War, And The Second Dawning Thereof

Ooh, not long now until Dawn of War II. The shiny, RPGy Warhammer 40,000 real-time strategy argy-bargy hits on February 20, but turns out that just under a month before that we’ll get to play with the beta. Given disc mastering times and whatnot, I’d imagine by “beta” they actually mean “demo, but beta sounds so much edgier and exclusivier”. I still blame Google for this bally beta fad. Nonetheless, you’ll get to tinker with a multiplayer client including five maps and all four of DOW II’s races – that’s Orks, Eldar, The Chuckle Brothers and Tyranids – on January 28th. Better yet, if you own Dawn of War 1’s final expansion Soulstorm, you get to bite into that juicy beta burger on the 21st. Perhaps it’s an apology for Soulstorm being a bit flaccid?

In either case, the beta’s accessible only through Steam, which means login-hating loonymen are out of luck. More fun info-morsels about DOW 2 beneath the cut. (Man, ‘cut’ is getting old now. Anyone care to dream up an alternative?)

Minimum Requirements –

* Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista SP1
* P4 3.2 GHz (single core) or any Dual Core processor
* 1 GB RAM (XP), 1.5 GB RAM (Vista)
* A 128MB Video Card (Shader Model 3) – Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT / ATI X1600, or equivalent
* 5.5 GB of Hard Drive space

Recommended –

* Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista SP1
* AMD Athlon 64×2 4400+ or any Intel Core 2 Duo
* 2 GB RAM (XP and Vista)
* A 256MB Video Card (Shader Model 3) – Nvidia GeForce 7800 GT / ATI X1900, or equivalent
* 5.5 GB of Hard Drive space

Now, I swear Relic/THQ were on about making DOW as accessible as possible, due to DOW1 and its expansions continuing to sell well thanks to their low-spec friendliness. A shader model 3 card being mandatory doesn’t exactly fit that bill… Dead surprised about that one: SM 3.0 for the minimum spec is something you usually only see with 360 ports, which this most certainly isn’t.

Also, here’s a video that came out just before Festivus, showing off some of the boss battles. Yep, boss battles – I’ve experienced them first hand, and they’re likely to be one of the more divisive elements of a game that’s already a major departure from its forerunner. Think Diablo dungeon bosses and you’re on the right tack.


  1. cyrenic says:

    Awesome, my processor is just under the min spec, and I was hoping some kind of demo would be released so I can see how it’ll run. I’m not hopeful, but at least I’ll know one way or the other.

    Alternative words for “cut”: jump, break, drm, endless bear.

  2. Sev3rity says:

    No worries here, I plan on maxin this baby out.

    You could say…”the drop off”?

  3. Vandelay says:

    Glad to hear we will get to try out the multiplayer side of this. With the single player being such a departure from the RTS norm, I’ve had worries that the multiplayer/skirmish side might become neglected and at best being more of the same.

    Kind of irrelevant, because if the single player is as good as it appears to be then it will be a must buy regardless of the quality of the multiplayer, but it would be nice if both sides of the game were good quality.

  4. El_MUERkO says:

    me wants!

    me wants baaaaad!

  5. Rook says:

    I’ve always liked after the jump.

    But steam? I thought this was a GfW Live game, not that they’re mutually exclusive or anything but it all gets a bit odd when you’re asked to sign into steam so you can sign into relic online and then sign into GfW Live at which point your brain explodes.

  6. Lightbulb says:

    Lets be honest though SM 3 isn’t really cutting edge is it? 6600GT has it, and i believe ATi cards after the 9800 have it too (maybe the one after that I forget).

    I wish there was a more WiC scale 40k game. I never found DoW that great. Something about the standing in the open blazing away at each other for ages and ages which I didn’t like…

  7. Monchberter says:

    Wow, wouldn’t it be great if you could get, like 2″ action figures of Space Marines, that would be so cool.


  8. Whiskeyjak says:

    Nice, I was afraid I couldn’t do it, me not even knowing what a shader model exactly is, but Nvidia website says that my laptop card manags 4.0 so I guess that I don’t have to worry. I would have to complete the expansion packs campaigns of the first one though.

  9. Dexton says:

    @Lightbulb: The ati X800 series which you are referring to does not support shader 3. But yes, most cards bought in the last 3 years will have shader 3 by now.

