Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War
, based on the popular Games Workshop table-top game, follows a group of armored Space Marines (known as the Blood Ravens) who have recently landed on a planet infested by a race of Orks. Missions take you through a series of scenarios that, while not the greatest of narratives, still does its job of getting you from place to place.
For those not in the mood for a structured story, Skirmish modes are also available. Here you are able to take one of the four playable races (Space Marine, Ork, Eldar or Chaos) though standard RTS game types. These include missions where you need to capture specific areas of a map, or simply wipe out all opposing forces. Skirmish modes can also be played online.
Overall, Dawn of War remains true to the table-top games making it more accessible to PC gamers. The first, and major, difference is that Dawn of War's action takes place in real time rather than being turn-based. This alone adds a frantic feel to the game that you simply won?t get from the table-top games; plus you don?t have to stop every few seconds and pull out a tape measure. Nearly every weapon and unit type appears in the game ? including Rhino Tanks and Grav tanks. Obviously, long time fans of the Warhammer series will get a little more enjoyment out of seeing all these units animated and moving around the battlefield; but there are enough units in the game that even newcomers will find something to like.
Dawn of War takes more of an action focus than your typical RTS. While you will still find yourself harvesting resources for income, most of your time will be spent in combat. Other than meeting specific goals for each mission, a large part of the game revolves around capturing strategic points on the map. As your resources grow, you?ll be able to build better units and equipment, as well as increasing your unit population cap. The higher your cap, the more units you can have on the field. All in all, it is pretty standard stuff and shouldn?t throw too many people for a loop.