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2.7 out of 5 stars
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on 22 February 2009
My rant:

Before I go into whats good and bad about the game I just want to get this said.

Its really frustrating that the trend seems to be that games are being made unfinished, this game is no exception there is a patch already out. I would prefer to wait and buy a complete game.

Also this game ties in steam and windows live, which for me is annoying as setting the game up takes ages AND ESPECIALLY as you have to register the game before you can even play it.
I have a big problem with this, because if the game sucks then you cannot take it back to the shop, nor sell it on easily (unless you give up you steam account)....... in my opinion if there worried about people selling games on, they should focus more on making the game good rather than thinking of how to introduce more security measures.

The game itself ...

The good points:

Campaign mode = (so far) this has been very good, with the added bonus of going through with a mate online its great fun. I also approve of the extra wargear which can be unlocked with various codes wizzing round the internet.

A possible gripe for some could be that the units you control do not increase when you play it in co-op, instead you divvy up the units that are available. - its also looking like there will just be a space marine single player campaign (although I could be wrong).

The best thing with campaign mode (for me) is the wargear and experience your marines recieve. When they level up you get to choose how they level up, so you can shape them to match you gaming style.

The Bad points:

Multiplayer in general - - - which is kinda annoying because thats why I got the game!!

First and foremost - the LAN is a real mess, I have been doing Lans for ages and this is the first game where my mates and I had to all connect to the internet before the Lan would work. -- - - This completely defies the point of a LAN, instead of 100gbit connection, the three of us had to share a 2.2mb connection just to get going. - - Steam and Windows live also kick up a fuss if you try and play and your not connected to the internet (but it does allow it)

Multiplayer specifics:

Firstly after reading Amazon I was looking forward to "old skool mode", which was said to be more like the original DOW with its base building...... this mode is no where to be seen. All you have is annihilate and victory point control, with the only building being your main base (that upgrades twice).

Maps - - where are they?? I think there are about 7 total !!, thats no where near enough, also there are only 2 and 6 player maps, apparently 4 player maps are too complex to make!

Units - Checking the manual I was pleased with the amount of units listed, however that does not mean you can build them, some e.g. Terminators, have to be dropped in using a global resource based on experience, so you only ever going to get one squad at a time (if your lucky). That said I do like games that have a global experience based resource which allows extra in-game variety, not used like this though.

Modes - There are also a lack of basic options for these e.g. Victory point control, that does not let you specify the amount of victory points, the only option is 500 which means the game is over quickly. The gaming also feels quite slow in places.

Wrap up:

When this game came out I liked the idea of more tactics, seeing as I love company of heroes. I was looking forward to having an elite set of units that I care about, rather than sending wave after wave churned out of my base.

I am sure some of the above points will be addressed with another patch (e.g. more maps), its just that this game felt rather rushed (with its lack of basic menu options) and incomplete, with the patch on day of release.

In many ways I hope another patch does materialise but until then I think I will stick to online co-op mode, which is enjoyable.
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on 30 January 2009
What people seem to get wrong is that the use of the Essence Engine in Dawn of War II makes it Company of Heroes set in the Warhammer 40k universe. This is simply not true.

Dawn of War II is really different from Company of Heroes, but so it is from Dawn of War I. And this is what must be perfectly clear to everybody who played Dawn of War I and want to dive into Dawn of War II.

So what's different? First of all, the number of units in the roster and on the field was strongly reduced.
For example, a Tactical Space Marine squad is one of the 8 Space Marine unit types, comes with three members and may be equipped with a Sergeant after reaching Tier 2, which makes a total of 4.
Orks on the other hand have Slugga Boyz squads of five (again plus a Nob after Tier 2) and are much cheaper, which makes it roughly 4 Marines vs. 12 Orcs.

Now, the point is that this is actually a really good gameplay decision: You need to care about your units, because the death of a single Space Marine has a much greater impact than it had in DoW I, since you had 8 Marines and could reinforce in the field instead of having to retreat to your base (another change in DoW II).
Apart from that, Space Marines are finally what they ought to be: super warriors. You buy them for a lot of ressources and they are really tough, but you must take care not to lose them.

The new standard mode is 3vs3 and maps are much smaller. There are Requisition Points, Victory Points and Power Points on the map. Instead of building generators in your base, you capture a Power Point and pay Requisition to upgrade it with power plants.

Before the game, each player must choose one of the three heroes per race. This hero will be available troughout the match and may not really die, but is incapaciated as soon as his health hits 0. Now the player must either pay Requisition to make him respawn at the base (the longer you wait the less Requisition you have to pay) or a teamate's hero comes along to help him up.
The heroes are very stong units and have special abilities that clearly sets them apart from each other: The Force Commander is strong in close combat, can equip a thunderhammer or a power fist, or get terminator armour, while the Apothecary can heal himself and teamates in the field.
All units gather experience and get stats boost as they rank up in levels.

