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    dkirschner's Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC)

    [November 4, 2012 03:19:32 AM]
    This one let me down. I really liked Dawn of War and was expecting bigger and better and newer for DoW 2. DoW 2 was different, further distinguishing itself from the Company of Heroes style RTS that DoW 1 was. It was actually some kind of RTS-action RPG hybrid. This was neat most of the time. There is no base-building, no resource gathering, no control point holding, etc. You have 7 squads by the end of the game that function as hero units DotA-style. There's you, the Commander. There's Tarkus, the assault marines ; Cyrus the scout ; [name] the devastator ; [name] the dreadnaught, and whatever others. Each have different specialties. They gain experience and level up. Each has 4 skill tree paths to put points into. You'll never fill them all up and unlock all their abilities, so you plan ahead and specialize how you like. There are loot drops, so each character can be equipped with weapons, armor, and accessories. Customizing characters was probably my favorite part.

    So all this is nifty and innovative. But the downside is that the story sucks, the characters are forgettable, the voice actors are boring, the gameplay and missions get repetitive, and it's too short. Basically, all these cool things are in place, but the game itself just isn't that exciting. You get these badass characters with fun abilities to use throughout the campaign, but you don't care about them as characters. Their roles are all that mattered to me. In fact I never used the scout unless I had to. The scout stealths around. But this is Warhammer 40k! There is no subtlety! So I benched him almost as soon as I got him. Characters you don't use must get 1/2 xp at the end of missions or something because he fell far behind. Then of course something happened in the story and I was forced to use him for a couple missions. He spent them more often dead than alive because he was weak.

    Also there are several very odd UI choices. You can't just assign hotkeys to groups. They are in an order on the right-hand side of the screen (Commander is 1 ; Cyrus is 2 ; Dreadnaught is 3...or whatever) and you can't change their order except in between missions. Then if you change the hotkeys (ctl+1 ; ctl +2 ; the standard RTS way) their order on the screen doesn't change, so it's really confusing when the top character is 3, the one below him is 1, the one below that is 4...the order is all wrong! And you can't assign all your squads together to one hotkey! Like I wanted so bad to just push 5 and select all my squads at once. But if you try to assign your entire army to 5, it instead wipes all their hotkeys. You should be able to have groups 1, 2, 3, 4, and then 5 selects all. Like in every other RTS. It's stupid to not allow me to do that. So you have to constantly drag the box around the units on the field to select them all.

    Also there is no button map to look at. You can't assign hotkeys to anything besides groups, and you can't even look at what the buttons do. In fact there is no help menu or anything within the game. No reference whatsoever. Stoooopid. As soon as I beat the game this afternoon, I fired up the first expansion pack, Chaos Rising, and saw that they added a help feature. So now I will go read and see what all I didn't know in the last game that would have helped!
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    dkirschner's Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 2 November, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 4 November, 2012

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Interesting take on RTS. No resources. Instead, squad-based hero game with cover. Took away control points. ---------- Interesting, if a bit dull. Let's see how the expansions are...

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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