Tuesday, 20 January 2015

First Impressions: Warhammer 40k Dawn of War Game of the Year Edition

Besides being a contender for the 'Longest Game Title Ever Award' it is also a pretty good game. Think Starcraft II set in the Warhammer 40k universe and you're getting somewhere.
I've only had time to play through the tutorial so far but I have noticed a few things. One: the graphics, while not terrible, aren't great. Two: there are four races (Space Marines, Chaos, Eldar and, my personal favourite, Orks). Three: there's multiple modes including skirmish, campaign and an army painter. Four: I love the squad system (I'll go into this in a bit). Five: the tutorial is ridiculously slow and predictable. I mean, seriously, I beat the game while he was telling me how to do it!

The units are cool and are all based off of Warhammer 40k characters (the tutorial I played was for Space Marines, btw); so the scout units are Space Marine Scouts, the builders are servitors etc. Your main troops are Space Marine Tactical Squads although I've also seen Assault Squads as well as vehicles such as Rhino Transports and Dreadnoughts and these can all be upgraded in many ways to fit your playstyle and situation. For example, the Space Marine Squads can be upgraded to have various heavy weapons such as a flamethrower or missile launcher. However, this also adds another layer of strategy and choice as the Space Marines will only shoot from the range of their longest weapon and, if other members have a shorter range, they won't shoot. Squads can also be equipped with Sergeants (which help with the moral of your squad) as well as being able to be reinforced on the go. This, on the go mechanic means that you can heal while fighting and adapt to situations by buying different weapon upgrades as you go. You can also upgrade your troops at the armoury (and, I expect, other places as well).

All squads have a shared pool of health and a squad member will die when the shared health gets to a certain point. The other shared stat is moral which, once depleted, decreases your squads fighting skill and may leave them 'broken'. You can only have a certain amount of squads as well (although this can be increased), and a certain amount of troops per squad.

There are two resources that I saw: requisition and power. Requisition is earned by owning strategic points and power is earned through buying power generators. I never had any problem in getting resources, although this was only a tutorial so I don't know if it will get any harder. 

Overall, W40kGotYE looks to be a great game and one that I thoroughly look forward to playing more of in the future. 

Goodbye for now, Harry 

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