Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II
|Composer||Doyle W. Donehoo|
|Series||Dawn of War|
|Released||19th February 2009|
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is the sequel to the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War games. A multiplayer beta was released for previous Dawn of War: Soulstorm users on January 21, 2009. The beta was released to the public on the 27th of January, 2009. The game was released in the United States on February 19th, 2009 and on February 20th, 2009 in other regions.
New features include higher, top end graphics and physics. The game uses an updated version of the Essence engine from another popular game by THQ, Company of Heroes. More information on what the game encompasses can be viewed on a host of websites including Relic's website, the Dawn of War II official game site, and the Dawn of War II community website. There had been much controversy surrounding whether Tyranids would be included in Dawn of War II, but it was confirmed in the later part of 2008.
Many features in Dawn of War II are different than it's predecessors. These features include:
- Improved Squad AI - When under attack or under fire, infantry units automatically seek cover.
- Squad Experience - Units are able to gain experience throughout the game, ascending levelling them from a recruit to a veteran. A veteran is much harder to kill than a recruit, and can be upgraded with more advanced weaponry.
- Improved Cover - Cover in-game can be destroyed and certain weapons are able to bypass them entirely, i.e Flamers.
- New wargear design - Wargear can be obtained through missions, or it may simply be dropped by enemies. Regardless of the method of obtaining, the wargear can be kept and equipped to your units.
- Redesigned vehicles - More realistically sized in-game than in previous games.
- Mission Consequences - Events such as distress calls where the commander is forced to choose between saving civilians or obtaining wargear.
- Less focus on base building - Unlike in previous games, in Dawn of War II the player is able to make use of mobile bases, like the Blood Ravens' battle barge rather than spend time building bases. With multiplayer, however, building turrets, generators, and beacons around different locations in the map are a significant aid in the game. Basebuilding, though, remains nonexistent as you start with one structure, able to produce all your units.
Even though only the Space Marines are accessible in the Singleplayer, four races are featured in the Multiplayer:
The storyline of the campaign mode for Dawn of War II follows a detachment of Blood Ravens chapter of the Space Marines operating out of the Strike Cruiser Armageddon in sub-sector Aurelia. The events of the storyline are only vaguely linear, as the player can choose which missions to play as more become available. Their recruitment worlds have come under attack by Orks and they must move quickly to defend their holdings. Eventually it becomes clear that the Orks are being manipulated by the Eldar and that a splinter of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Leviathan is coming to invade them. The player must undertake a number of missions to defend the Blood Ravens' worlds until Captain Gabriel Angelos can arrive with the whole of the Blood Ravens fleet in several weeks' time.
- The Force Commander — The player's character. His name is chosen by the player and he does not speak during the campaign. Other characters refer to him only as "Commander." He is one of the youngest Blood Ravens to have been given this rank, and was promoted by the Chapter Master himself despite considerable resistance, and the fact that they have never met in person. This promotion came a year before the Hadrian campaign, but did not go into effect until after the campaign was concluded.
- Tarkus — Leader of the Tactical Squad. A veteran of many battles.
- Cyrus — Leader of the Scout squad. A master tactician who has served with the Deathwatch and was present during the Blood Ravens' defeat at Kaurava II.
- Avitus — Leader of the Devastator Squad. He fought in the Dark Crusade at Kronus and holds a grudge against the Imperial Guard for killing so many of his battle-brothers on that world.
- Thaddeus — Leader of the Assault Squad. Relatively young and brash, he grew up as an Underhive ganger on Meridian and was recruited by Davian Thule.
- Davian Thule — Captain and victorious Force Commander of the Dark Crusade. He leads the initiate defenders on Calderis.
- Gabriel Angelos — Captain of the Blood Ravens 3rd company.
- Idranel — Farseer of Craftworld Ulthwé. She has goaded the Orks into attacking the Blood Ravens' holdings.
The multiplayer aspect of the game uses the Games for Windows Live multiplayer service. The player can choose from any of the four factions. Both ranked and unranked play are offered: in ranked matches, players are matched to others based on their Games for Windows Live Trueskill.
