Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III by developer Relic Entertainment is my first entry into the Dawn of War series and the most recent Dawn of War since 2009. I was told that this entry isn’t exactly friendly to newcomers. Thankfully though I have a long history with many real-time strategy games so I wasn’t a stranger to the genre. So finally, I got my hands on with the popular Warhammer series, but did I enjoy what was on offer here?
Single player is a lengthy chock full package full of 17 missions that have you playing with 3 of the games major factions. The Space Marines, Orks and Eldars. They all have their own styles of gameplay and upgrading. Orks for example can be upgraded by picking up scraps on the battlefield which are usually dropped after destroying a gun emplacement or enemy. You control a hero or villain however you see that faction and after each mission you are put in control of another faction. So for me it was until later on that I felt comfortable with a team as you kept changing after 40 minutes or so of playing a mission depending on what difficulty you’re on. A lot of your army is hidden behind unlocks during the campaign through in game currency (skulls) that help you unlock them to use and build during battle. The Orks come across almost like Saturday Disney characters as they act comedic and stupid which to me felt like it held the game a bit and made it feel a little childish at times. Thankfully the Space Marines and the Eldars played a lot better.
During combat, you are given control of your hero and this hero must be protected and at the same time always in the frontline of combat. There are several health pickups to grab around the field of battle to keep your hero going, or you can return to your base and heal up at one of your healing stations. I was quite impressed with the Orks hero and his use of an extending claw like arm that had an ability where it would swing around and create a tornado of sorts which would stop enemy fire from having any effect. This made entering a certain heavy enemy area a lot easier as you had your army hidden behind your hero while its ability was in effect, making close quarters combat a lot easier. Sadly, though there is no cover system of any kind besides hiding behind abilities like the one that the Ork leader has. The only other option is capturing and hiding in these sort of shield like domes. It just broke the immersion for me at times. I wish at least If these were no cover systems like this than at least you had some kind of portable shield device of sorts.
There are also no resources to collect in the game like most real-time strategy games aside from putting down these resource generators of sorts that you can put turrets on to protect as they gather your resources to build up your army. Elites after being unlocked really help change the tide of a fight. Activated when they would be called in at certain points in combat and if you had the right amount of Elite points to use them of course. Some of these elites were impressive, massive brutes and machines that looked amazing on the battlefield.
This is of course the true allure of most video games these days and the scene definitely steps up in Multiplayer here. However, unlike most other real time strategy games where you have multiple modes, Dawn of War 3 puts players on a map where the objective for both sides is to take out 3 crucial stages of their base. After these 3 buildings are taken down the enemy wins, simple right? It’s not by any stretch of the means.
To achieve victory you must continue to issue out your units to push against the enemy, and there are intervals where you are given access to your Elites to help turn the tide of war. Hopefully in the future we see more modes and maps introduced as things are a tad lacking here in the multiplayer department, that seem more like they’re here to attract the E sports community more than anything else. Somewhere I personally would stay far away from as the online community for this game are savage. I need to practise more that is for sure.
Graphics and Sound
Dawn of War 3 is a beautiful game and when you have your settings set to ultra, the game can look downright gorgeous at times. The campaign alone looked marvellous as battles took place in the background as I made my way to my next objective. Explosions and gun fire are beautiful and vibrant. My only gripe here is the actually field of view. I feel like it could have been stretched back even more to show what was going on. I found myself at first scrolling back only to find I could only go so far back which made me say “oh is that it?”. Aside from that little issue I had I was quite impressed by all the little amazing details.
Dawn of War 3 sounds fantastic as well. From the sounds of battle to the voice work. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Orks voice work and script but it isn’t game ruining by any means. They just came across as very well childish. But the voice work besides the Orks in my opinion, is performed quite well.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III is a solid game. It has parts where it made me tilt my head and wonder why, but I had fun nonetheless. Dawn of War 3 is a worthy addition to any RTS fans steam library and I do recommend it for anyone looking for a different experience with amazing on screen battles.