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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War III

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 15 - 2017

Returning to the battlefields of Warhammer 40,000.

While Games Workshop may be dropping their Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes into all manner of different video games just lately, which is no bad thing for a Games Workshop fan, the return of the excellent Dawn of War series is what all self-respecting Gretchin have been anticipating. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II was released way back in 2009, and with the downfall of THQ there was some question about whether or not we would even get another sequel. But Relic kept on going and, with the backing of new owners SEGA, we now have Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III.


There was quite a substantial difference between the original Dawn of War game and Dawn of War II, and with this third installment, Relic have changed things up again. Although it is not evolution for evolution’s sake, Dawn of War III comes across much more like a combination of the two previous games, complete with the obligatory new twists. Fans of either of the previous games will find things in Dawn of War III that they like, and maybe things that they don’t like. But the overall package combines to create an incredibly solid strategy that is sure to delight any Warhammer 40,000 fan.

For the uninitiated, Dawn of War III’s campaign will provide most of what a player will need to know before they leap headlong in the multiplayer skirmishes, which are the real focus of the game. The campaign, which does have a deep and gloomy story packed full of Warhammer 40,000 lore, switches between the three factions of the game – The Space Marines, Eldar and Orks. As the player works their way through the intertwining stories of each faction, they will learn the differences between them and how to use them successfully on the battlefield. The Space Marines of the Blood Raven Chapter offer tough as nails units that work very well in pretty much any situation. The Orks of the Blood Moon Clan on the other hand are all about the numbers, while the Eldar from the Biel-Tan Craftworld bring speed and futuristic tech to the battle. Each faction is very well balanced and through the course of the campaign players will be able to find out which faction suits their chosen playstyle.


While the campaign is lengthy and offers an intriguing story, it is best viewed as an extended tutorial that leads to the multiplayer skirmishes. The learning curve is quite steep in Dawn of War III, so a lengthy tutorial is probably for the best before going online and being utterly decimated by other more capable players.

The multiplayer skirmishes, in which players can compete against other player or AI opponents for practice, revolve around protecting the power core whilst trying to destroy the opponents. To add to the early match chaos, there are also resource nodes around the map that need to be captured to gather the resources required to field a capable army. Each faction has a nice selection of different units, each with their own roles on the battlefield, and matches can be played across a small selection of maps. It has to be said that, with the limited number of maps and only three factions of the many available in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Dawn of War III does feel a little lacking for content. I am sure that there will be an abundance of DLC down the line, introducing new factions, maps and even game modes, but right now it is not the most “value for money” game.


In a nod to the current slew of MOBA games that are hugely popular, Dawn of War III offers up Elite units. Players are given the chance to choose which Elite units they would like to bring into battle before the match starts and can then summon them once they have accumulated enough points. The cost of summoning an Elite is entirely dependent on the Elite in question and their abilities. Elite units have a variety of different abilities and earn experience to give the player access to further advantages. In this respect, they are the game changers and, with the right support from standard units, are quite capable of winning the match.

Matches are fast and furious, with plenty of unpredictability thanks to the variety provided by the Elite units and the way they are used on the battlefield. Doctrines add further variety to the matches, allowing for changes to be made to both the hero units and the entire army.

Visually, the game looks great and has a very impressive Warhammer 40,000 feel to it. I would say that the standard units are a little underwhelming when compared to the crazy powerful Elite units. Still, the effects on the battlefield ensure that combat looks as chaotic as I am sure it would be in the far, distant future. The UI is relatively unobtrusive, but can be a little awkward. However, it does the job and just takes time to get used to.


Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III is as unforgiving as the future setting that the game depicts. There is a lot to learn, but the lengthy campaign is the quickest way to learn the basics. From there, it is all about the multiplayer skirmishes. The mixed influences from classic RTS and more modern MOBA games may divide the fans, and many will find a game that is not as they expected. While thin on content, Dawn of War III still manages to be an entertaining strategy title that makes the most of the Warhammer 40,000 setting. An essential purchase for fans of the series, but leave your expectations at the door.




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