Release: Sep 2004
Reviewed on: PC
Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War
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Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War combines deep military strategy with a science fiction setting. Based on the tabletop games it has obvious appeal to fans of the Warhammer 40k wargame but it is still a very attractive real time strategy experience for newcomers to the franchise.
After the success of the original several expansion packs were released to expand on the available factions in the game and introduce new campaigns. With various bundles (like the Platinum Edition) around players will want to grab one to get the best value for their money.
The main campaign of the series follows the Space Marines and there struggles against several foes (Orks, Eldar and Chaos) to maintain the existence of the human race. Set on the planet of Tartarus players will bounce around the planet to different environments in order to face these threats and remove them from the planet.
Each of these factions comes with their own units and strategies which will require you to carefully come up with your own counter strategy for each of them.
Gameplay isn’t just your standard real time strategy experience with the game focusing more on military tactics rather than requiring players to manage an economy. Resources are gathered by holding key locations around the map using infantry units and can be fortified further to improve their resource generating capabilities. Combined with power stations this forms the basis of your resource needs and is a very simplified approach.
Using these resources you’ll build the usual variety of structures that allow you to produce units and upgrade technologies. Units are split between infantry and vehicles with caps for each slowly increasing as you advance your technology capabilities. Instead of creating individual infantry units though players will create squads. The limit of fighters in each squad will depend on the unit (Space Marines for example spawn with 4 but can be reinforced to 8). Once a final squad member is killed the squad will be gone entirely.
An important element to every battle is not only keeping your squads reinforced but managing cover and morale. Players will also have to carefully consider the unit match ups to ensure they have a fighting force capable of dealing with any threat.
With a realistic military approach to gameplay Dawn of War will satisfy lots of strategy fans that prefer a combat orientated experience.
- A military focused strategy game.
- Great campaign and story to follow.
- Plenty of different enemies keep you on your feet developing new strategies.
- Unique mechanics make the game focused on combat with plenty of depth.
- Several expansions push the gameplay available further.