  10. Warduke says:

    I’m glad they are releasing the multi-player early to play around with. I have some concerns as do many others about the way it’s diverting from DoW1 multiplayer so this will be a good chance for me and the buds to test it out before purchasing. Looking forward to it!

  11. gulag says:

    “Under the Fold” is where it it all starts. Old broadsheet newspaper term.

  12. Bhazor says:

    They’d better be upping the unit count for the inevitable Imperial Guard add-on. If there’s less than 60-70 guardsmen for every Space Marine then I’ll be sorely disappointed.

    I can see the “intimate” approach working for Eldar, Space Marines, Chaos and Tau but what about the Guards, Orcs, Necrons and the ‘nids? My guess is they’ll just fudge the former so that they can get away with dropping the unit count of the latter. Pity.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    Why is flaccid bad? I mean unless you meant Soulstorm was a bit what I’d prefer for most situations?

  14. Bhazor says:

    As for cut alternatives I think we have to use phrases that would of sounded poncy to 80’s cyberpunk writers.
    For more check…
    …after the Jack Jump
    …through the data hole
    …past the Gate Keeper
    …through the mind word pipe
    …beyond the veil
    …beyond the data fold
    …inside your possible future

  15. Sp4rkR4t says:

    More fun info-morsels about DOW 2 beneath the cut. (Man, ‘cut’ is getting old now. Anyone care to dream up an alternative?)

    How about fold, then we can pretend that print media is still worth something.

    Looking forward to getting my hands on this, I’m really interested to see how the ‘nids work in the multiplayer mode.

  16. Evo says:

    Come on! Put a little effort into your articles please.

    We know why they call it Beta instead of a demo…

    Its so when everyone says it is shit they can claim we “aren’t playing the final product” and say “The final product will fix those huge gaping problems – no prob”

    Of course they could just call it a demo, because it is not as if anything actually changes after the “Beta” release…

  17. Him says:

    Am I late?
    I don’t mind the idea of boss battles; the 40K universe is replete with larger-than-life heroes and villains whose struggles mirror those of the warring masses that support them. Granted, they’re something of a departure from Dawn of War, but if they’re pulled off intelligently they’ll only add to the experience of the 40K universe and not detract from it.

  18. subedii says:

    What Rook said. The game is making exclusive use of the GFW Live architecture for it’s multiplayer, but the [i]beta[/i] is going to be exclusively available only via Steam? I really don’t understand their thinking here.

    Dead surprised about that one: SM 3.0 for the minimum spec is something you usually only see with 360 ports, which this most certainly isn’t.

    Whilst admittedly the game isn’t being ported [i]from[/i] the 360, it’s almost certainly being ported to it, they just haven’t made the official announcement yet.

  19. subedii says:

    Also: I miss the edit feature.

  20. Fentaiz says:

    @ Monchberter

    YEAH! And maybe they can cost 50 bucks for a set. And we can play with them in a greasy comic shop with greasy people!

  21. Kua says:

    under the butt?

  22. Kua says:

    that is to say beneath. yes, curse this lack of edit feature.

  23. mandrill says:

    beyond the pale
    on the other side
    when the cows come home
    under the rug
    past the duchy
    over the rainbow
    where the wild things are
    where the sea meets the sky
    behind the sofa
    round the horne

    all terms which could be used to replace “after the cut”

    ‘beneath the fold’ is not appropriate as, in web design, it refers to anything on a page that you have to scroll to see. Advertisers would rather have an ad on a website ‘above the fold’ which is why the ads tend to be concentrated at the top of a page and you very rarely see any more than 2 ‘folds’ (screen heights of scrolling) down.

    This totally useless and off topic post was brought to you by me not having anything better to do.

  24. Meat Circus says:

    “beneath the epiglotis”?

  25. Blather Blob says:

    I’d guess the reason for calling it a Beta (and for making it Steam-only), is that it will expire around the time of the full game’s release, L4D-style.

  26. Hypocee says:

    +1 for ‘beyond the pale’, that’s fun.

    I’ve hoped for more bosses in RTS for some time – after all, MMO boss fights are really RTSes with better pathfinding and a terrible command UI, right? I still need to try out…what was it, Universe At War?… where I understand one of the three factions is essentially a single massive boss.

  27. Lord_Mordja says:

    Here’s a brand new video showing off the Tyranids in all their swarming glory: link to uk.pc.ign.com

    Yeah there’s a lot of them; Imagine what an all ‘nid 6 player game would look like!