All matches are won by capturing victory points on the map, which draw from a pool of tickets owned by the opposing player. If the pool reaches 0 then that player is defeated. Players can also win by destroying the other players HQ building, but it is often easier to capture the victory points because HQ buildings are guarded by defensive structures.
Players can play in 1v1, 2v2 or 3v3 matches with friends forming groups to play together.
A new multiplayer mode included with patch 1.8, the Last Stand mode challenges groups of three players to survive for as long as possible against a series of 20 enemy waves of increasing difficulty. Each player controls a single character (an Eldar Farseer, an Ork Mekboy, or a Space Marine Captain) who can be equipped with a range of wargear, and will level up based on waves completed. Levels are cumulative, and persist across different Last Stand rounds with different players, although each specific type of character levels up individually. As a character gains levels he/she obtains new wargear, which the user can equip to customise traits and abilities.
The following units make an appearance in the game.
- Scout Marines
- Devastators (with Heavy Bolters and Plasma cannons)
- Tactical Marines
- Assault Marines
- Predator Tank
- Force Commander
- Slugga squads
- Shoota squads
- Stikkbomma squads
- Nobz (Squad leaders and Nob Squad)
- Deff Dreads
- Looted Tank (Predator)
- Kommando squad
- Kommando Nob
- Shuriken Platforms
- Howling Banshees
- Warp Spiders
- Brightlance Platforms
- Falcon grav tanks
- D-Cannon Platforms
- Fire Prisms
- Seer Councils
- Warp Spider Exarch
- Avatar of Khaine
- Hormagaunt broods
- Termagant broods
- Spore Mines
- Warrior broods
- Ripper swarms
- Hive Tyrant
|Chaos Rising (2010)|
Chaos Rising introduces Chaos as a fully playable faction and makes adjustments to the existing armies, such as balance changes. It was released on March 11, 2010 in North America and March 12, 2010 in Europe. 
The campaign continues the events of Dawn of War II. While the Blood Ravens are recovering from the Tyranid invasion of the Aurelia Subsector the planet Aurelia, one thought lost to the warp, returns. With it, come the forces of the Black Legion lead by Eliphas the Inheritor. The Blood Ravens find themselves in yet another battle for survival. For as they fight to keep the taint of enemy without, how long can the Blood Ravens ignore the enemy within? Choices will be made and sides will be taken.
Retribution is they second expansion to the Dawn of War II series and the first stand alone expansion. It introduces the Imperial Guard as a playable faction.
Taking place ten years after events of Chaos Rising. The sub-sector Aurelia is yet again in a state of war. Now suffering from a new conflict between Ork pirates of the Freebooterz led by Kaptin Bluddflagg, the arrival of the Eldar of the Craftworld Alaitoc led by Autarch Kayleth, the remnants of Hive Fleet Leviathan, the Blood Ravens defending the sub-sector, the returning Chaos Space Marines of the Black Legion led by Eliphas the Inheritor and the newly arriving Imperial Guard led by Lord General Castor and Inquisitor Adrastia.
- Dawn of War 2 website, various gaming websites, and associated material
- Dawn Of War 2(Game) Gabriel Angelos calls the Armageddon a Strike Cruiser.
- 1:Official Relic Community Blog: Last Stand Update (site accessed 2009.10.28)
- 2:Official Relic Community Blog: Final Wave (site accessed 2009.10.28)
- 3:Official Relic Dawn of War II Website (site accessed 2009.10.29)
- 4:IGN : Chaos Rising Review (site accessed 2010.9.6)
- 5:Gamescom : Retribution "First look" (site accessed 2011.4.13)
- 6:"Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II goes gold". community.dawnofwar2.com. January 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-20.]
- Official Dawn of War II website
- Dawn of War 2 Community Website -System requirements can also be viewed here.
- PC Gamer on 'Chaos Rising' - Podcast on upcoming expansion 'Chaos Rising'
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II at THQ (Accessed 2010.03.18)