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Peter Radiator Full Pig
04-02-2012, 11:44 PM
So, there is an interesting sale of the Dawn of War games on steam at the moment. Im wondering if someone here can give me their thoughts on these games? Mostly about Dawn of War 2 and its expansions. Are they worth getting? Is the multiplayer still active? Easy to learn? Should i just buy the standalone or what? Im interested in the campaign, but i really love multiplayer games. Loved company of heroes, one of the very best RTS games i have ever played.

R-F
05-02-2012, 12:11 AM
The key points:-
Dawn of War 2 + Expansions
Overall Gameplay: Small scale squad-based gameplay. You can control up to about six-eight squads in multiplayer, and they're usually all doing different tasks. There's a lot of hard-coded mechanics. Stuff like cover, suppressive fire, knockback, melee etc, so if you don't like that kind of thing, you don't like that kind of thing.

Campaigns: Retribution's campaigns (of which there are six, but they're all the same basically) is god awful, but the other two games (which are GFWL) are alright in terms of game. A video of the Retribution campaign is below.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doNOWOMhyJ0

Multiplayer: Multiplayer is still very, very active. If you play the campaign then... It's a completely different experience. It's fast-paced, very tactical and very god damn hard. It makes Starcraft 2 look pretty simple by comparison, at least in terms of unit interaction. 3v3 is amazingly fun, and here's a YouTube video.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwUr3vItuUQ

Last Stand: It's a DotA-esque arena game where you fight against hordes of mobs with two team mates. It's absolutely amazing and, even if you hate the multiplayer, you'll probably love this. I know some people who love the game for this alone.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGJYAH3iwjU

Recommendation: Play the free weekend and try out Last Stand, multiplayer and campaign. I think Retribution is completely standalone and you can play all races and Last Stand characters, so just buy that. The campaign for the other two isn't really worth purchasing them alone.

Porcupeth
05-02-2012, 12:24 AM
I'm a big Warhammer/Warhammer 40k fanboy and own all these games, i found all of them to be worth it. What you should buy depends.. If the universe itself isn't the main draw for you, then you can just get Retribution for the most updated and complete multiplayer experience. The campaign, while inferior to the previous, is good enough for 1 or 2 playthroughs, plus, you can choose different races (you could only play as Space marines in the other 2). But seeing as they're cheap, personally i'd recommend getting the DOW2 and Chaos rising as well for the very good campaigns that they have. DOW2's is specially good and long (can take over 30 hours if you take your time)

Kevin
05-02-2012, 01:30 AM
If you've played CoH multiplayer religiously like I've had, you should be able to adapt to DoW II relatively quickly. And while base-building is out, DoW II makes up for it with a much greater emphasis on combat micromanagement. Cover and suppression remain as important as ever as they were in CoH, but with melee mixed in (for instance, a Devastator squad laying down suppression can be exceedingly dangerous against other ranged units, but when tied up by a melee unit like Howling Banshees, are basically useless since they can't use their ranged weapon).

Drinking with Skeletons
05-02-2012, 01:38 AM
Never did much with the multiplayer, but I've played and re-played the campaigns many times. The base campaign is often criticized for being repetitive--and it is!--but that repetitiveness offers you the chance to actually understand how to give your squad equipment loadouts that genuinely affect how the missions play out.

Are you going to be dealing with vehicles? Then giving Avitus a plasma cannon might make it much easier. Hordes of tyranids? A heavy bolter is probably the better choice. Should you bring Cyrus loaded down with anti-building ordinance or give someone the signal flare for a few one-time artillery blasts? Maybe both? Even at the Normal difficulty level you will find that success can hinge not on the enemy's strength but on your grasp of the mechanics and reasonable forethought.

The increase in level cap in Chaos Rising and extensive streamlining of features in Retribution make them a bit more like squad-based Torchlight (what you enjoy equipping and using will define the experience, rather than trying to optimize your load to handle specific challenges), but they're definitely excellent in their own right.

soldant
05-02-2012, 01:44 AM
DoW2 is basically CoH for the Emperor. Mechanically, at a base level it's pretty much identical.

I actually didn't mind any of the campaigns (though Retribution's suffers from the repeating campaign, which makes it too annoying to play through for a second time. For the most part though, it's not bad. MP is still active. Only thing I don't like is the focus on micro, but maybe you're into that.

Heliocentric
05-02-2012, 02:55 AM
Retribution was upsetting, i know Relic they are better than this, while the genius of the writing and comedy show in the Ork campaign its lacking in alot of ways, in the other thread is was described as a fan made sequel, that's an accurate thing to say.
Lots of check boxes were ticked but its less than the sum of its parts.

R-F
05-02-2012, 03:00 AM
Retribution was upsetting, i know Relic they are better than this, while the genius of the writing and comedy show in the Ork campaign its lacking in alot of ways, in the other thread is was described as a fan made sequel, that's an accurate thing to say.
Lots of check boxes were ticked but its less than the sum of its parts.

I'm fairly certain Retribution's design budget was spent on changing it to Steam-based architecture.

Hensler
05-02-2012, 03:17 AM
I just bought Retribution from the Steam sale, just to play the campaign - I've gotten pretty bored with DOW2 multiplayer. I guess I should have checked for opinions on it first :). Oh well, at least it features my beloved Imperial Guard and was only $10.

coldvvvave
05-02-2012, 07:56 AM
Are they worth getting?
IF you want single player - no( or maybe Chaos Rising), if you want mp - yes( Retribution).


Is the multiplayer still active?
1v1 is active, but it's more of a case of dedicated community than thousands of casual players, so expect to play against same 10 people from your skill rating group.


