The Games Of Christmas ’10: Day 15

By RPS on December 15th, 2010 at 12:36 pm.

FIFTEEN!
The Grim Christmas Of The Future, there is only that stuff that isn’t Lego, but wants to be. It’s sort of similar, but not as various or as versatile. And you can’t really build anything good with it, so that’s just a waste of money basically, isn’t it, eh? Some people. Tsk. On the other hand, we’re probably all going to be destroyed by the hordes of aliens sweeping down upon us, so why worry? By which preamble we must mean that the fifteenth game of Christmas is close at hand…

It’s… Warhammer 40,000 Dawn Of War 2: Chaos Rising!


Jim: It’s perhaps my key regret of the year that Alec and I have been too busy to complete our co-op campaign for Chaos Rising. A fully co-op strategy campaign, particularly one as mature and as bombastic as this, is a rare thing, and to be able to play it through with a chum is one of those things that make gaming worthwhile.

That reason would be enough to give this a place in our end of year list, but it would be silly not to point out just how good that campaign is overall, single-player or otherwise. It’s extraordinarily solid, even for Relic, with twists and turns and some valiant, dramatic fights that the design team must be proud of. Probably the best thing about it, however, is the portrayal of the space marines themselves. That we should become attached to large quasi-human fighting machines that are only viewed from above is quite the testament to the writing and design in here. I found myself genuinely stressing about their fate, and muttering “Nooo!” “Get up!” in the battles. It’s not quite as tragic as, say, Men Of War’s tiny heroes, but it’s a beautiful thing nonetheless, particularly when you start to reach the corrupted fates that Chaos taint brings. While many RTS games just feel like you’re unfolding the inevitable tide of managing your units to victory, this feels like more of a journey, with all the attendant choices and decisions that the band of space marines would face on this doomed world.

The Dawn Of War expansion packs have become a significant feature of of the PC gaming landscapes in the past few years, and this extended brawl with the Chaos contingent is a fine return to the new game’s more action-orientated squad-thrashing play is a success. I feel like this was, in some ways, a restatement of how the original game was different to both its precursor, and to its peers (Starcraft 2) and in that sense it’s about making the message even clearer. Relic want to do things differently. Look, they’re doing it here. It makes me incredibly excited – confidently excited – about the forthcoming Retribution: an expandalone that can only cement Dawn Of War 2′s position as a unique creature in the RTS landscape.

Alec: It’s perhaps my key regret of the year that I haven’t been able to create a legion of cyborg slaves to perform my endless daily chores for me, but yeah, what Jim says too.

Chaos Rising took the bold, risky but slightly unsatisfying Dawn of War II, and took it so much closer to the musclebound epic star wars it needed to be. Starcraft II might have stolen the Heavily Scripted Singleplayer RTS Campaign crown from the Blood Ravens’ latest escapade in terms of pure gloss and variety, but for me there’s something much more appealing about the narrative and characterisation here.

Maybe it’s just me harkening back to those Ian Watson 40K novels I read in my youth, maybe its the relative lack of mystical mumbo-jumbo and doomed romances, or maybe it’s just strange allure of grumpy, quasi-religious Space Marines doing their gravel-voiced thing.

Alongside pretty impressive level variety and that MSG tongue-tingle of gear upgrades, there’s an excellent ethos of destruction and corruption. Chaos Rising’s worlds aren’t really there to be saved – they’re there to be trampled over. Your Marines have, abstractly, a cause and can even elect to hold back from totally unchecked brutality in the name of resisting Chaos’ influence, but really they’re just a torrent of utter destruction.

Chaos Rising does the grim darkness of the 41st century incredibly well. Better than any game so far, I’d say.

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59 Comments »

  1. Rich says:

    I really must get this. Particularly since the next expansion will be out quite soon.

  2. Tom says:

    Been meaning to buy this for a long time, I loved the dawn of war games and enjoyed 2 but never played as much as I should have, I was unaware of the co-op campaign before this and have a few friends with the game so this will definitely be a buy for this december.

