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Like Aliens, But More So

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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Alec Meer

Senior Editor

Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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