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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution

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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution
DOWIIRetributionBoxInquisitor.jpg
Developer Relic Entertainment
Publisher THQ
Series Dawn of War
Released 1st March 2011
Genre Real-time strategy
Plattform PC


Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution is the second expansion pack to the real-time strategy computer game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II. Retribution will have single player campaigns for races other than the Space Marines and will introduce an additional playable race, the Imperial Guard. Unlike the other games, it features almost identical campaigns for all playable factions.

Retribution drops the Games for Windows Live Multiplayer Platform in favor of using Steamworks as its primary and only platform. This makes the game entirely stand-alone with all the races included.4

The game takes place 10 years after events of Chaos Rising. 6

On January 20th, 2011 a sizeable portion of information regarding campaign characters was revealed.5 6

During a session of Q&A with Relic Entertainment, it was revealed that decisions made by player in Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising could not be imported to Retribution.7

Campaign characters

Imperial Guard

Player takes control of the Cadian Shock Troops force, which recently entered sub-sector Aurelia to fight constant xenos and daemonic threats.

  1. Lord General Castor: the Imperial Guard Commander with no regimental affiliation. Sent to Aurelia with a sole purpose of winning the war, he is annoyed with local guardsmen, seeing them incompetent at defending the sub-sector from daemonic incursions.
  2. Inquisitor Adrastia: clever, proud and idealistic, she believes in Imperial dogma without a doubt. Brought on Aurelia to investigate accusations against Azariah Kyras, she also finds local habitants' lack of faith as the main reason behind their mischief.
  3. Sergeant Merrick: an experienced combatant. He is respected by his squad mates and cares about them more than he does about Imperium. He is angered by Adrastia's dismissive attitude and Castor's belligerence.
  4. Commissar Lord Bernn: sent to keep the Guardsmen of Subsector Aurelia in line, Bernn is a quiet yet valuable member of Castor's forces.

Space Marines

The Blood Ravens chapter is in civil war. Seeking to redeem his chapter from influence of Chaos, Apollo Diomedes joins forces with Cyrus and Techmarine Martellus. Together they must find the truth about Azariah Kyras.

  1. Apollo Diomedes: a decorated war hero. After learning about true nature of Kyras, he is seeking the strength the accept the fact that for decades, he served a monster. He is a believer whose faith has been shaken.
  2. Sergeant Cyrus: one of the original Heroes of Aurelia, he was allowed by Apollo Diomedes to surreptitiously join his forces in his pursuit of truth behind the Chapter Master. Cyrus' main intent is to convince Apollo of Kyras' duplicity.
  3. Techmarine Martellus: originally a helper of the heroes of Aurelia, Martellus accompanies Apollo Diomedes, serving as a voice of reason in arguments between Cyrus and Apollo.
  4. The Ancient: a respected veteran Sergeant who has taken the honorific of “The Ancient” along with a vow silence in penance and to atone for a past sin.

Note: since both Cyrus and Martellus are present in Dawn of War II: Retribution, it can be concluded that neither of them was a traitor during events of Chaos Rising, indicating that one of the Force Commander's other sergeants was executed for treason. During the game, the Ancient appears however. This is none other than sergeant Tarkus who discloses that it is Avitus who was the traitor. This storyline is consistent with canonical ending of Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising and explains why the Force Commander is no longer present since he was branded a heretic by Blood Ravens Chapter Master Azariah Kyras.9

Chaos Space Marines

Chaos forces on Aurelia are led by Eliphas the Inheritor, who once again bargained his way back from the grave. Being in service of Ezekyle Abaddon, the Chaos Space Marines are tasked with eliminating rival races on Aurelia.

  1. Lord Eliphas the Inheritor: scheming and subtle, he prefers to direct battle from safety, rather than raging through battle. Eliphas is sadistic and is only interested in promotion through the ranks of Chaos, willing to do anything it might take.
  2. Neroth: a Sorcerer of the Black Legion. Unlike Eliphas, he prefers forthright destruction, leaving all scheming to former. Despite following the orders of Eliphas, Neroth is an agent of Abaddon, sent to ensure Eliphas lives up to his end of the bargain.
  3. Plague Champion Varius is a fearsome and skilled warrior, sworn to protect Eliphas. The putrescent slime that oozes from Varius’s weeping sores pits and corrodes his armour releasing the contagion contained within.
  4. Aspiring Champion Kain: one of the strongest, boldest and most brutal of the Chaos Space Marines that follow Eliphas. Belligerent and loud, Kain seeks to become the favoured of the the Chaos gods, and leads from the forefront of combat urging the Chaos Space Marines to perform greater feats in the eyes of the Chaos gods.