Games are really fast, because you need not build up your base, but dive directly into combat. Requisition rate may be rather slow, but this is what the game is all about: If you keep your units and retreat them in time, you have to pay about half the cost to reinforce them, compared to rebuilding the squad from scratch AND you're going to keep the squad's experience. The other guys reviewing the beta of this game seem not to have realized that after 4-6 hours of playing.
Since you alway have a rather small amount of forces, you must make clever decisions in order to hold most strategic points on the map. If you blob your forces, the opponent may travel around the map and decap your points, if you divide them up, your opponent may hit unsupported forces with a superior army!

There are a lot of other things new to Dawn of War: Suppression fire, reworked unit abilities (like infiltration), knockback, and great implementation of jumping for assault troops. Every unit on the field is easy to kill if the right counter is at hand. So the rule is combination.

If you have any expectations this game to be like DoW I, you will fail. If you want to see CoH in it, you will succeed. This is what drives a lot of people away. Instead, free your mind and enjoy the game as it is: Different!

And last but not least: There are still some issues with gameplay, NAT negotiation (I am not big fan of Games for Windows Live either, but it has some good features, too), game crashes etc. But this is a beta and this is what betas are for. I am pretty sure, Relic will handle all this. The game is great overall, but it does not quite reach it's potential. On the other hand, there are lots of possibilities to improve that.

We will see how that works out. I'm really eager to see customized armies fighting each other in fast, small scale battles in the fields, once the game is out and the army painter is free to use. This is sure going to be fun, and Relic has since I know them done a really good job to do all they can do to improve game experience, and I am quite confident, they will manage Dawn of War II also.
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on 7 March 2010
I'll come clean: I have nothing to say about the game itself. The reason: I bought it secondhand which means that I can't even install it.

This game requires activation through Steam over an Internet connection. This, in itself, is questionable. But that activation key is ONE TIME ONLY. You use it and there's no going back. In particular, you cannot transfer your rights to another person - you can't lend it to a friend or family member and you can't give it away or sell it once you've finished with it. Let me say that again: you can't give it away or sell it once you've finished with it. So, if you've paid £30 for this game and finished it (or found that you don't really like it) you're not only flat out of luck, but out of pocket too. It's not even fit for a charity shop.

The irony of the situation is that you can get a cracked copy, if you're so inclined, and avoid all the hassle involved with this sort of obnoxious copy protection. Once again we have a publisher treating its customers not as customers but would-be criminals who should feel grateful to be given the opportunity to pay for the privilege of being users. I strongly suggest that you spend your money on something less insulting.
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on 28 June 2009
I will begin with that I wasn't that interested in multiplayer as the original dawn of war did a good job of that and lots of people have voiced their opinon on it so i will be focusing on the single player experience.

-Things i liked-

.Squad based tactics and wargear that allows you to customise each squad to your style of play. As a long time table top 40k fan i was quite happy that it was more similar to it.
.Adding defensive missions.
.The personalities of each of the squad leaders and voice acting was good
.Introduction of the tyranids:)
.The in game movies were very well done, nice painting based 3d work

Things i didn't like
.The repetertive levels, i think there were only 4 levels that required you to do something different than go from one side of the map to the top.
.The storyline was a little dull, I was hoping for betrail and twists that were pressent in the original and even winter assault but alas they were missing.
.Computer A.I is pretty poor and predictable.
.Even on the hardest setting it never felt like a meat grinder as many tyranid battles do on table top.Except for the last level. The last level was too easy.

Anyway it was the lack of story that really killed this game for me, its been designed for the masses so i can understand why.
I really wish they would stop doing constantly repeating levels though after the 7th one i just wanted the game to end.

I haven't replayed it since

Edit: Tried the multiplayer with my friend over Lan and then WAN....erm well quick rounds was probably the idea behind it. However it looks like people are forced to make the same moves over and over again. People have been forced to play one way now so the matches are predictable.

Well lets hope THQ live and learn from this and make a better one next time.
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on 21 March 2009
As a big fan of the previous Dawn of war titles i was excited when i heard this was being released, especially as it contains my favorite 40k army - Tyranids.

Good points firstly. The graphics and character animation is brilliant - possibly the best of any rts at the moment. The single player campaign plays like a mix of roleplay and strategy with small scale skirmishes and big boss fights being prevalent throughout. unique special abilities for each squad make it difficult to pick which units you would rather have with you on any mission as they are all useful. Upgrades and unique wargear are given for completing each mission, but you may find additional pieces if you search the maps fully.

Bad points. Long set up time, mainly due to the steam activation process - this wasn't in any of the previous games so why THQ felt it necessary this time is beyond me.
The big problem is the sheer amount of bugs and glitches which really hamper your enjoyment usually by causing the game to crash repeatedly - even after a month and three patches this is still happening.
Only one single player campaign - smacks of laziness really.
Lack of multiplayer maps and victory scenarios reduce replayability.

