Reviews: Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War III

New Eden Radio reviews:

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Developer: Relic Entertainment

Publisher: SEGA

Release Date: April 27, 2017

Platform: PC

Price on release: 59.99$ USD Available on Steam

Reviewed by: Daggaroth

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War III is the latest installment in the Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War franchise which puts players in control of three distinct and powerful armies from races in the Warhammer 40K universe: The Space Marine chapter: Blood Ravens, The ancient Eldar and last but not least, the green horde that is the Orks..     Each race has unique aspects that complement their play-style and challenges the player to adapt strategies to each races strengths and weaknesses. With mighty super units that tower above the landscape Dawn of War III allows players to experience large scale battles that are wonderful to behold.

The 17 mission campaign takes you through the events that unfold on the cursed planet of Acheron where a powerful Eldar relic resides which can change the tide of the war for whoever wields it, however not everything as it seems.

 

Gameplay:

The campaign took me approximately 20 hours to play through on the normal difficulty. The campaign gave me the opportunity to see the unfolding situation from the different standpoints of the three main characters from each of the races involved.  The unit options for each race are pleasantly diverse and the unit cap gives you the ability to build up a large and powerful army and get into some epic battles.

My biggest gripe is the amount of time that it takes to build up to that point however, with the resources trickling in at a frustratingly low rate and only further slowing as you build more units I would frequently find myself playing defensively with the smallest number of units. I could manage to keep my base defended while I ignored objectives while my resources built up to a point where I felt that I could deploy a sufficiently large army, sometimes taking 20 – 30 minutes to get to that point which is not at all fun.  I actually looked forward to the missions that the player was given a set force at the beginning to complete the mission with as it meant that the action could begin right away instead of having to deal with the buildup.  If I did not wait and attempted to push ahead too quickly I would frequently meet with strong opposition that could easily cause me to restart the mission if I were too aggressive.

That being said, I did enjoy playing Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War III when that build up was dealt with. The units were quite entertaining and varied enough that several different combinations of units could be used to deal with a threat instead of simply spamming a single type of unit. Each race also had its own flavor that it brought to the game. Orks are able to build things out of scrap that can be found on the battlefield or after a vehicle is destroyed, The Eldar can relocate their buildings and create gateways that let them move their armies around the battlefield quite quickly and the Space Marines have the ability to call down units in drop pods, which can easily turn the tide in a heated battle.   Each race also has a super unit which they receive later in the campaign which has its own set of unique abilities and is very fun to play with.

All in all I give the gameplay a 7 / 10 rating

Gameplay: 7/10 Score

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Graphics:

The graphics are simply put: gorgeous. Units are quite intricate and their models can be seen clearly even when at max zoom.  The landscape is wonderfully detailed and shows the scars of the ongoing conflict, with explosions, bodies of fallen warriors, and rubble show where the action has been and it is clear that this is not a pristine untouched land.  I particularly noted the level of detail on a snowy mission where a unit that I warped in for the Eldar left a clear circle where the transportation cut through the top layer of snow and clearly showed where my unit warped in. Nothing was boring to look at.  There was also was a variety of landscapes that were featured as the campaign progressed which really showed off the games graphics engine.

Graphics: 10/10 Score

Audio:

The soundtrack to Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War III was fairly standard for the genre, a mix of orchestra, epic style music which complimented the fast paced action happening , however it was complimentary to the action taking place on screen and was never repetitive.   One noteworthy part, which may not necessarily be technically apart of the soundtrack is an ability that one of the towers the Orks are able to build which the player can activate to give nearby units a combat bonus.  When deploying this buff the tower deploys speakers and begins a very powerful metal buildup that was very reminiscent of the latest Mad Max movie and was quite enjoyable to listen to and watch.

There were also entertaining and enjoyable snippets of background chatter and dialog between characters that mixed in bits of humor into places you may not suspect them in a Warhammer 40K game.

Audio:  9/10 Score

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Overall, I really want to give this game top marks but cannot due to the amount of time I spent NOT playing the game just waiting for resources to build up so I could get to the part I enjoyed.  If that one aspect of the game was remedied I could easily see this being one of my favorite RTS games of 2017 but as it stands it is a fun experience with too much waiting for resources to build up a good army right away. It satisfies a craving I’ve had for a good Warhammer 40K RTS Experience that I have not had since playing the last Dawn of War game and is a good choice for someone who is a strong fan of the Warhammer 40K franchise who can appreciate the events unfolding in the campaign.

 

Overall I give this game a 7.5 / 10 rating

 

Overall: 7.5 / 10



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