  3. Down Rodeo says:

    My flatmate and I are playing through once again, it really is a lot of fun. We have challenges to see who can chunk the most Chaos cultists in one go – so far I think Davian Thule with the hellfire sweep holds the record, but Avitus’ assault cannon barrages do quite well too. Serious good fun :)

  4. apricotsoup says:

    I’ve been put off this by the GFWL stuff.

    Looking forward to the fact that the next version of it will be free from it.

    Is my skipping it for that in any way justified?

    • Wilson says:

      I tried to play the original DOW II coop campaign, but GFWL was just a huge pain, and then the game didn’t seem to work in coop anyway (crashed or froze or something). Since the person I was trying it with isn’t a huge fan of RTS games anyway, we never tried again. I’m so glad they’re getting rid of GFWL. I find it massively annoying far beyond what I should to be honest. There’s just something about it that aggravates me, even when it works ok.

    • mrpier says:

      It’s a bit of a pain, but it never stopped me from playing and enjoying the game.

  5. Inigo says:

    If it was really like an Ian Watson 40k novel, every unit response would be accompanied by a 1500 word internal monologue.
    And we’d have playable Squats.

  6. K says:

    As a hardcore RTS fan, I just cannot get past the fact that DoW isn’t so much strategy as an action game. No interesting resource management beyond GRAB STUFF is annoying, and the GRAB STUFF part makes a highly RockPaperScissors game: If you grab more stuff quicker, you lose to someone attacking you, and if you grab slower, then you lose to someone grabbing quicker.

    But I admit that was DoW 1, did they fix that?

    • spacesubmarine says:

      DOW2 is currently the best multiplayer RT strategy/tactics game.

      I didn’t even play the singleplayer of Chaos Rising, as the multiplayer is the number 1 game for me and my friends now.

      You have to manage your resources well, micro for best effect and devise completely different strategy for each map and race combination.

      ( Generals Zero Hour veteran speaking. )

      (I’d love to play new generals, as the scope and variety of gameplay approaches (mass tank armies, or micro execute malicious operations with stealthed specialist units) is much greater there than in DOW)

    • subedii says:

      I’ve dumped a tonne of time into DoW2 / CR multiplayer since it released.

      It’s fair to say that the game isn’t really based so much around the strategic level (though I’d argue few RTS’s are), and is instead based more around tactical control of the battle.You’ve got small numbers of extremely valuable squads running around, and they’ve all got not just specific roles but usually activated abilities to manage as well. Alongside them you have your commander to support them and your other allies, and moreso than his troops he gets tweaked for different builds depending on what wargear you go with.

      The lack of focus on resource management means it’s far more focussed on tactical management of the action itself. First engagements tend to happen sooner than a game like Starcraft 2, because there’s less of a “build up” period, as soon as the game starts, you’re heading off to confront the enemy. Amongst all this you’ve got the march upwards in tech levels, which was also streamlined so that it gave shape to the game as it progressed without adding in unnecessary complications. Unlike Starcraft 2 for example, scouting the enemy’s base isn’t something you focus on. The gameplay’s far more based around points of contention, and constant harassment to try and prevent them from teching up.

      It’s a different direction to something like Starcraft 2, and that’s a good thing. There’d be no point in emulating that same model when SC2 already has it down. Meanwhile, games like Supreme Commander 2 focus a lot more on the larger scale “strategic” level gameplay, going the opposite direction with massive maps and hundreds of units.

      If you grab more stuff quicker, you lose to someone attacking you, and if you grab slower, then you lose to someone grabbing quicker.

      That… doesn’t really make any sense. You’re effectively saying that there’s no way for you to win, which to be blunt, is more to do with (I hate to say it, but) learning to play the game.

      Speed is pretty much a part of any competitive online RTS. If you’re not scouting your opponent almost immediately in Starcraft 2, and raiding as soon as possible, then you’ve already lost the initiative and are probably going to lose the game. In DoW 2 you need to be quick off the bat, heading off to cap points as soon as the game starts as opposed to leaving your opponent to have free reign. The gameplay is very focussed on taking the initiative, and attempting to sit back in your base and Turtle simply won’t work.

      Things like Victory Points and power nodes create points of contention around the map. Making the decision to cap, de-cap, harass, ambush, support, dig in, it all varies depending on your view of the battlefield and how you want to play your advantages and army composition.

      In all, if you want a more complex resource model, then frankly, this really isn’t the game for you. It’s very much a different style of game. Adding in more complex resource management for no good reason would detract from the style of gameplay it’s trying to promote, which is based more around the tactical level combat, whilst allowing enough logistics in the gameplay to ensure that it’s important in shaping the game but not as much of a core focus. Not to sound trite, honest, but if you want to spend your time building one worker unit at 30 seconds, every 30 seconds on the dot, you genuinely are better off playing Starcraft 2.

    • Kdansky says:

      You have misunderstood me. It is not that *I* lose to the opponent all the time. It is the not existing interaction which bothers me. If I expand, and he attacks hard, he wins. If I expand, and he skips units completely and expands more, I lose. Of course, if he does not attack me in the first example, or if I attack in the second, I win.

      The thing is: It’s too brutal. Too much RPS, too little duel of skill. SC2 of course has a similar effect, but not so prominent. If you want to survive with an expansion extra, you can play defensively and for example skip a few workers to build units. Which means you end up with more bases, but not enough workers in the short term to outmacro him early but you survive the pressure. At the same time, he can pump up workers, take the expansion later and transfer some, and then both are about equal.

      With missing resource management, there isn’t much strategy left (see SupCom2) and it comes down to micro and usage of abilities, à la Warcraft 3. While I love all the Blizzard games, I cannot play WC3 at all, it’s not my thing. And DoW is very similar, except more shallow. So it’s not my thing, at all.

    • subedii says:

      You have misunderstood me. It is not that *I* lose to the opponent all the time. It is the not existing interaction which bothers me. If I expand, and he attacks hard, he wins. If I expand, and he skips units completely and expands more, I lose. Of course, if he does not attack me in the first example, or if I attack in the second, I win.

      I think I see the problem here, I think you’re still referring to Dawn of War 1, which is frankly, still a very different game. Because to be honest what you’re describing doesn’t really make too much sense to me.

      If that’s not the case, well, the game’s about confrontation. If he meets you at a point on the map where you’re clearly outmatched, you either flank and reposition to take advantage of your unit makeup, or pull back and consolidate your forces, you don’t engage in a losing battle. I really don’t understand what you mean by him “skipping” units to expand more. You need more units to take more map control. He can’t “attack hard” whilst you’re expanding except at a point, and he does so at the expense of potentially losing map control. There’s no building going on apart from power gens. The way the tech levelling works means that you can’t really turtle to higher tier units. You spend your time constantly avoiding a superior force because you’re not spending on units, he’s just going to gen-bash you and put you even further behind.

      The thing is: It’s too brutal. Too much RPS, too little duel of skill. SC2 of course has a similar effect, but not so prominent. If you want to survive with an expansion extra, you can play defensively and for example skip a few workers to build units. Which means you end up with more bases, but not enough workers in the short term to outmacro him early but you survive the pressure. At the same time, he can pump up workers, take the expansion later and transfer some, and then both are about equal.

      With missing resource management, there isn’t much strategy left (see SupCom2) and it comes down to micro and usage of abilities, à la Warcraft 3. While I love all the Blizzard games, I cannot play WC3 at all, it’s not my thing. And DoW is very similar, except more shallow. So it’s not my thing, at all.

      Like I said, it’s a tactical level game, that’s where it places its emphasis as opposed to something more strategic level in its play like SC2. That’s why there’s been a deliberate de-emphasis on things like base building. There’s a far greater emphasis on unit placement, the suppression mechanics, and individual squad abilities. Starcraft 2 doesn’t really work along those lines. Units don’t move and fire simultaneously. There’s no delineation between how melee and ranged mechanics work the way that DoW2 has them. Or for that matter a delineation between infantry and vehicles, and the interplay between them. There’s no such thing as suppression. No retreat mechanics, or reinforcement mechanics to go with them. There’s not even a cover mechanic (pretty core mechanics to even CoH, and definitely a core mechanic here) let alone garrisoning. There’s no “army commander” units that you start with and that shift the mechanics of whole armies depending on which is chosen and how they’re specced. No Globals. The style of gameplay is built around no less decision making, but those decisions are taken at a tactical level.

      If you want to focus on base micromanagement (which the Starcraft community refers to as “Macro”) and resource collection, then you’re looking for the wrong style of game here. I can’t really classify DoW2 as somehow being “more brutal” than SC2, SC2 is at least as brutal, its difficulty just comes about via different rules. I mean in talking even in terms of things like APM (which I hate, but it can sometimes be a useful indicator), High tier DoW2 players don’t typically have nearly the kind of APM that high tier SC2 players tend to have, owing largely to the lack of things like base management.

      This is an aside, but it’s also interesting you reference SupCom 2 there, since I actually enjoy that game as well, and feel most of the griping about how its resource model was “dumbed down” to largely have been whining at what were largely logical changes. ESPECIALLY changes to the teching system, I feel that was very definitely the right move.

  7. Morgawr says:

    Chaos Rising is my strategy game of the year. Compared to Choas Rising, Starcraft 2 seemed antiquated and underwhelming, in my opinion. GFWL was annoying though.

  8. Nick says:

    I enjoyed it a lot, but I wish it had been a bit longer considering I foolishly paid so much for it… and more Space Hulk missions would have been nice!

  9. Artist says:

    Bah, DoW2 has an awful gameplay related to DoW1. Not worth a single penny, imo.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Really? You didn’t find a single thing of any value WHAT SO EVER?

    • fuggles says:

      I’m a HUGE dawn of war 1 and have spent countless hours playing and making mods for DoW. When Dow2 came I didn’t like it and spent very few hours making mods. I’ve played a bit of DoW2 online and whilst it was fun, it isn’t for me as fun as DoW1, it’s small scale epic rather than vast spectacle epic. This is fine, it’s not for me and I haven’t played CR and probably won’t play retribution.

      Even as someone who doesn’t really like DoW2, it’s got a whole heap of entertainment in watching things kill other things, grimly, and the whole unit preservation thing is an interesting idea. You are just being silly with your not one penny of value.

    • Archonsod says:

      I didn’t like it either. The campaign mode is horribly repetitive, every map is pretty much a grind to a boss fight / cutscene. The combat looks good graphically, but in terms of actual mechanics it’s pretty dull, I found simply group selecting everyone and right clicking somewhere near an enemy suffices for 70% of it, with the odd scripted event or heavy weapons team necessitating you right click on some cover instead.
      Multiplayer was slightly more interesting, but the lack of units turn it into little more than a graphically enhanced game of rock, paper, scissors which quickly gets boring. I never bothered with last stand.
      The writing wasn’t that spectacular either. Predictable and pretty obvious plotting and the characters came across as your prototypical Space Marine guff. I’ve seen better written White Dwarf pieces. In the catalogue section.

      Only thing I did like was the corruption mechanic, but even that ended up screwed over due to the + gear. Having weapons only useable at given corruption levels would have been interesting. Having gear that basically lets you choose your corruption level whenever you feel like it kind of defeats the entire purpose.

    • subedii says:

      Speaking on the multiplayer, I don’t really get the complaint on lack of units. There’s usually around 10 different squad types per side (excluding call-ins), and quite a few of those can be kitted out for different roles depending on wargear. Granted it’s not as big a number as Starcraft 2, but a large part of that is also mixed up because of the huge variance the commanders bring. Three per army, and they can shift roles very drastically depending on their large number of wargear choices and synergies with their army build. A Warp Spider Exarch kitted with Mass Teleport is a very different beast to fight compared to one with Phase Shift.

      I will say that the gameplay’s far less focussed on logistics and strategic level gameplay. But they’ve largely done that so that it can focus much more on the tactical level combat.

