Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3 – Massive Fail?
It seems that I am hinged these days to review things that will be coming out soon, rather than being out right now. This time around, I’ll share my impressions of the new Warhammer 40k Dawn of war 3 and to get it clear right from the start – I do not like it. There are several reasons for this, most coming from the trailer that’s already in the “bowels” of the mighty internet and from the anticipations that go with it. According to the facts presented this far, Relic developers will make an amalgam of the previous two games: first Dawn of War’s epic battles and unit customization and leveling from the Dawn of War 2. The game is planned for 2017, but it is rumored that it was under development since 2011, during the final days of THQ.
Overview of Dawn of War 3….
The game itself focuses on three races being Space Marines, Eldar and Orks, all competing to acquire a mysterious, ultra powerful weapon on the world of Acheron. Dawn of War 3 will feature the cover system from the previous games, though a bit different requiring a larger use of melee strike teams and other close combat units. Each race retains its main characteristics:
- Space marines are ultra-armored super soldiers led by Gabriel Angelos from the Blood Ravens chapter. Somehow, they seem the most balanced of the factions, with formidable firepower and melee units like Dreadnoughts and Imperial Knights..
- The Eldar rely on speed and surgical strikes, let’s say. Farseer Macha leads them in Dawn of War 3 and with their agility and versatility they can make up for lower armor and the lack of good “dakka”.
- Orks are well, Orks. Bloodthirsty, melee “spechulists” led by Warboss Gorgutz that attack in swarms.
Dawn of War 3 plans to reform the campaign system of Warhammer by giving access to all three races and from what I can gather, the campaign will be longer than the one in Dawn of War 2 or 1. However, this is the first strike – only three races. ONLY THREE RACES IN DAWN OF WAR 3. This is a serious minus when you look back even at Dawn of War 1 where you had Chaos playable, but most speculate that Dawn of War 3 will include Chaos later on through a DLC. Of course, some would argue that this is not bad, it gives a solid foundation since Starcraft also has three playable races, but I think that Dawn of War 3 could score more points by introducing at least two more playable races. Dawn of War (with the expansions) includes six races, Space Marines, Orks, Chaos, Eldar, Imperial Guard and the overrated Tyranids. Despite being a tactical, squad-based RPG, the game is actually very well made – it allows a different experience of the rich Warhammer 40k world, through various equipment hunts and individual abilities. The campaign of Dawn of War 2 is maybe short, but the original campaign could last as much as you want it to last – just raise the difficulty and the campaign is already “lengthened”.
The issues in Dawn of War 3….
The main problem I have with Dawn of War 3 is the cartoon graphics that it will feature. To host big battles the graphic aspect is downplayed but let’s understand one thing: graphics are not essential for a good game, but somehow, subtly, this new Dawn of War game demands it. Though the disputable trailer omits to show any graphical solutions (only thin Space Marines), several screenshots confirm this. The trailer, like I mentioned, is disputable and frankly, funny. Space marines kneeling down, being killed off by some kind of lethal storm or one of them charging straight into the claws of the Killa Kan (with a chain sword!) only to be ripped apart is really, really, unneeded and incorrect, judging from the cannon. The Space Marines are fearless, but not stupid to pull a stunt like that. Another distasteful scene is the final, showing bodies literally raining from the sky and I really think that it is redundant. Maybe I am too inquisitive or something, but I do not like it. So these are my chief issues with Dawn of War 3.
Another thing I noticed, is the insistence on the Blood Ravens as the protagonists for the Marine side, even in Dawn of War 3. I know that they have charismatic, suave and fittingly brutal enough personalities, but they are featured not just in this Dawn of War 3, but in all others. Ultramarines only have the “Space Marine” game that looks like a spin-off, only out-of-courtesy cameo when compared with the Dawn of Wars as well as the Dark Angels in the “Space Hulk” that ended tragically. Let’s not even mention Deathwatch in that aspect. For instance, I think that Imperial Fists or Space Wolves should replace the Blood Ravens in this game, only for fun’s sake at least. However, I can guess the reason for this “Raven tradition” – the chapter originating from an unknown primarch with a lot of things already told in the previous games is great for further development, but it looks to me that even that is being carried out scantly and on a small scale. To deepen the story and to provide some decent background to this chapter a nice DLC should be in order I think, to satiate the “appetites” seeking a more story-oriented experience regarding THE ENTIRE chapter. I am hoping that Dawn of War 3 will grant me ( and every other Warhammer 40k fan that favors this idea) this wish some time in the future.
That being said, I can only search in the dark about the actual hardware requirements, though I sincerely believe that Relic will not raise them sky-high. Especially due the already elaborated graphic segment, the game should run smoothly on most formidable machines and I would really like the idea of supporting the game on 32bit OS. Of course, this can be debated, but there’s really no reason to exclude the 32bit systems that can run high-res games equally good as the 64bit. One of the great aces of all Dawn of War games is that the game could run smoothly enough on almost all machines without crashes, clipping or freezing and I personally would like this trend to continue in Dawn of War 3. So Devs, please take this aspect into consideration for all the fans out there who probably cannot afford upgrades but are zealously ready to buy the game as soon as it hits the shelves and Steam and/or GOG. Wherever it comes first.
So, there you have it, my view on the Dawn of War 3. The formula of combining all previous game systems is a huge step, but there are also risks and possible death-traps that follow such a radical decision. Of course, the Dawn of War series can rightfully boast a huge series of innovations and varieties of gameplay/campaign systems. Now the question is, what will we get in this Dawn of War 3 that we wait so impatiently.
Official trailer link: