Dawn of War, which we were waiting for so long, is finally here. We’ve played the new DoW and now we’ll share our first impression.
The first thing you face here is the visual part. You see new models and animations far before you get to know the story and gameplay features. And the feeling is kind of double. On the one hand, everything is drawn great. All models are nicely done and you won’t mess terminator with wraithguard. Moreover, the game is made in accordance with the modern edition. The 1st part was based on the 4th, but now there are Gorkanauts, Imperial and Wrath knights and so on. Considering that DLC’s are only the matter of time, we may see even some unreleased models there.
Despite the nice (not the best, though) graphics, the visual style is questionable. Sometimes, especially when there are a lot of units in the battle, you feel blinded because of the bright colorful flashes, which are everywhere. And sometimes it’s even hard to say where are your units and where are the enemies’ ones. All effects are grotesque, bright and gaudy. Maybe, in the far future, it’s supposed to be this way, but it would look much better without all this carnival on the battlefield. Another disadvantage is animation. The models are smooth and bright themselves – and the cartoon-like rapid animation, makes it look more like Darksiders, than grimdark. So, if you were outraged with Gabrial Angelos from the trailers, who was bouncing like a ball, you’d better not look at the full-scale battle here, where everyone moves this way…
If you got used to the visual part, let’s proceed to the campaign. The story is fine – it’s a pretty usual one for Warhammer with expectable unexpectable twists pathos and eternal war. And of course, the story prepares us to one or two DLC’s… It’s logical and interesting enough to make you complete the whole campaign.
A lot of players are disappointed that there are only 3 playable factions. But do you remember that in the original DoW 2 there was only 1 faction to play? And the first edition of DoW 1 also didn’t have many sides of the conflict. No doubt, other combatants will be added in DLC’s. May be, new factions for multiplayer will be added without a campaign. So, if you waited to head the Tau army, you still have a chance.
However, the factions are meticulously done. The gameplay is really unique. While spacemarines didn’t change much since the first part, eldar and orks have completely new tactics. For example, greenskins are able to create upgrades and even units from the piles of garbage. It makes them really unpredictable – the opponent never knows what they will bring next. Eldar can teleport all their buildings over the battlefield which is nice but makes army management even more difficult…
And speaking about army management. The main DoW 3 problem is not the animation or faction’s quantity. It’s lack of its own game mechanics. In fact, the developers have taken massive battles from the first part and joined them with the complicated unit abilities from the second one. In DoW 2 it was difficult to manage all the units’ abilities when you had 3-4 of them. And imagine, what happens when you have the whole army with all these abilities. Add here tons of visual effects, high game speed and inconvenient interface – you really risk to get a panic attack.
Besides, there are some problems with balance. Not between the faction, but inside of them. In addition to standard resources now you have a special one which lets you summon super heavy units like Imperial or Wraith knight, orbital bombardments and so on. And these abilities really ruin the balance. The player who used them first, almost 100% sure becomes a winner. However, it’s easily fixed by patches.
So, Dawn of War 3 is like a younger child, who’s returned from studying abroad. He’s become fashionable, modern and perspective, but he also gained a lot of features and habits that bother you. However, it’s your bellowed son and you will love him no matter what. So, we’ll play DoW 3 in any case. It’s still the best computer game in the Warhammer 40K universe. And one of the best modern RTS. Moreover, all the disadvantages we’ve named here are easy to fix with further patches and DLC. Let’s hope that the developers won’t ignore player’s opinion. For the Emperor!