Overall the developers messed up and they will need to do some major improvements if i'm going to buy any more of this series.
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on 23 February 2009
Well, It seems as if the 4hours of my life that has been poured into installing this game has yet to bear fruit....

It seems as if the game developers want you to jump through hoops of playing - what many previous reviewers have suggested is - a relatively mediocre game.

I personally can't commment as it won't let me play the thing until it's checked for update patches as the original was released with glitches it would appear...

I must say I'm offended at the security blocks to unlock a game which I rightfully own and am entitled to use.

The game is not packaged with instructions that "you will spend 4 hours plus trying to register this to yourself and, even if you opt to play offline, you will need to check for occasional updates or the thing will stop working" it merely states that internet connection is required for registration.

Frankly this statement is misleading and I would be concerned how well the packaging conforms to the trade descriptions act....

Sorry to come across preachy and bitter, but when you've just finished an 18hour shift and looking forward to some lesiure time, Valve/THQ's paranoia about copyright violation doesn't get much sympathy.

I'll be taking the thing back tomorrow if it doesn't start working...
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on 1 March 2009
I was cautious about this game given that I enjoyed it's predecessor so much and I had read some of the negative reviews I had seen online. First things first - if you are expecting this to be a "beautiful" version of Dawn of War you will be disappointed.
The gameplay is different, the maps are smaller and the forces at your command limited. The yoke of base building is abandoned and what you are left with is a much more intimate affair with small tactical squads and a role playing element in terms of how you upgrade your squads and equipment. Being a fan of RPG anf RTS I am in hybrid heaven playing this game and have absolutely loved it.
One thing I hated - having to install and create a steam account to get the game to run. This is not very consumer friendly and I was none to happy that having got my game on the day of release I couldn't play it for the first hour because steam was busy - could I try later?!
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on 23 March 2009
First off, i won't bother covering the annoying steam related problems and bugs, as it seems so many reviewers already have that covered, and i was blessed with an xbox live account and relatively fast internet when i installed the game- so i managed to get the game going in an impressive 3 hours or so!

For the first few missions it's quite a laugh, collecting wargear is fun and customising individual squads is pretty cool. however ,it wasn't long before it "dawned" on me that missions are incredibly repetitive. typically, your "army" (about 10 men) is dropped at the bottom of a map, and you simply move up by selecting a unit, waiting for the cursor to turn green (indicating heavy cover) and send them to the relevant area. since the enemy units on the map don't move or try to attack you unless you aggrovate them, far from being strategic you just need to position your squads, lure in the enemy units and watch them die. you'll also have the optional defense missions, which, far from adding variety actually serve to leave you more annoyed about the inept AI. just park your men in some heavy cover and watch the enemy attack rush in- right into your devastators, artillary strike, orbital bombardment..that's about as strategic as it gets.
lastly, the skirmish mode, this is when i became positively overjoyed that i hadn't uninstalled DOW1. NO base building,NO huge hectic battles, essentially there isn't any way to play differently each time, whereas DOW 1 presented numerous routes to master (rushing, teching, etc...) you'll find yourself getting the same units each time, the same upgrades , and moving your squads to the same places on the 7 or so maps you get- each race may as well be the same too, since there's only 1 way to play.
i've rated the game 3 for fun because i suppose as a game in it's own right it's quite well finished and entertaining for a little while, but if like me you adored DOW 1 then you'll understand why it gets a 1 overall.
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on 20 March 2009
Like Dawn of war 1? Then stick with dawn of war and save yourself some money as its ten times better than this heap of tedium!
Ok lets go through the points before I just right a whole ranting review...

Good Points:
1. Improved combat, you get your guys to hide behind cover, create suppressive fire etc... this is an improvement on the old game, so combat is improved
2. Graphics, nice looks and feel to the game

Bad points:
1.Combat is ALL the game is, no base building...NONE (aside from one or two structures in multiplayer), this is entirely combat based, which if you ask me is a terrible state of affairs
2.NO CHAOS! my favourite faction is no where to be seen! yes they may appear in an expansion pack but they should be there already.
3.Storyline isn't very good (well the small amount i've done was pretty basic and dull)
4.Shear tedium...all you do is move your guys from cover to cover and watch them shoot bullets around...this gets very dull after a while, though i must admit it was fairly cool at first.
5.You MUST have steam to run this, I already had steam but it will be annoying for everyone who doesn't.

Overall if you like watching people shoot at eachover all day with a basic storyline and no base building...go ahead get this game, if not buy the original and have lots of fun!
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on 20 June 2012
May I just advise you against buying a second hand copy of this game due to it having a steam registration key that will registered to the previous users account. Additionally While there is a way to get CD-keys that supposedly enable you to play this game i have been unable to find any that work/ Whilst I do believe that this would be an extremely enjoyable game I was unable to test this theory out amd will be buying a new copy of the game.
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