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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 64x2 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.

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