment and euphoria. On one hand I know I am not missing out on much, on the other I know that good WW2 sims are a rare thing. Sounds like many of Silent Hunter 5′s problems are too big to be modded and patched out and are instead properties of its design.

  17. Scroll says:

    That reminds me, I wonder if your squads dialogue changes due to corruption, kinda similar to the Idea for Bioshock you guys mentioned on the podcast.

  18. FP says:

    Do I need to reinstall and patch up the original before I can install Chaos Rising or can it be installed standalone?

  19. u335 says:

    What’s with the censor stars on ‘Ubisoft’? Did Alec maybe write “Ubisuck” in light of recent events?

    • Koozer says:

      Well, by displaying asterisks instead of the letters which spell aforementioned company, a method usually reserved for the publishing of words generally deemed to be offensive; swear words if you will. He is cleverly insinuating that said publisher’s name is, in fact, one of these swear words.

    • robrob says:

      @u335

      The latest diktat from the Rock Paper Soviet is a ban on mentioning Ubisoft games outside of talking about the DRM. Maybe Alec is trying to get around this by not invoking their name. Regardless, his disobedience will not go unpunished.

    • Tei says:

      robrob:
      “The latest diktat from the Rock Paper Soviet is a ban on mentioning Ubisoft games outside of talking about the DRM.”

      Theres a greasemonkey script to do that.
      http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/69253
      Unfortunally is not complete and does nothing yet. Maybe his author is too lazy to finish it.

    • Bret says:

      There are things of which civilized men do not talk, stalkers in the shadows of a half forgotten past. Native tribes and nameless cults worship them in the darkness, for if they ever come into the light, our thin, foolish veneer of a society would again descend into anarchy and terror.

      Or something of the sort. The abridged Von Junzt only has like half a chapter on DRM, and the details are kinda hazy.

  20. Dr.Danger says:

    Sounds like it’s SH3 with Wolfpack for the rest of this year at least. Such a shame about rushing SH5.

  21. Koozer says:

    I need an edit button, damn my incomplete sentences.

    Oh so NOW it shows up.

  22. Howl says:

    Can anyone comment on the patch notes? They say that DOWII has added support for Eyefinity resolutions but it always worked. Does this mean that the UI is now all moved to the centre screen and I can play in Eyefinity without risking ending up in a neck brace?

    Steam is updating me so slowly. =(

    • Psychopomp says:

      The main menu UI does appear to have been moved towards the center.

    • Howl says:

      No change in Eyefinity support. My important UI elements are still 66″ apart and my neck can’t cope with that. Back to single screen.

  23. Flappybat says:

    I’ve recently wanted to rant about modern reviews not usually touching on the stuff I care about as a gamer, instead only an analysis of the plot or graphics, more like a PR fluff piece with a random score between 7 and 9.

    The PC Gamer Modern Warfare 2 review and Quintin’s Silent Hunter 5 review are really more what I’m looking for, the SH5 one in particular is excellent. The multiplayer issues with MW2 and major bugs and design problems of SH5 are far more important to me as a gamer.

    • Nick says:

      I was surprised how highly Quinns scored SH5.. it sounded pretty much unplayable.

    • Quinns says:

      The boxed copy’s unplayable, but there are already fan-made mods that render it playable. Just. And official patches should have patched up some of the worst holes within another week, I think.

    • rocketman71 says:

      @Quinns

      I don’t think Ubi wants to patch the biggest hole of them all :(

  24. Tiktaalik says:

    Keeps breaking for me too.

  25. Disillusionati says:

    Steamworks on Chaos Rising:
    Buy the game at a retail store, and you still have to install and run Steam to play the game.

    NO THANKS!

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Wasn’t that also in vanilla?

      EDIT: Yeah, it was. So, if you’ve already got the original, then you’ve already had to install Steam and so on; and if you don’t have the original, why are you complaining about the expansion?

      Hm.

    • TCM says:

      Beyond that, complaining about Steam for nebulous “it’s just bad” reasons should have died in 2003. It’s a miracle that sort of complaining is still around.

