Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I genuinely couldn’t say whether Soulstorm was the ‘best’ version of Relic’s first 40K RTS, but it’s certainly the one that makes me feel fondest towards the series.
I can remember seeing the first screenshots of vanilla DoW and sincerely believing that it was going to be the greatest videogame ever made.
I can remember then playing it and finding it slightly… flat. Great-looking for sure, but somehow lacking quite the bombast I’d imagined. The campaign was a major let-down too. But, by the time final expansion Soulstorm rolled around, so many well-known 40K factions were in the mix that the devs had to dig relatively deep – and they struck crazy-gold.
The Sisters of Battle and the Dark Eldar aren’t factions I’d ever particularly wanted to play as, but they do bring enormous extra character to the 40K setting. Better still, with them in the mix we were up to a fully nine different factions. Suddenly Dawn of War wasn’t just a narrow slice of the 40K universe: it was the 40K universe. I remain disappointed that Dawn of War II never went anything like as far.