    • Similar says:

      I got a lot of playtime out of DOW1 and expansions, but I’ve so far not managed to get through the DOW2 campaign and haven’t even finished the first level of Chaos Rising. Maybe I expected it too much to be more like DOW1 or something, so I got disappointed, but it just didn’t engage me either (this is SP only; I don’t play MP).

    • sebmojo says:

      Dawn of War 2 is pretty dull on normal difficulty. It perks right up when you put the slider up a notch, as your troops can quite feasibly die. Haven’t tried on the hardest difficulty.

      And some of the story, simplistic as it might be, is just great “YOU DIDN’T REALLY EXPECT TO SURVIVE THIS, DID YOU?” “…NO.”

      The 10000000000 hit point boss battles are a little tedious though, and criticising the similar arena repetition is a fair call.

  10. RobH says:

    Definitely loved this game, and am looking forward to the next expansion. I wish I had someone to sit down and play co-op with through the campaigns, as that would make it a lot more enjoyable. But can’t agree more on this being one of the games of Christmas.

  11. Navagon says:

    I wish they’d done way, way more with the space hulk. What was there was fantastic, but talk about leaving you wanting more. But yes, it’s definitely deserving of a mention here all the same.

  12. Gap Gen says:

    Like you say, the writing is pretty good – certainly, the Warhammer 40K universe has some nice ideas in it, with humanity essentially being a doomed, regressive theocracy. It’s certainly a more interesting universe than a lot of sci-fi films, especially as it’s mainly an excuse to have a lot of fights. The Orcs are still really stupid and jar with the rest of the setting, but eh, it’s difficult to take it too seriously (and they do play an important role, i.e. the barbarians to humanity’s late-imperial Rome).

  13. Rane2k says:

    Totally loved this one, finished it on one Sunday after it was on a Steam sale.

    I got to the best ending, with all of my squads being “pure in the eyes of the emperor” and will probably revisit this to see what happens if you let your guys be tainted by chaos. Probably going to up the difficulty as well, those tainted items looked really powerful, but I resisted the temptation. :-)

  14. Hunam says:

    I got just past the Space Hulk bit and lost my save games. Haven’t been bothered to play it since.

  15. Stephen Roberts says:

    Hurray! Blood for the Blood God! Sadly the single player for Chaos Rising is short, but you can re-run it with various setups and levels of corruption. How annoying then that the campaign starts with a tedious and unskippable tutorial mission (even if you port over your old game, a clear indication that one is not requiring fugging tutorials).

    Other than that tutorial mess it’s great. Hive Tyrant and Chaos sorcerer in Last Stand and some extra troops for multiplayer all round.

    Also Warhammer 40k Orks>all other varieties of Orc! Now dats a nice wun… lets take it!

  16. Qjuad says:

    I endorse this choice. Blood for the blood God! etc. etc.

  17. Kazang says:

    DoW2 plays more like an action RPG than RTS to my mind, I am the only one who got this feeling?

    It lacks in the strategy but makes up for it with constant action and blasting apart chaos foes with a stormhammer.
    I enjoyed Chaos Rising a lot, but it was the same kind of enjoyment I got from something like Torchlight as opposed to Starcraft 2.

    • subedii says:

      No I definitely got that same feel, especially when playing Co-op.

      When it comes to multiplayer, things are naturally more in the vein of the traditional RTS, but even there it’s a lot more focussed on the tactical level gameplay than strategic level.

      It really depends on the style of gameplay you’re after. So far, I’ve much preferred DoW2′s style of multiplayer gameplay to Starcraft 2. But that’s largely owing to qualms I have regarding SC2′s micromanagement (which if I go into, is only going to result in a ginormous flamewar so I’m just going to sidestep that one).

      Starcraft 2 had a more varied Singleplayer Campaign, but I felt that Blizzard could have done much better with the storyline. I’d actually agree with the main article in that I was more interested in the storyline events happening in the CR campaign than I was in those in Starcraft 2. Which surprised me because I was actually expecting the opposite by far, especially after the original DoW2′s relatively dull singleplayer campaign.

