Dawn of War: Winter Assault
Released: September 2005
Online players: 2-8
After the sucess of the Dawn of War it was almost inevitable an expansion would be released at some point. THQ - the game's creators - didn't dissapoint. Dawn of War was seen by many as one of the best RTS games of 2004. What does Winter Assault offer on top of that?
The biggest difference is obviously the addition of the Imperial Guard to the playable armies list. In Dawn of War you breifly used Imperial Guard in the campaign mode, but even then an extremely limited tech tree. All you used along side your Space Marines were Guardsmen, a commander and the odd Leman Russ. Now in Winter Assault you have acess to the full Imperial Guard army list. From Commisars to Ogryns. From Tech Engiseers to Baneblades.
Thats right I said Baneblades.
On top of this you get a whole new single player campaign. So apart from all this funky new stuff what else is new? Well to be honest not much. However it is an expansion, not a stand alone game so you cant expect too much. But with such a good game already how much would you want to change?
Don't worry Ork fans - the Orks are back for more!
The plot line is basic RTS stuff - an ancient Emperor class Titan, built on Mars itself, lies buried underneath the planet's surface. In a mad race to find it who will win? The original four races are all involved in a mad dash for the war machine. Gamers will be able to play through 2 campaigns - the forces of order and the forces of disorder - The Order campaign will have players alternating between the Imperial Guard and
the Eldar, with the Space Marine Ultramarines putting in a cameo as backup. The
Disorder campaign will follow the Orks and Chaos forces.
Finally, a new gameplay dynamics has been placed in the game that helps to highlight one of the game's strongest points, the awesome cinematic nature of the combat. During combat, players may notice special glowing points on the map. If and when players get a particular unit to that point, they'll be treated to a short cinematic using the game engine. During demonstrations of the game to the press, eager games journalists saw the Chaos Space Marines fighting the Eldar at a nasty choke point. It was a fairly typical RTS game situation, but moving a commander unit to a glowing red spot near the door of a collapsed building revealed a tunnel that the unit used to get behind the enemy lines. Once there, he was able to knock out a power generator that protected an artifact. Once he seized the artifact, he exploded in a gout of blood which summoned the awesomely cool Bloodthirster demon. The Blooddrinker then proceeded to pound the stuffing out of the Eldar Avatar. The interesting thing was, this sequence didn't require any new animations, they were all in the original game, but by highlighting them with special camera moves, they come to feel like rewards. If this dosn't wet your appetite I don't know what will!
Dark Millenium will put up a review after the games release later his year.