Well, this is rather unexpected. Then again, I’m very easily surprised: I also described the discovery of fresh bread in the cupboard this morning as rather unexpected. This really is unusual, though – Relic are to carve The Last Stand, a high-speed survival RPG mode, out of their Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II and sell it as a standalone game for $10. It’s out today, and it’s to be called The Last Standalone, which is agreeably stupid.
It’s a bloody odd thing to do – chopping your game into chunks for separate sale, but given that Dawn of War II is essentially three different games (the RPG-RTS singleplayer, the RTS multiplayer, the action-RPG last stand) wearing matching clothes it makes a certain kind of sense. Last Stand is very much the anyone can play entry point for the game, dispensing with anything like RTS in favour of high-speed co-op slaying with each player controlling just one character. Why, even John Walker could play it. But he won’t, unless we force him.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time with Last Stand on and off over the last couple of years, though funnily enough I’ve never been terribly sure what to say whenever I try to write about it. Despite being co-op, it’s an incredibly personal thing – all about your personal quest for loot upgrades and levelling up in the face of increasingly impossible odds. I like it a lot, and I’m confident it makes sense as its own entity even if it’s unexpected.
If you’re wondering, The Last Standalone includes all the Last Stand content from the recent Retribution expandalone pack – which means playing as whichever Warhammer 40K race most takes your fancy. You then have an option to pay a discounted upgrade to the full game if you like. Should you? Let my recent Wot I Think and the RPS Verdict guide you.
The Last Standalone will be available on Steam later today, for $10. I would write its full name, as in the tag below, but Jesus Christ. What are you thinking, Relic/THQ?