Easy to learn?
Some races are relatively easy to play from the start, some not. You'll lose repeatedly in 1v1 before getting a clue of whats going on( or you'll win and than lose repeatedly because your skill rating will increase). There are a couple of near-exploits that some people abuse( Apothecary + ASM) that are nearely uncounterable for some races-heroes builds, so don't give up just because of that. You can always go to gamereplays.org and watch some replays before playing the game and after playing for some time.

I'll recommend Chaos as a starting race - they have a nice mix of units( some tough, some very fast, some completely useless so you'll never use them again, which is a plus, also their heroes kick ass).


PS: Be carefull, this game is addictive, I have 1000 hours in all three. Competitive play is amazingly satisfiyng( if you win at least sometimes).

R-F
05-02-2012, 10:58 AM
Some races are relatively easy to play from the start, some not. You'll lose repeatedly in 1v1 before getting a clue of whats going on( or you'll win and than lose repeatedly because your skill rating will increase). There are a couple of near-exploits that some people abuse( Apothecary + ASM) that are nearely uncounterable for some races-heroes builds, so don't give up just because of that. You can always go to gamereplays.org and watch some replays before playing the game and after playing for some time.

I'll recommend Chaos as a starting race - they have a nice mix of units( some tough, some very fast, some completely useless so you'll never use them again, which is a plus, also their heroes kick ass).

I disagree. Tyranids or IG or Space Marines for learning the game (probably Space Marines are best, simply due to how solid they are). Chaos tends to be more difficult than the others.

Porcupeth
05-02-2012, 12:27 PM
IF you want single player - no( or maybe Chaos Rising)

I don't know why people say that. CR's campaign was good but too short and direct/linear compared to DOW2, which had the best campaign imo

Yachmenev
05-02-2012, 12:36 PM
I had quite fun with the campaign for the orcs. The story was nothing, but the orcs really hade some personality, very funny dialogues, and the battles were really awesome. And it doesn´t have Games for Windows Live like the other ones have! :)

Althea
05-02-2012, 12:45 PM
I think it's important to separate DoW2 + Chaos Rising from Retribution, 'cos it's... yeah.

DoW2 (+ CR):
Fairly good for single player, although not perfect, but you will get a number of hours out of them if you play through even just the campaign. It drives you to be better, there's different levelling paths you can take, different squad members to use and so on. You have to think about which squads you want to take with you and how you want to equip them before the mission (whereas in Retribution you can do so in the mission for certain units), and it's much more story driven.

Retribution:
Single player is weaker, but that's because the focus goes across all of the races, not just one. You choose one race and play through the campaign with it, and it feels a little shallower and unfocused due to it. The way you level and load out your units is different too. Instead of improving the leader of each squad as you did in DoW2, you have four heroes (one will always be chosen, the other three are optional and can be replaced with their honour guard along with some extra benefits) and their improvements benefit different squads, so for example you can take an ability for the Inquisitor and it will increase the attack of, say, Storm Troopers, and a different ability may also increase the Guardsmen.

It's not better. I think it's different.

If you want SP - go for DoW2+CR. If you want MP - go for Retribution. Just remember that DoW2/CR should be considered as GfWL games and Retribution as Steamworks (all three use Steamworks, but the implementation is much more limited for DoW2/CR)

arathain
05-02-2012, 05:43 PM
I think criticisms of Retribution's campaigns are warranted, but I still have a lot of fun with it. The levels themselves aren't all great, and repeat for each race. However, all the races play very differently, and you have huge flexibility within each race. The heroes get stupidly powerful as you progress, with some really fun skills. Think of it as an enormous toy box full of excellent and varying ways to blow things up.

The multiplayer is tricky, no doubt, but if a fumble-fingered, absent-minded chap like myself can have fun with it so can you. There is a lot to learn, but with no base to worry about building, and all your troops neatly organised in squads, the things you learn are mostly clever and satisfying ways to defeat your enemy. I recommend starting off with Orks, because the superb voice-work will have you giggling enough that you won't mind losing.

Actually, the games are worth playing for the incidental voice-work alone. Relic are peerless in that regard.

Peter Radiator Full Pig
06-02-2012, 11:31 AM
Absolutely fantastic posts. Thank you all very much. After this, i have decided to just get retribution. I dislike anything GFWL, and it seems to offer all i want in one package. Hope to see some of you in game!

EDIT: Looking at the steam store, there is a huge amount of dlc. I cant seem to find if its important or if its considered good, or even what it is. Is it more tactical options for people who pay? Thats usually a gamer breaker for me.

Heliocentric
06-02-2012, 12:12 PM
Absolutely fantastic posts. Thank you all very much. After this, i have decided to just get retribution. I dislike anything GFWL, and it seems to offer all i want in one package. Hope to see some of you in game!

EDIT: Looking at the steam store, there is a huge amount of dlc. I cant seem to find if its important or if its considered good, or even what it is. Is it more tactical options for people who pay? Thats usually a gamer breaker for me.

Its mostly just guff, the Tau commander is the stand out and only applies to the last stand playmode.
There are a few "pay for power" item packs for last stand as well, but asside from the Tau commander its all pointless, and the Tau commander is overpriced. I'd skip it all.

Althea
06-02-2012, 01:06 PM
Its mostly just guff, the Tau commander is the stand out and only applies to the last stand playmode.
There are a few "pay for power" item packs for last stand as well, but aside from the Tau commander its all pointless, and the Tau commander is overpriced. I'd skip it all.
Agreed. There's a bunch of items, but largely it's cosmetic. The cheapest gear packs are for campaign (no point buying them) and add just a few items, the more expensive gear packs apply to Last Stand and aren't particularly necessary, and I'd... yeah, don't bother :)