Gaming Flashback: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
The boot print marked in blood told the story of a great war once fought and the piled dead only choose to paint the battlefield in red and green hues. The music swells and the orchestra locks itself into gear, the music is palatable. This is a space battle of epic proportions. This is Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War. Space Marines huddle in groups to take on enemies like the Space Orks and the Chaos Marines and Eldar. The commander barks some commands and aids in the bloody battle that will take place, blood is strewn across the battlefield as the commanders boot tromps in triumph.
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War is a real time strategy game that back when it came out had complicated strategies. That was in 2004 when the game was released. The campaign however brutal offers a large glimpse of the very colorful and fantastic color palates that Relic has to offer. The menu has a campaign, skirmish, customize, and multiplayer tab.
The campaign is broken up into 11 missions. The first mission has you the player start off as a cunning and charismatic bald and buff Force Commander by the name of Captain Gabriel Angelos. He is a bad-ass wielding Imperium that wants nothing more but to destroy those that go against the Imperium. Think of the Imperium as oh say something from Star Craft but way before Star Craft's time; Star Craft has the Confederacy and 40K has the Imperium. Though, Imperium are a little more forthcoming to slaughter anyone who would relish in opposition.
40K allows you to choose three different degrees of difficulty. Ranging from normal, hard and insane. The campaign probably runs at least 10-14 hours if you are quick enough. This is great because it delves very deep into the 40K lore. The music only adds to the nitty and gritty atmosphere of desolate planets and even more scary and unpredictable enemies, by hearty drums and other violins. The unit types are quite interesting. Ranging from your typical space marine dudes to just about anything in between. Other units are servitors your basic units that will build all of your structures. Ever seen a weird android guy with gangly arms? That is your servitor. Scout marines are nifty for that reconnaissance itch. They are great for scouting and seeing what kind of breakfast cereals they are eating. If you want more advanced units they require a monastery headquarters add on. This will allow you to further advance the newer structures and help with tech upgrades. Chapel-barracks as stated in the game allow for your troops to be built. What is unique about this is the look and feel of this sci-fi fest of an RTS. Seriously, the units have such a dirty feel in a good way to them; there armor and even their movements indicate how highly trained they were by the Imperium. The world is steeped with astounding lore. The other interesting units you can control are bathed in black ravens. Maybe not bathed but they have what is known as a blood raven on their companies' shoulders. Then you have really interesting artillery units that scream barrages of rockets into infantry squads, no matter if they are Orks or Chaos Marines the implosion is bloodily devastating. The name of these units are the Whirlwhind Artillery.
In skirmish you can be any of the four races. Anything ranging from Chaos Marines, Space Marines, Orks, and the Eldar. Skirmish sets up just like any other skirmish in any other game. Except, it is 40K so the battles can get very intense. Normally, you play till you hold onto capture points. Whoever does this wins. Most skirmishes are played with the cpu in mind. Feel like an alien play the Eldar, more of an aggressive type try out the Chaos Marines, want to kill others to show them who is boss? Choose the noble Space Marines. Want to pulverize the enemy with junk weapons? Choose the Orks and wreak havoc with space junk. In skirmish you can get hero units as well.
Multiplayer at its core is just an online mode. But the servers may not be up anymore due to the game being twelve years old.
As a package 40K has so much to offer. The campaign is very full and the lore is just brilliant to get lost in. Want to dive into a mode and test your advanced strategic skills? Head into skirmish mode and wreak hell on those that oppose. The voice acting in the campaign is well done and even though the game is twelve years old it still plays just as it did out of the box. 40 K has many unique races and a lot of variety with the units. I spent a large time in the campaign and learned about the Imperium and all of its virtues. Yes, virtues! Because if you're an Imperium chances are you're killing for glory and for your brethren next to you in battle.