The formula for real time strategy (RTS) games has pretty much been fixed for the last decade; build your base, churn out troops and order them about.
In a bold move Relic foregoes the base building and troop producing bits in Dawn of War II’s campaign mode in favour of introducing more RPG elements to the game.
Rather than following the entrenched RTS formula in the campaign mode you accrue experience (xp), wargear and up to six squads. You can invest your xp in your squads, with each having different capabilities – it’s your choice which squads you invest in. In a lot of ways this makes its campaign mode more about tactics than pure strategy.
The game’s multiplayer skirmishes will be more warmly welcomed by RTS purists, with a more traditional formula. Its 1 vs. 1 and 3 vs. 3 matches offer an exciting, brutal, and highly competitive strategy experience. You have the option of choosing to play as Space Marines, Orks, Eldar, and Tyranid, rather than being tied to the Marines, as in the campaigns, but there is still no base building.
In all, the game looks good, plays well and is challenging, making it a welcome addition to any game collection.
Dawn of War II is distributed by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment.