I was somewhat reluctant to jump into yet another universe whose lore I am unfamiliar with. I am sure that there are many wonders of the WH40K universe that I’m missing out and I will not even attempt to pretend to understand them. I will therefore stay clear of some of the criticisms, such as wrongly themed turrets, unfitting color pallets, or mistakes in the space marine attire, and I’ll focus solely on the game, as there is a lot to cover.
A Brief Overview
I have always considered myself a fan of RTS games, yet I when it comes to WH40K, I must admit that I’ve played very little of the first two installations of the Dawn of War. Still, even I can see why there is so much controversy surrounding the third Dawn of War, as it is objectively the worst game of the series, lacking depth, and as I have later found out, was made by an unresponsive developer and fueled by an already dead fanbase. I was looking forward to dive into a world of new, exotic races, unique maps and innovative game mechanics. What I found what not exactly satisfying. A MOBA-esque map layout, 3 races and an absolute lack of depth… But let’s not just dive in head first into a rant just yet, and instead analyze the product bit by bit.
The Good and the Bad
As with many games nowadays with at least a semi decent budget, one of the most obvious pros of this title is the graphical design. Dawn of War 3 looks very pretty. Moreover, orientation on the map is very intuitive and unit differentiation is effortless, all of which are necessary for an enjoyable RTS experience. The gameplay isn’t hardly as rich though. It is obviously intended to be played in the multiplayer mode, which offers exactly one game mode, a few maps and 3 races. The single player campaign is not much better, as it only serves as a tutorial, rather than an actual game. It feels scattered, it is oddly paced and isn’t very enjoyable. Naturally, once I got bored by 2 hours of the single player campaign, I was inclined towards the multiplayer mode. Sadly, I have found that the multiplayer is pretty much dead and was forced to wait anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes for a match.
Let’s Be Fair Tough
Nerveless, the gameplay is not as bad as the fans would make you think. Yes, there is very little variety, and yes, rather than a unique battleground on an alien world, you face your enemies on a MOBA-esque map with visible lanes in a 3-stage objective comprised of destroying shield generator, tower and the core of the base. Yes, there are very few unit control, formation and structure options… But the game still offers an enjoyable RTS experience and quite a staggering depth in terms of attack types, effects, elite unit modifiers and more. As much as I am ready to hate any game, Dawn of War 3 cannot be seriously considered a failure – it didn’t live up to the expectations and thus the fans are not willing to play it.