  28. Rosti says:

    I always enjoyed “beyond the info-leap” on my now defunct web efforts.

    Re the Dawning, is there any word on how Soulstorm users will be verified? Specifically, is the early “beta” only for Steam owners?

  29. Down Rodeo says:

    Hmmm. Makes me glad I picked up the DoW games just recently then.

    Howzabout, “through the looking-glass”? Or “Click the red link for the truth”? I blame the general shittiness of these offerings on the late hour. I mean really, I am so sorry.

  30. RichPowers says:

    If you want to fight bosses in an RTS game, Battleforge may be worth checking it. Word on the street is that it focuses on online PvE with up to 12 players. Hopefully EA will release it on Steam…and hopefully they won’t go over-the-top with booster packs.

    I <3 comp-stomps, so Battleforge sounds pretty cool right now.

    Right, DoW2 looks awesome, go Emperor, purge the heretics.

  31. Bhazor says:

    Reply to Lord_Mordja

    That has eased my worries somewhat. It looks like the “three squads and a special unit” only applies to the Space Marines. Still a bit skeptical about the campaign though, the idea of a space marine commander killing a orc and finding a +4 helmet is just too wrong.

    But this is Relic so I’m cautiously optimistic that they know what they’re doing. But really the original DOW remade in COH complete with physics, destructibility and cover dynamics is all I wanted.

  32. Alex says:

    @Lord_Mordja, I think those Nidz are commanded by two separate Tyranid players. Their color scheme seems to differ.

  33. matte_k says:

    After the chop?

  34. Cpt.Muffin says:

    Too much coming out next month that I want to buy, all with two in the title. Appropiate for the second month of the year – DoWII, F.E.A.R II, Starcraft II. My wallet will be empty and my hard drive filled.

  35. Will says:

    I support cyrenic’s suggestion of ‘endless bear’ instead of ‘cut’.

  36. Lightbulb says:

    Instead of under the cut you could say:

    “Follow the link-o-tron for for more!”

    Yeah thats right ATi were slow on the uptake for SM3… I remember now – twas quite a long time ago now. In PC hardware terms…

  37. Lightbulb says:

    Edit function why hath thou forsaken this blog!

  38. Turin Turambar says:

    GFW lives replaces Relic Online, you won’t be logging in both systems.

  39. Tei says:

    Another squad base MMO/RTS thing is Planeshift[1].

    The fun of WorldShift is killing “WOW raid” like monster. Is not just senseless DPS (damage per second), but how to kill these monsters.


  40. Tei says:

    NOTE: arrh… Ignore the first “planeshift”, I mean WorldShift.

  41. MrDeVil_909 says:

    A PC gamer still playing on a sub Geforce 6600 GT is begging for a kick in the balls. A 9600 is cheap these days, the specs are more than accessible.

  42. Sartoris says:

    I wish somebody would make a proper turn-based W40K game. My twitch skills have atrophied quite a bit since I was a kid bashing away at Red Alert. It just seems to me that real time RTS in this case misses the point of the carefully thought out strategies which W40K usually inspires in its tabletop version.

  43. Russ says:

    Through the Jumpgate.

  44. Jochen Scheisse says:

    The Pride Of Relic is about to leave the Immaterium! Reinforcements arrive!

  45. Mungrul says:

    Back in the early nineties, I sold the Chuckle Brothers 40 Superkings each while working at a service station.
    I was very disappointed when they didn’t pass them back and forth saying “To me!”, “To you!”.

  46. Xercies says:


    Thats what I always think…why has no one brought out a turned based strategy game out of Warhammer 40k. Though I guess Games Workshop wouldn’t like this since why would you pay for the figurines if you can just get the video game?


    In the tabletop game you do get extras though in the campaign if you get enough kills like more grenades and sooner or later special abilities that you can do and even special armour. So i expect Relic to basically copy that system.

  47. AndrewC says:

    The 20th February is my birthday, but i don’t like RTS’s.

  48. NullH says:

    That video is going to haunt me for days. The mustaches.

    Also the Tyranid video looks great, they even sound good.

  49. MonkeyMonster says:

    Past the Uvula

  50. AbyssUK says:

    Talking of login hating looney men i.e. me, could I request RPS find out if I’ll have to have a GfW account to get the Fallout3 DLC?