  18. adonf says:

    From the introduction I thought that it was going to be Minecraft. So did I yesterday and the day before and pretty much every day since the advent calendar series started.

    This is probably intentional …

  19. teo says:

    I bought it and it was boring as fuck. It’s like watching MMO combat, it’s the most passive and least stimulating gaming experience I’ve ever had.

  20. Arathain says:

    I’m playing the original DoW2 campaign at the moment, which I hope to finish before moving on to Chaos Rising. I’m having a really good time with it as it is, repetitiveness and stupid boss fights notwithstanding.

    I make sure I switch up my squads in each mission so things don’t get stale and I don’t get overdependent on one set of tactics. I do get a big kick out of equipping my squads just right, which is tricky with only one set of Terminator armour. I think Tarkas gets the most out of it, but then I lose the plasma guns of his Veteran squad, but I give it to my commander or Thaddeus they can’t use jump packs… lovely decisions.

    The other thing is, for someone like me who always got a bigger kick out of the Warhammer 40K lore than the complexities of the hobby itself, it’s a wonderful representation of the universe, capturing the colourful, bombastic nature of the fighting while keeping an eye to the underlying awfulness and horror of the whole thing. The scene where you first get your Dreadnought, and you realise that locked in that sputtering, clanking metal coffin there’s a badly damaged person you used to know as a vibrant, powerful leader and warrior is actually quite stirring.

  21. Bfox says:

    I would play this game with a friend, but we’re waiting for the price to get around £5.

    “Chaos Rising does the grim darkness of the 41st century incredibly well. Better than any game so far, I’d say.”
    Fair enough, I’d still say Space Hulk 2 captured the atmosphere wonderfully.
    And the voice acting didn’t make me cringe…

  22. mcnostril says:

    I enjoyed the campaign except for that rubbish last boss fight.
    Actually, most boss fights were rubbish, but that last one was absolutely ridiculous.
    I heard they may have patched it to be less ridiculous.
    Confirm, deny?

  23. Caleb367 says:

    It’s actually a good game if you take it for what it is, not an RTS but a squad-based Diablo clone. Seriously, Dark Crusade was awesome, this is mildly fun at best… IF you look at it as an RTS, that is. I had quite some fun by switching over to kill-collect-level up mode. IMHO, however, not worth of its full price. 12 euros at most, it’s a bargain, more than that, clearly not.

  24. TheFlyingWooly says:

    Little tip for anyone that is going to play either Dow2 or CRs single player mode, choose the Captain difficulty rather than Sergeant.

    Thule Smash!

    • Arathain says:

      I did that. But after getting a ways into it I restarted on Sergeant. Captain was challenging, and I was failing missions if I wasn’t really on my game (I freely admit my lack of RTS micro skills). It was quite fun, but it didn’t feel all that Space Mariney to me. I felt too vulnerable (particularly poor Thaddeus, who was getting himself beat up all over the place).

      That said, I think Sergeant is a bit too easy for me. I think I’d like something in the middle.

  25. DrPepper8 says:

    The main purpose of this year’s games of Christmas seems to be to remind me about all the great games I bought and haven’t found time to play yet – this is definitely on the list! Maybe my New Year’s resolution should be not to buy anymore new games until I finish everything I already own.

  26. Eidolon says:

    I ran through DOW2 twice, once on my own and once with a good friend on co-op. The expansion offers one of the better co-op experiences I’ve had. If you use the Librarian then each player has their own hero (the librarian kicks ass, too). It almost starts to seem like an action RPG rather than a strategy game, but it is a ton of fun, regardless of whatever genre label you slap on it.

    Still, when it comes to multiplayer, I preferred DOW 1, even with the Soulstorm expansion that some seem to hate. There’s a wider variety of units and battles come off as larger-scale, and there’s a larger number of races to choose from. Also, the units in DOW 2 multiplayer don’t have any call-outs when you click on them; I miss my chaos warriors screaming war-cries as I threw them into the maelstrom of battle.