      (Is it just me, or have my RPS comments been making progressively less sense? It’s like, every time I read them, I can’t actually figure out what I was trying to say.)

    • TCM says:

      2005*

    • Disillusionati says:

      @TCM:

      Why should I have to run Steam if I buy a retail copy of the game? I don’t care if Steam is the best software package ever produced, I shouldn’t have to run some client just so Valve can advertise to me.

    • Disillusionati says:

      @Pleasingfungus

      It’s a standalone expansion, buddy. I do not own the original, nor do I need to own the original in order to play Chaos Rising.

      Thus, your logic falls flat.

  26. BlackKraken says:

    Tyranids are crap again…
    They’ve reverted to the ideas of back before the big update which made them playable.
    Units have to be within synapse to be a match for enemies, no synapse, no match, horrible death.

    Should be that without synapse they’re almost an even match for similar unit types but synapse gives them an edge.

    Hive Tyrant is still poo.

  27. PixelCody says:

    I believe I’ve said this elsewhere but even though I love my strategy games more than any other genre, I have no intention of purchasing Chaos Rising.

    DoWII’s single player was a sorely lacking execution of a fantastic idea (tactical diablo). Chaos Rising reviews need to do a lot to convince me that the scripted encounters have changed the game enough to make yet another Space Marine campaign any fun. On the evidence of Alec’s review I might pick it up as a curiosity way way down the line.

    In my opinion DoW II is one of the best multiplayer games to be released in recent times. I’m so glad that Chaos Rising is coming to fill up the matchmaking servers with lesser-skilled players like myself, but I can’t justify dropping the cash on this expansion for just a single army.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Co-op helps a lot. (In fact, I didn’t play it in single-player at all.) Perhaps see if you can find a friend to play it with?

    • PixelCody says:

      I’m amazed that I haven’t tried co-op at all actually! Thanks for mentioning it. I’m so used to judging a game solely on it’s mechanics I guess I don’t factor in what another player could bring to the table.

      Yahtzee ranted recently on how co-op games should be able to stand up and be judged as single-player titles, but I’m not entirely of the same opinion. He was using Borderlands as an example, the game that showed me how other players can completely redefine what is enjoyable about a game. It can’t have been trivial for the devs to implement in DoW II so I should really give it a go.

  28. DyerMaker says:

    I might be in the minority, but I think DoWII is fantastic. I’ve tried many RTS’, and as much as I can appreciate them, I usually suck. This spoke to me because of the RPG aspects (what can I say, I’m a Diablo whore). While I certainly appreciated them here, I was surprised when I actually started to try strategy tactics I wouldn’t have attempted in other RTS’…bring Avitus up to cover, suppress the enemy and throw in Thaddeus, or use complementary skills from multiple squad. Great stuff

    Look at me Mom, I’m strategizing!

    Looking forward to what the expansion brings…..

  29. Lucas says:

    There’s no excuse at all for the increasingly awful state the Silent Hunter games are released in. Fans should boycott it outright.

  30. bleeters says:

    My attempts and micro-managed strategy in DoW2 usually fell apart the moment I unlocked infinite grenades for Tarkus, alas :(

  31. Lemon scented apocalypse says:

    “Clint Eastwood Guy, Angry Newsreader Guy, Sinister Whispering Guy and Tired Robot Guy”

  32. RedFred says:

    “Imagine controlling a Captain with two peglegs who’s trying to maintain his dignity while an important part of his job is still climbing ladders. Imagine him squinting at his cramped ship through tear-glossed eyes. That’s Silent Hunter 5.”

    Brilliant! :D

    Not so much about the game it seems. This disappoints me, a lot.

    EDIT: Oh I see Sam C already pointed out that quote.

  33. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    SO, uh, I’ve been looking, but I can’t find this so-called ‘gold pack’ mentioned in the article.

    I guess this means I’m giving in to ‘the man’, eh? ;o) Or at least ‘the men’ making up Valve. Why no mention of GFW? Because I’d rather not do so. :P

  34. Phil says:

    Just finished Chaos Rising, and I’m none the wiser – what was the twist? What did they take of Alec that made him so angry? ’cause I got to keep all my toys right through until the end.

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