By 2017, every human being on Earth will be developing a Warhammer 40,000 game. I suppose it’s possible that at least one of those 7.125 billion titles will go on to be as beloved as Relic’s Dawn of War series, but it does seem unlikely.
If you’re one of the few people yet to play a Dawn of War – perhaps because you’ve been too busy making Warhammer 40,000: Tyranid Dating Sim* – then good news: the entire franchise, including every single expansion pack and piece of DLC, is free to play on Steam all weekend, and heavily discounted if you want to keep any or all of it. Also, the first DoW is getting a brand new map. Pretty good going for an 11-year-old game.
Dawn of War 1 and 2 and all their 7.125 billion expansions are free to play on Steam from 10am PDT on September 24th through to 1pm PDT on September 27th, which in Proper Imperial Correct Nothing Else Matters Damn You English time is from 5pm last night through to 8pm on Sunday .
If you want to keep ’em, everything is 75% off for the duration too. There are various different bundles, most of which involve a slew of minor Dawn of War II DLC that you really don’t need unless you’re a total Space Marine nut. Absolutely everything – the franchise pack – will cost you £24.99, but I reckon you could grab the Dawn of War II Master Collection for £9.99 and the Dawn of War I Master Collection for £7.49 and have everything you realistically need.
If you just want to tinker, or want a place to start in this maelstrom of similarly-named games, the must-haves as far as I’m concerned are Dawn of War II Chaos Rising for £3.74 and Dawn of War 1 Dark Crusade for £2.49.
Dawn of War 1 and 2 are very different games really, the latter moving away from RTS and into ARPG, so it’s definitely worth grabbing one of each if you can.
Meanwhile, the original Dawn of War gets its new map, like so:
“The Temple of Cyrene is a brand new, official multiplayer map we’re adding into the Dawn of War I rotation. This map will be playable in DoW I, as well as the Dark Crusade and Soulstorm expansions. The Temple of Cyrene sits on the blasted landscape of a world scoured clean by the Exterminatus of the Imperial Inquisition. Homeworld of Gabriel Angelos, Cyrene is now a ghost-world of ruined cities and ashen fields. Fight for supremacy amidst the remains of Cyrene’s once-mighty temples. Claim the three critical locations at the heart of the ruins or drive into enemy bases and deliver annihilation.”
Dawn of War II is receiving a bonus too, though it’s unlocking hard-to-obtain bits of Wargear for everyone rather than brand new stuff:
“The Vanguard, Sniper, Sternguard, and Destroyer, to equip in the main campaign that were previously only available as pre-order DLC, or as rare loot drops. Now everyone will be able to equip items like the Veteran’s Grenades, Blade of Ulyus, Armor of the Destroyer, and many more to complete your sets.””
So yeah, you’ve got until Sunday night to try all this stuff out. Neither DoW is quite my dream 40K game – the scale is too small, the customisation and army-building too limited – but they’re pretty much as good as digital 40K gets so far. Very much recommended.
Incidentally, while looking up the total population of Earth to reference in the introduction to this post, I established that it has doubled during just the space of my own 36 years on Earth. I am very, very frightened all of a sudden, and will probably close the curtains and play Dawn of War all weekend to try and block out my rising paranoia about Armageddon.
* make it make it make it make it make it make it