  27. bleeters says:

    Oh, how I enjoyed the second (?) to last mission whilst playing with full purity levels. You could say I’d been waiting for it ever since the first few levels in DoW2.

    DO YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL FIELD GENERATORS TO DEPLOY YET, HUH? DO YOU?

    Having said that, the whole ‘uncover the identity’ thing was far too abitrary for my liking, in that it was entirely possible to control who it actually turned out to be. I’d much prefer it to have been random chance, with any of your squads a constant possibility. I should be suspicious and wary, cautious about equipping one or two squads with all the best gear, just in case. I was none of these things.

    • Rane2k says:

      minor SPOILERS

      Uhm… wow, I didn´t even realise that someone else could be the traitor. At first I had suspicions that it was Cyrus or even Thule.
      In DoW2 base game there was some talk about some things happening on some other world (probably referencing one of the expansions of the first game? I only played Winter Assault), which could have tainted one or both of them.
      When it turned out to be Martellus, I felt that it was rather lame that none of the squad leaders was the traitor, and thought that the developers played it safe.

      Guess I was wrong. :-)

    • subedii says:

      Basically any of the sergeants (apart from Thule) can be the traitor, depending on corruption. When it happens they each have their reasons for doing so, fairly varied. IIRC You can look them all up on youtube.

      Some as you say, are linked back to the references to the Kronus campaign.

    • bleeters says:

      Whichever sergent has the highest corruption level automatically becomes ‘it’. If all of them are ‘pure in the eyes of the Emperor’ by the time the identity is revealed, it defaults to annoying-generator-guy. Which is precisely what bugged me about it – who it turns out to be is entirely the result of player action, with a flashing red bar on their equipment page dissolving any potential mystery over their loyalty.

  28. dragonhunter21 says:

    I tried this once awhile back, but it just seemed so heavy and in-depth that I didn’t want to commit to playing the whole game. Plus, I suck at RTS games. Might try it again, though.

  29. Access says:

    Oh yes, this game. I remember buying it soon as it came out on Steam but never got around to playing it due to not finishing the original’s campaign. Between some huge changes from DoW to DoW2 and a poorly optimized engine, it’s hard for me to find the motivation to play the game more than few hours a month.

    Ironically, I’ve diligently blasted through the free copy of Saint’s Row 2 that came with the Chaos Rising pre-order at the time. Now that was a fun game.

  30. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Just saw this in the shop yesterday, and it was only 20-40$? so I might go there tomorrow and pick it up, now that I know it has the RPS tick.

  31. Ovno says:

    Absolutely loved this expansion, and the original dow2, but the addition of chaos taints really made me love it more…

    As for the gfwl thing, for single player once you’ve installed and updated gfwl a million times you can take it offlline and its fine. Multiplayer, other than finding people who want to play with a noob like me it works fine (though the last time I played there was a big message saying not to use voice becuase ms has borked it)

    • subedii says:

      I think they’ve fixed that now, but basically the GFWL update meant that using a mic in any way would literally cause the game to crash. Not very good for multiplayer games.

      Especially not good when GFWL defaults to automatic broadcasting instead of Push-to-Talk. And as an aside, the fact that PTT isn’t much use in the game in the first place because GFWL does not allow you to re-assign that key, and it’s stuck on the tilde key.

      Grief.

  32. The Sombrero Kid says:

    The only reason i don’t still play DoW2 multiplayer is the horrible GfWL Matchmaking that takes 5 minutes minimum to find a match.

  33. KillahMate says:

    Games for Windows Live.

  34. subedii says:

    Interesting. They just revealed info on the Space Marine campaign in Retribution. Turns out it will be following on from the plot of Chaos Rising, but with a different (or at least, altered) crew. It’s going to be following Captain Diomedes now.

    Spoilers are present for those who haven’t completed Chaos Rising:

    http://community.dawnofwar2.com/blog-post/space-marine-campaign-heroes

    Considering that the storyline of CR actually managed to draw me in, the fact that they’re continuing it in this way means I’m really looking forward to the new campaign.

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