Saturday, August 13, 2011

Warhammer 40000 - Dawn Of War

Wanna get down and dirty for a little Gorka Morka.
The conversion of Warhammer 40000 into a good computer game has been the subject of every geek's wet dream for the past two decades - excluding those with Magic: The Gathering fetishes and Pokemon fanatics. In-between model-painting parties and treatments for lead poisoning, a number of Warhammer titles have made their way to the market. Unfortunately, for players and publishers alike, these games stayed a little too true to the table-top formula, using turn-based engines and hex movement systems. It's a formula that, for video games at least, equates to zero fun.

Harnessing the power of its Impossible Creatures engine, Relic has seized the Warhammer license and developed Dawn of War, a realtime strategy that puts the player in the titanium boots of the Blood Ravens, an elite squad of Space Marines. Although this is the only side you get to play in the single player campaign, the other three races that make an appearance - the Eldar, Chaos and Orks - are available for multiplayer and skirmish.

Gameplay in Dawn Of War is reasonably standard, with the exception of squads. Instead of controlling individual troops, ground forces are produced in small teams that can be upgraded with abilities and superior weapons. Mobile platforms and "heroes" can be attached, boosting their effectiveness, and each side receives a super-unit that is a force unto itself.

The resource system is much like that found in Total Annihilation - the player receives points from limitless supplies. While energy is produced by building generators, resource points can only be gained by capturing certain 'strategic points', and it is in these that the core gameplay mechanic of Dawn Of War lies: capture a number of points and you can defeat your opponent. 

Although Warhammer 40000 - Dawn of War doesn't bring too much to the genre, it's a massive jolt for the computer game-side of the Warhammer franchise.




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