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Dawn of War 2 Beta impressions – flashing scythes and zealous marines.

January 28, 2009

I’ve not played Company of Heroes but I’ve heard this game is a lot like it, less about building a base and more about using units in weird and wonderful ways, and if it is genuinly the inspiration for Dawn of War 2 then bloody hell, I’ve been missing out!

Dawn of War was fun but my favourite way to play was the ‘capture all the strategic points and hold them’ method, so imagine my annoyance when all I get are players rushing my base and slaughtering me, I also couldn’t play as Tyranids, major minus point right there.

But now you can’t win by simply rushing an opponents base and raping their units,  because Dawn of War 2 is about slowly creating and utilizing squads, moving tactically across the map and taking resource points and power nodes to fuel your war machine. It requires battlefield awareness far beyond most games as you zip around using squads to pry key locations from your opponent, perhaps causing distractions before having your best unit appear behind an undefended squad and rip them a new one.

furthermore you choose a specific commander who you will be reviving and retreating many times during combat, each army offers three commanders and each offers a slightly different play style. The Lictor, pictured above, specialises in infiltration, creeping around the map and unleashing unexpected attacks, while the Hive Tyrant is a more in your face commander making his presence known, buffing up his allies and causing opponents to flee. Each commander can then be upgraded further during a battle with unique attacks which could either be personal preferance or chosen to counter your opponent.

From the time I’ve spent with it Dawn of War 2 offers a streamlined but obviously deep strategic experience, I’ll be playing the Beta further and should hopefully be able to give my fellow Hive Minds a few tips on playing the ravenous swarms at their command.

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