(In this brand new series I may or may not be doing I'll review games that are in a sense old. Since we as gamers have really short attention spans and everyone of us as ADD ADHD and drink Mt. Dew by the gallon.)
Ok I'll try to make this short since I'm going to be busy playing it.
Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War II
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Released: February 19, 2009
MSRP: $49.99, $19.99 on Steam
It's 20 dollars on Steam.
Awesome competitive multiplayer
The Last Stand
To start controls are standard fair with the keyboard and mouse setup. And the UI while nothing flashy works well. Graphics and physics are really good for an RTS and you can zoom all the way in to see the more brutal execution animations up close and personal. Though the requirements might seem steep the game scales pretty well all things considering.
Comp Stomp modes have been, in my opinion, on of the best recent trends in gaming. With Horde and Firefight being huge successes Relic decided to get into the fad. And why not through in some intense bloodthirsty AI and some high-scores to go after and you got a formula for awesomeness.
Last Stand has already been touched upon so I'm not going to say too much but that it is really fucking intense. The only negatives I would give it, is that there isn't a Tyranid Hero, Games for Windows is SLOOOOOOOOOOOW, and the fact that currently there is only one map. I'm sure Relic is going to release more though sooner or later. There are some awesome surprises though enemy wise so be prepared.
The campaign is truly epic and the co-op seamlessly integrates into the experience. If you go solo you have command of 4 units and with a partner/hostage/prostitute it's split in half with each of you commanding 2 units. The only unit you must have in your 'party' is the force commander which is a must really, considering the upward battles you face. Negative wise there are only 3 maps per planet making it 9 in total so you'll be able to memorize these levels pretty easily. Also the missions don't have that much variety only mixing between protection missions where you need to protect generators through multiple waves of enemies or seek and destroy missions where you must kill a head boss at the end of the map. Though you are scored through things like speed and troop loss.
And don't even get me started on wargear. If you're a loot whore in games like WoW or Diablo you'll be right at home with this, which reminds me this campaign kind of does play like Diablo so if you like point and click but have never really tried and RTS maybe this will get you into it.
Multiplayer is pretty tough. There is a learning curve but this isn't Supreme Commander. I do HIGHLY recommend you do some skirmishes against the computer though before you jump in though to get used to the interface. You make a few to many mistakes and your ass will be on the losing side of the battle report screen. If you're a veteran of other RTS and are good at micro you will love the competitive aspect since there are only two resources in the game and you win by being aggressive. Smart but also you have to constantly be on the offensive. If you played the amazing Company of Heroes series you'll be right at home, and while the space marines might play like a 40K version of the Allies the other races make this game completely unique. And you can fight anywhere through 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 and use any comination of comps and humans alike.
If you like RTS MIDILY get this game. It's as simple as that. With three modes of play and the Chaos coming soon there isn't a better time to pick this game up. And you too will soon be killing heretics IN THE NAME OF THE EMPEROR!
Score: 9 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. Blah. Blah. Blah. Go Buy Now!)