Eldar

The Eldar of Craftworld Alaitoc are led by Autarch Kayleth, a fearsome warrior who has spent centuries mastering all aspects of warfare. Their mission is to prevent the realisation of a prophecy which implies the imminent destruction of Typhon Primaris.

  1. Autarch Kayleth: haughty, curt, and pragmatic, she knows exactly what to do in any military situation, treating other races as irritations along the path to completing her mission.
  2. Ronahn: a former Pathfinder of Craftworld Ulthwé, he has renounced his ties to craftworld and now wanders the stars. However, he remains loyal to his race and answers their call for assistance. Ronahn is sceptical towards the Eldar's reliance on prophecy, and sees their current mission as a waste of effort.
  3. Veldoran: a warlock accompanying Kayleth on her mission who interprets the prophetic visions of the Farseers. His confidence in the mission is absolute.
  4. Elenwe: a master of prediction and divination who is working with Kayleth to prevent the realization of a prophecy which implies the imminent destruction of Typhon and all that exists on it. She studies the strands of fate and the multiple consequences of even the smallest decision to better guide Kayleth.

Orks

The Freebooter Orks of Aurelia are led by the hulking Kaptin Bluddflagg, a large Ork interested in looting, destruction and hats. His motives are merely to seek combat for the sheer enjoyment of the battle as well as material gain.

  1. Kaptin Bluddflagg: the Warboss of the Aurelian Freebooterz. Unlike most Ork Warbosses, he's not entirely motivated by the desire for a bigger Waaagh!, but also by loot. This drove him to be a successful Freebooter, and gives him the ability to tactically choose his fights where he sees the most profit. His demeanor is belligerent and boisterous.
  2. Mister Nailbrain: the Mekboy first mate of Kaptin Bluddflagg, he is the smallest and most unstable of Bluddfagg's crew. Erratic, vitriolic, and violent, he is an essential part of Bluddflagg's crew he is responsible for keeping the Kill Kroozer and other vehicles running. Mister Nailbrain has a weapon for every occasion and can be equipped to take on a variety of enemies.
  3. Spookums: a Kommando Nob bosun of Bluddflagg, he's called when the Kaptin wants to more stealthfully take care of a problem. Nothing makes Spookums happier than creeping up on an unsuspecting enemy and then slitting their throat and spreading panic behind the enemy lines. The horrified look on the faces of their prey, who assumed that the Orks would attack head on, is tremendously rewarding to him.
  4. Brikkfist: Kaptin Bluddflagg’s other bosun, Brikkfist is a Stormboy Nob who's called upon when a more direct approach is required. Loud, cheerful, and violent, Brikkfist can be found in the midst of combat. Strapped to a volatile rokkit pack he leaps toward the enemy in a cloud of oily black flame.

Tyranids

The Tyranids inhabiting Typhon are remains of the defeated tendril of Hive Fleet Leviathan which attacked the subsector during the first Aurelian Crusade. These feral Tyranids were left ignored by the Imperium due to the Black Legion, but would soon start to grow in number and power once again after restablishing contact with the Hive Mind.

  1. Hive Lord: the reborn avatar of the Hive Mind, working to bring the feral Tyranids remaining in the sector back into synapse control. Able to evolve and adapt to the enemies it faces, the Hive Lord's raw strength and size enables it to smash through the armor of tanks and infantry in close combat, or wield devastating long ranged weapons.

