Thats what I want to say when I loaded up Dawn of War Platinum, which is the subject of todays PC Game Review. What is Dawn of War you ask? Even if you didn’t I am glad that I assumed you did, otherwise we would not be having this conversation so to speak. Dawn of War is a RTS or Real Time Strategy game based on the Warhammer 40k universe. Whats this mean? Well, in the game you can play as either the noble Space Marines, the vile Chaos Space Marines, the barbaric Orks (and yes that is spelled right for this), the ancient Eldar, the stalwart Imperial Guard, the destructive Necrons and the “peaceful” Tau Empire. Yes I meant to put the “” around peaceful, as I don’t think they are all that peaceful (in fact as far as I am concerned the Tau are space communists :P)
These races are all combined in the Platinum Edition, which is in fact the base game plus both its expansions. There is really no reason to buy just the base game in my opinion, so I will not be even counting it at this point.
Thats alot of races isn’t it? Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, which I will not get into here, cause if I did this would be a much longer post then I would like, and believe me its going to be long enough. Now I will admit, I have only played the demo of Dawn of War which I got off Steam. That was enough. I fully intend to get this game once I have some cash available to me. But enough of that. Lets talk gameplay, cause the gameplay is core to games of this nature, and Dawn of War has a great system.
Here is a screenshot of the interface that I took this morning while playing the demo. Yes I still play the demo I have that much fun, even if I can only use the Space Marines. (I really wanna play as Orks. WAAAAGGGGHHHH!)
Now looking at the interface you see a lot of stuff eh? Strange things, magical things you may not understand. Lets go over it shall we. In the upper left corner you will see 2 colored numbers. These are your resources. Unlike most RTS games you do not actually have to “gather” them, but rather are given a set amount every couple of seconds based on a few factors, which I will discuss in a bit. However, moving on. In the lower left you can see the mini map. In the lower right you can see the unit command list, and in the upper right are the menu’s as well as indicators. These show the Critical Points and Strategic Points available for control. In the lower center is the window showing what you have selected.
Now, I mentioned that gathering resources was different in this game then normal. How you may ask? Its based on how many Strategic Points and Power Stations you control. What are those you ask? Well, here are a pair of screenshots showing each thing. Please note that the Strategic Point has a Listening Post built on it, which increases resource gains.
Interesting aren’t they? You can only build a few Power Stations, and the Strategic Points are controlled by use of your Squads. Here is another depature from the standard RTS formula. In a normal RTS, you would need to build each unit. Here, you build squads. Those squads can consist from 1-8 people, and each one counts as a single unit. Thus, you can have 8 units of 8 guys each grouped as one big monster group.
Now then, whats this all mean?
Well basically you build a bunch of squads, and then a few machines (you can only build X number of machines in addition to your squads) and then go out and beat the enemy up and controll whatever points as needed.
One of my favorite features of this game however is the ability to Zoom In on the action. You can actually tilt, zoom, and pan the camera around. This allows you to literally zoom in on the action in process, and watch as your little dudes beat up the other little dudes. Sadly I do not have a screenshot of this, however I do have a zoomed in one to show ya, giving you an example of how close you can actually get.
All in all, this game is amazing fun. I would suggest that anyone who loves RTS games to give this one a shot. Like I said, if you have a Steam account you can get the demo for free, and the game itself is only $30 bucks. (Both Xpacs plus the Base Game, which is the Platinum Edition in fact).
I give this game 4/5 stars.