Dawn of War II: Things Killing Other Things

Relic’s 40K blood-frenzy strategy sequel remains largely a mystery, so it’s good to clock some in-game footage and get a sense of what the thing’ll be like. Find the video, and some blow-by-blow… well, ‘analysis’ is hardly an appropriate word. Blow-by-blow something after the cut, plus some more, and rather awesome, screenshots.

Cheers Chris

10s – Looks darker, grittier than DOW1 – which I think is a good thing. DOW1’s great, but it never felt like it was genuinely happening in the 40K universe – more like it just wheeled out Greatest Hits moments.
15s – Bosh! Splodes! Physics!
20s – Tell me that zoom distance is possible in the game itself. DOW1’s extreme close-ups really piss me off sometimes.
25s – So…much…blood!
30s – Don’t waste time showing me the damned logo. Show me more blood!
35s – God, Dreadnoughts are awesome.

In conclusion: I just cannot wait for this. I missed out on going to see it recently due to a distressing scheduling snafu, and this makes me really very sad. Here’s hoping we find out more soon, and that there are Tyranids. There had better be Tyranids. Tyranids!


  1. Tak says:


    *tries to hide the massive want-on at work*

    Question: Would you rather see Tyranids in game in any form, even if it means giving them buildings and resource collection (as much as DoW has, anyway), or would you prefer to sit out Tyranids if they can’t be done in true swarmy-goodness style?

  2. MasterBoo says:

    Looks exactly the same as the original. What the hell relic?

  3. Zyrusticae says:


    That was a joke, right? Please tell me that was massive sarcasm that I missed, or something. Because I have a hard time wrapping my head around such ignorance.

  4. Jacques says:

    That looks great, much closer to the 40k IP, as far as I imagine it anyway.

    And really, I hope Tyranids are only there as enemies, there’s just no way to make them work well as player controlled characters in a 40k game in my opinion.

  5. Optimaximal says:

    I hope those Dreadnought animations are placeholders, since its exactly the same as the original.

    I want them to pick enemies up by the face, then crush their heads… Is that too much to ask? There isn’t enough face crushing for it to be true 40k :(

    And really, I hope Tyranids are only there as enemies, there’s just no way to make them work well as player controlled characters in a 40k game in my opinion.

    Why not? Just have them as a WiC-esque mobile race that can deploy any units from space providing they’re in range of a particular super-unit, such as a Hive Tyrant. Relic love the idea of making every race unique – what better way than have them as Zerg-without-the-creep?
    Also, who else thinks that Genestealers have great potential, infecting enemy units that birth (non-canonically) into unique strain based on the target.

  6. arqueturus says:

    Does Masterboo mean that the gameplay looks exactly the same as the original perhaps?

    Because I agree based on the screenshots at least, even if the graphics are much shinier.

  7. dartt says:

    Came in for the NCTSC2 and was not disappointed.

    Oh and the trailer is pretty cool I guess…

    Want want want want want want want!

  8. TychoCelchuuu says:

    Yes based on the 8 seconds of gameplay this appears to feature space marines and orks fighting, which was indeed a feature of the first game. Drawing further conclusions is in my opinion a little silly.

  9. MasterBoo says:

    The animations and graphics look the same. They are shinier, using the CoH engine instead of the old DoW, but it still smells too familiar to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love DoW, but the shots and trailers so far feel like the same thing all over again.

  10. Chaz says:

    More of the same can’t be too bad in this case though surely?

  11. Meat Circus says:

    I hate grit.

  12. Zyrusticae says:

    My point is that saying it looks like ‘more of the same’ when we haven’t even seen any buildings or strategic points is rather silly and premature.

    Also, the game is a sequel. When the hell has a sequel NOT given you a sense of deja vu? Seriously? Not to mention they have no control over the WH40k IP.

  13. Sucram says:

    From what I’ve read it’ll be quite different; at least in the campaign. No bases, focus on a very small number of troops that are persistent throughout the story, non-linear campaign mission with degrees of victory, RPG style pickups and individually customisable squad members.

    Oh and it’s now very shiny, in grim blood stained way.

  14. Lorc says:

    It looks seriously dumbed down – little to no evidence of any competent micro-management going on. Not that it matters that much since the orks are totally outnumbered and outgunned – way to fuck up the balance once again Relic. This is one game whose competitive gaming prospects are scuppered right out the gate.

    And you might say it looks pretty, but those specular conch-arrays on the individual clorts will be hell on any machine that can’t run Crysis on max details. In actual play you’ll need to settle for partial-render contra-aliasing if you want it to run at a decent clip.

