Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II
You know what would be awesome? If we took classic fantasy elements like Orcs and Elves and put them in space with space magic, space gods, and spaaaaaaace. Everything should also be out to murder one another. You know, cause it has to be grimdark (it’s now a word, fuck you). This is the very basic premise of Warhammer 40k.
It’s the 41st millennium and things suck. Like way, way more than now suck depending on how you feel about things. In this dark sucky of suckiness, you take on the role of a Space Marine force commander. Now, Space Marines in Warhammer are the biggest baddest motherfuckers around. Imagine an 8 foot tall man who’s so muscular that he makes the pictures of the dudes on steroids that are walking muscles look like a scrawny shrimp. After that, let’s encase them in armor and give them assault rifles and pistols that shoot rockets. You get to be one of those and you lead your squads of other Space Marines through a series of missions using small squad tactics, cover, and superior firepower to overwhelm your foes that outnumber you a million to one (not an exaggeration).
In the game, you are charged with stopping an extremely large group of orkz (spelled with a k for extra awesome) called a WAAAGH!!! and, along the way, kill some space elves called eldar and space bug lizards from another galaxy called Tyranid. Along the way you meet your allied factions like the rest of your Space Marine chapter and they just sit on one world screaming something about heretics and the god-emperor. Then there’s the imperial guard; Normal humans, regular joes with flashlights (laser rifles) and tissue paper (bulletproof armor). Needless to say, they die a lot and in droves.
The gameplay is different from most RTS games in that, instead of building a base, researching upgrades, and building a massive army, you get a handful of squads, equip them with wargear (equipment), and you order them around. This leads to a much more careful playing style than I am used to with RTS games. My strategies are akin to Russians in World War 2; If I throw enough bodies at something, I win. The graphics are great. Each unit is detailed very well doing credit for the tabletop the game is based off of where players lovingly paint their units to match whatever faction they were playing as.
Overall this game is worth picking up and, for me, was a nice introduction into the setting. Some parts may seem frustrating and the not-having-huge-armies-of-fuck-you can be disappointing, but there’s enough going on here to counterbalance it. If you like it, there are also two expansion packs which are also worth getting.