Have you been gaming in your parent’s basement in the early 2000’s, when Pentiums were the strongest CPUs and a 6800 GT used to run any game that came out? Anyone from that period has experienced the joy of the old-school RTS games, which was a popular generation of games among the backdoor kids who used to play games. Everyone from that generation has also heard about the Dawn of War series.
Indeed, the original Dawn of War, with its revolutionary mechanics of base building, and resource generation based on the capture of strategic points is still fun to play, especially out of nostalgia. Dawn of War has evolved considerably over time, and this year, it’s the release of the 3rd title of the Dawn of War series, Dawn of War 3. So of course we had to review it.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III is a real-time strategy video game released by Relic Entertainment and Sega in partnership with Games Workshop, the creators of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.The game was released on the PC platform on 27 April 2017.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War 3
The main cause that inspired a third title in the series was very clear – people weren’t happy with Dawn of War 2. Multiple attempts to calm the players who bought it were made, all in vain – the game received a lot of flak for it. Dawn Of War 2 had removed the original idea of “base-building”, and relied only on unit deployment and the destruction of the opponent’s base as the means to victory. Problems with extra layers of copy protection (Games for Windows Live, which was pretty hated back in the day), besides the lack of a dedicated skirmish mode where one can test out the units of the several factions involved in the story. Public opinion about the Dawn of War series needs to be changed, and it needs to be proved that the next game can overcome the flaws of the 2nd installment. And Relic Entertainment was successful in doing so.
Gameplay And Mechanics
Dawn of War 3 features two game modes – the Campaign, where players can play mission after mission to complete the storyline, and the Multiplayer, where players can either gear up for heated offline battles against the AI, or lengthy online battles against real players (where matches can continue for hours). The so called “Skirmish” mode has not been separately deployed, it has been made a part of the Multiplayer. The return of the ability to play offline battles against the AI was itself a factor that distanced Dawn of War 3 from Dawn of War 2, and made Dawn of War 3 actually “a distant cousin” to the old-school Dawn of War.
Dawn of War 3 features multiplayer battles like never before. Multiplayer can be played between 2 players, 4 players, or 6 players, in three different game modes – 1v1,2v2 and 3v3. Base building returns as a fundamental part of multiplayer, which was completely absent in Dawn of War 2. The game features three pivotal races for the player to take command of – the Space Marines, fighting for the Emperor, with their vehicles, swords and guns, fighting for glory ; the Orks, with their war-cry of WAAAGH!, utilizing their warbots ,axes and guns to kill anyone who isn’t a “greenskin”, salvaging riches from ruins of buildings and vehicles on the go ; and the Eldar, fighting for ensuring balance in the universe, utilizing their arsenal of superior technology along with the ability to transport anywhere with the help of their Webway Gates. The game features a new feature in the form of veteran units called Elites, which can be called down any time in battle to bolster your forces and help you in the final push to finish off the enemy. Multiplayer plays pretty much like a MOBA, where you push for control of points on the map, and then try to punch the enemy’s core to death, the only difference being that the creeps are under the player’s control, besides the “hero” units, or the Elites.
The Dawn of War 3 campaign features 17 missions, telling a story by letting the player experience it from the aspect of the three races. The game puts you in the boots of one race, play for 1 or 2 missions, then switches to another race. The campaign itself does not promote learning the play style of each of the races, as one gets to experience the unique units and abilities of a race for a very short period of time. However, the campaign does serve as a satisfactory introduction to the multiplayer.
Graphics Sound and Performance
The game features eye-stunning visuals of the battlefield, with highly detailed models of all the races. The high resolution graphics adds to the overall gaming experience. Besides this, the game features an army painter, which allows players to customize units as they want. The game also features unlockables in the form of Elites, or the “hero” units. Points are gained by playing Dawn of War 3, which can be spent on unlocking these powerful units, or even changing the loadout of Elites for battle (players are allowed a maximum of only three Elites every match). Of course, the game features a very handy tutorial designed for helping newbie players pick up the pace.
Being from a generation of games that is not a highly popular one due to the insane amount of brain-work it requires to even start out, and a franchise that almost died out thanks to the poor ratings of the second installment in the franchise, Dawn Of War 3 is an insane attempt at a comeback to “make the franchise, and the generation of strategy games great again”, while implementing stellar features that does not feel like a refurbished Dawn of War (or Command and Conquer, because the first Dawn of War basically felt like a Command and Conquer with different unit and structure names).