    On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that’s a unit of Hrud mercenaries ducking behind the barricades at 0:12. So that could be cool.

  15. wb says:

    @Lorc: You are sadly mistaken, sir: those are certainly Zoats. You can tell by the trail of Zoatabix crumbs left behind.

  16. Zyrusticae says:

    Damn, I’m sure there’s some funny in those posts above me… but that jargon totally lost me…

  17. Okami says:

    I love people who can tell everything about a game’s features and balancing by watching 8 seconds of teaser clips..

  18. Lorc says:

    Zoatibix crumbs? They’re blatantly Hrud spores. Besides, Zoatibix haven’t been canon since rogue trader. And, fanwank to the contrary, we’ll see squats before we see the Z’bixian serialites again.

  19. Fumarole says:

    Okami, surely they are overflowing with such awesomeness that us mere humans can only marvel at their infinitely superior observation skills.

    That or they’re angsty, twelve years old and would never be pleased anyway.

  20. Kieron Gillen says:

    I love how every single 40k thread disappears into a world which is only understandable by 4 RPS readers and one RPS poster within four or five comments.


  21. arqueturus says:


    Yes, based on the trailer it looks the same. I’m sure there’s much more to it but we haven’t seen that yet have we?

    Notice I didn’t judge whether more of the same is good or bad eh?

    The really big question is what could they add to the original to make it better other than shininess?

  22. zanbowser says:

    now, i’d play DoW2 in a heartbeat if they went all backward Rogue Trader on us. stunties! WAAAUGH! looking more forward to WAR than to this.

  23. Lord_Mordja says:

    What could they add, eh? ‘Nids.

    I can see it. Waves upon waves of them coming towards a doomed force of marines. Cover? They swarm over the meagre barrier and leave naught but a few shreds of flesh. Then the Carnifexes arrive.

  24. Dolphan says:

    Wouldn’t Tyranids put it in interestingly direct competition with Starcraft 2? The Starcraft races owe a lot to 40K anyway, and the Zerg are pretty much rip-offs.

  25. Erlam says:

    I got turned off of 40k trying to play multiplayer. In their efforts to not have resource gathering, you instead had resource.. points. Which you had to sit units at. Effectively gathering them.

    Not to mention that giving a bonus (of units, as well) to the person who controls the relic was… well, dumb, in my opinion.

  26. spd from Russia says:

    fuck yeah! looks already better than SC2
    and if they improve it basing on CoH gameplay it WILL BE FUCKING AWESOME.

    Yeah Im excited. loved both DoW and CoH – best RTS ever
    CoH is SO ahead of all the other RTS games its not even funny

  27. RichPowers says:


    Dawn of War was my first exposure to the 40k fictional universe and let me just say it’s one of my favorites. In particular, I enjoy how humanity is portrayed as a xenophobic, war-mongering race that worships some half-dead god emperor. Screw the noble Terrans of the future who bravely defend the frontier from the alien menace.

  28. wcaypahwat says:

    They’re leaving the `nids out, for The Greater Good. Honestly though, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were an end-game enemy, encountered much the same way as Lord_Mordja described.

  29. Gap Gen says:

    Never really liked the 40K universe much myself, but then I didn’t grow up painting little dudes so much. I prefer Starcraft’s take on the ‘we have FTL but still have dudes firing machine guns’ genre. That, and Starcraft doesn’t have unnecessary backstory bordering on the obsessive (please tell me it doesn’t…)

  30. MeestaNob! says:

    Looked a lot better than the current game.

    But then again I’m basing this on 8 seconds of footage.

    Looks like a mixture of Company of Heroes and FUCKING ORCS AND ROBOTS.

    I fail to see how this could be anything but fantastic.

  31. Optimaximal says:

    That, and Starcraft doesn’t have unnecessary backstory bordering on the obsessive (please tell me it doesn’t…)

    Pay a visit to your local book store – I think they’ll be hiding in between the Halo and Warhammer books… I know WoW has such legions of fancruft.

  32. Gap Gen says:

    Yeah, I was worried about that. Then again, I consider any sequel to Dune to be superfluous cash-in stuff, so huh.

  33. Homunculus says:

    Orkz are made for fightin’ and winnin’. And slatherin’ in baby oil now, apparently. Guess that’s the patented Next Gen Sheen (TM).

  34. Jon says:

    Of course if they put in ‘Nids the inevitable SpaceHulk mod/map will be made.

    And then I’ll buy DoW2 in a heartbeat.

  35. ACK says:

    Hey, wait a sec, why do the assault marines getting slaughtered by the nob in the title screeny have heresy style helmets? What is that? Mark V armour? They have the new jet packs though.

