Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - PC - Preview
E3 2008 Preview
Real-time strategy games are often flowing with the biggest, most destructive battles possible. With each new console generation and every advancement in PC gaming, RTS developers are constantly trying to cram more simultaneous units into their titles. In that case, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is anti-traditional. Having discovered that four units is the magic number for this game, that's the number you'll be playing with throughout most of Dawn of War II.
Due in the spring of 2009, the game uses a cover system that's very similar to Company of Heroes. Co-op gameplay returns, and the graphics will look better than ever thanks to the use of an enhanced version of Relic's Essence Engine 2.0. Every detail, from massive to miniscule, will be visible as the war wages on. Background textures are ultra realistic, character models are extremely fluid, and the special effects -- fire, explosions, etc. -- are very impressive. And with each unit being an expert in a particular area of combat (different weapons, close or far assaults, etc.), some of the best strategies may be the one you make before entering the battlefield.
Like the first game, Dawn of War II is set in the same sci-fi universe from Games Workshop. One of the coolest, most defining features of the game is that you don't have to win every battle to finish the game. THQ rationalizes this with the belief that one battle shouldn't count for an entire campaign, which is what matters most. However, we don't yet know how many battles must be conquered to come out on top, so this might not be as forgiving as it sounds.
Dawn of War II promises to have
superior long-term goals, along with fast-paced gameplay that's made to compete
with full-fledged action games. But first and foremost it is a strategy
game, and should prove to be one of the genre's best in 2009.