Campaign

Plot

The player's character arrives on Typhon Primaris engaging and battling an opposing faction and defeating their leader. (Space Marines vs. Chaos, Eldar vs. Orks, and Imperial Guard vs. Tyranids). It is learned that the Imperial Inquisition has deemed the sector beyond redemption, and will be arriving soon to perform Exterminatus on all the inhabitable worlds in the area. Later, the faction leader is given the objective to eliminate Azariah Kyras who intends to use the impending Exterminatus as a sacrifice to Khorne and ascend to daemonhood. The motivation varies depending on the player's faction, for example the Space Marines, Imperial Guard and Eldar wish to oppose Chaos, their ancient evil enemy; the warlike Orks simply want a good fight and to thump the strongest foes they can find; the Tyranid splinter wishes to overrun the sector and summon a new hive fleet to consume all the biomass; the Chaos faction are Kyras' rivals and wish to surpass him. Regardless, it is deemed by the player faction that Kyras must die. The player quickly attempts to secure a means of transport off Typhon, escaping a local cult along the way.

Arriving on Calderis, the player character fights against Kyras' Chaos-corrupted Blood Ravens Space Marines, operating under orders to purge the planet. After destroying a Warp portal on Aurelia, the faction learns of an attack on Meridian ordered by Kyras and arrives there killing the traitor guardsmen and uncovering a transmission from Kyras revealing his location on Typhon.

The player character returns to Typhon Primaris to confront Kyras himself, only to be ambushed by Eldar from Craftworld Biel-Tan. Wary of a ritual they are undergoing, the player's character kills the Eldar there. Following this, Kyras reveals that the Eldar ritual was preventing the Imperial Inquisition fleet from arriving at the sub-sector. The Inquisition fleet arrives, beginning Exterminatus on Typhon Primaris. The player escapes Typhon before the Exterminatus finishes. A cyclonic torpedo reduces Typhon to ash.

Finding themselves on the Space Hulk known as the Judgment of Carrion, the player's characters recover, and find their determination to stop Kyras. It is deduced that he is hiding on Cyrene, as the planet has already undergone Exterminatus decades ago, and therefore the Inquisition will not travel there to perform Exterminatus again. On Cyrene, the player characters launch an attack against a joint alliance of Chaos Space Marines, corrupt Imperial Guardsmen and traitor Blood Ravens by using their most powerful unit against them. Kyras begins to ascend into daemonhood. Gabriel Angelos and his 3rd Company launch an attack on Kyras' forces while Gabriel's own command unit confronts the daemon prince himself; however they are defeated by Kyras. The player's faction then launches their own attack, ultimately successfully killing Kyras.

Ending

After Kyras' death, the ending of the game will depend on which race the players character chose:

  • Chaos - Eliphas allows the Exterminatus to continue, thus sacrificing the sector to Khorne. He is thus granted daemonhood by the Blood God, usurping Kyras' place.
  • Eldar - Ronahn recovers the soulstone containing the spirit of his sister, the Farseer Taldeer, and decides to return to Craftworld Ulthwé with her.
  • Imperial Guard - Inquisitor Adrastia returns to the Inquisition to suspend the Exterminatus on sub-sector Aurelia, by presenting Kyras' psychic hood as proof that the threat has ended, while Lord General Castor and Sergeant Major Merrick commend each other for their exemplary actions rather backhandedly.
  • Orks - Inquisitor Adrastia attempts to renege the deal between her and Kaptin Bluddflagg with assassination. Unfortunately, Kaptin Bluddflagg catches her off guard and takes her hat, which he wanted in their deal. Following that, he claims the Judgment of Carrion as his new Krooza, and uses it to leave the subsector.
  • Space Marines - Captain Diomedes contacts Inquisitor Adrastia to halt the Exterminatus. The Chapter is then purged of any remaining chaos taint and Gabriel Angelos, after being revived from the brink of death and rebuilt with bionics, is appointed as the new Chapter Master.
  • Tyranids - The Hive Tyrant's psychic strength summons a Hive Fleet, that launches a surprise attack and consumes the entire sub-sector, resulting in a 94% casualty rate for the Imperial Guard forces and the complete annihilation of the Blood Ravens, who refused to retreat.

The Blood Raven ending appears to be the canonical ending, as corroborated by other material: a squad of Blood Ravens appears in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, in which their victory over the conflict in Aurelia is mentioned; meanwhile, the exact course of events of the successful Blood Ravens campaign in Retribution is likewise mentioned in some publications, such as the Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter supplement.

Reception

As of February 25th, 2011, Dawn of War II: Retribution has been received well. IGN cited the price, combat, and visuals as good positives but the plot as being vague and not as fulfilling as that of Dawn of War II and Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising.8

Sources