    (Sorry, had to)

    And Space Hulk: hell yes please with sugar on top.

    Oh, and come to think of it, a DoW: Horus Heresy would be quite nice too, the old school way, before they added all the spikey bits on the chaos marines that is. Damn, I’m getting old.

    @Cap Gen: StarCraft doesn’t need any backstory as everything is a blatant rip-off of 40K anyway ;-)

  36. Gap Gen says:

    Looking at it on Wikipedia, I’d probably agree, if 40K wasn’t a rip-off of Dune and stuff anyways. Maybe the crucial difference is that the story is better in the game’s campaign (which is the only real exposure I’ve had to 40K aside from Wikipedia), and it has a good sense of humour (unlike the shitty Orcs in 40K).

  37. Kieron Gillen says:

    40K rips off almost everything. It’s part of its charm.

    But the single, most important reference in a far bigger way than something like Dune is Nemesis The Warlock and the associated mythos in 2000 AD – the Termight Empire, Torquemada, etc.

    I strongly recommend The Complete Nemesis The Warlock to anyone who wishes to investigate.


  38. Jarmo says:

    “Be pure! Be vigilant! Behave!”

    One could argue that the whole Wh40k shtick of sticking quotations everywhere in the gaming materials is descended from the similar pithy sayings in Nemesis the Warlock.

  39. Kieron Gillen says:

    40K’s imperium is basically the Termight Empire played as heroes.


  40. Jarmo says:

    Verily, and that’s as delightfully perverse as imagining the lawmen of Mega-City One as heroes.

  41. ACK says:

    Thank you, Kieron, for reminding me of Nemesis and 2000AD. I can’t say I’ve ever read a better comic.

    Didn’t GW have a Rogue Trooper skirmish-type RPG game? I recollect reading a mission for it in some mag back when I was a PFY. On that note, a (computer) game truly doing 2000AD justice would be a game I’d buy in a second.

    On the whole “what is a derivate of what” issue; yes, most things are based on the work of others, what seem to matter is the angle of attack. I’d say both 40K and StarCraft does a pretty decent job of it (and Nemesis does it so good you don’t even mind it). Granted, I haven’t read a 40K rule-book in about 10 years and their writing was on a slippery slope already back then. But the orcs of 40K used to be a pretty humourous bunch, and the writing in the first couple of books were quite funny from time to time.

  42. Gap Gen says:

    I bow to your superior cultural knowledge, Kieron.

  43. Noc says:

    Also, Gap Gen: the point of the 40k Universe isn’t to obsessively catalog and justify everything in the game.

    The point of the 40k Universe is to be hilarious AWESOME. It’s an examination of such mature themes as the role of authority and the price of war . . . as seen through the eyes of a twelve-year old boy with an Iron Maiden t-shirt and drawings of tanks all over his notebooks. In fact, the fiction, which is full of epic battles and planets getting cracked for cosmic demon space-omelettes, doesn’t go very far towards explaining why your two-dozen men and a tank fighting over a a few hundred yard’s worth tabletop is happening at all.

    Instead, the fiction is there to craft a world wherein, thematically, a chainsaw sword does not look out of place.

  44. Gap Gen says:

    Yeah, I guess I confuse it with Star Wars, which does take fandom to the extreme with booklets detailing how the fake fantasy weapons work, people dressing up as obscure characters, and so on. I guess my big beef is fanboyism, rather than the universe inherently (even if it isn’t really my thing).

    I accept that a chainsaw gun is visually awesome, even if it doesn’t make any sense tactically – it’s fantasy, so whatever. I remember someone complaining about the DoW intro, where heavily armed guys charge a hill and die pointlessly when they could have stayed in their trench and mopped up. It looks cool, even if it is very stupid.

  45. Jason says:

    Maybe the flag thing the marine was carrying was some sort of homing beacon, so the other marines could successfully avoid cracking up their drop-pods on the city? I mean, if you squint, the open are does kinda look something like a (horribly abused) public park.

    Or it could be an artillery spotter’s point; or just a berm with some critical location on the other side. Who knows?

    Back to the salient point, DoW II is going to be an opening week purchase, definately.

  46. Devin says:

    @Gap Gen:

    That’s assuming the whole of the fight was those few orks vs. those few marines.

    If in fact the marines had been dropped in to take back ground lost when the orks overran a part of the imperial line, and that ridge was a vital anchor to that flank, then dying to retake it makes perfect sense.

    On the gripping hand, though, there’s a clear logical coherence (which you obviously see) between that movie and the idea of a chainsaw sword.