Monday, January 1, 2018

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

Here is a game I did not finish this last year and probably never will either. It had a free weekend -- a second one in fact, so desperate were/are they to get people to play it -- and I decided to try going through its singleplayer campaign during it. I got to mission 5 until I uninstalled the game and removed it from my wishlist. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III -- what the hell happened?

The downfall of the Dawn of War series

Before the game's release, Relic Entertainment talked about how they were mixing the first and second game. That sounded good to me -- bringing back base building and bigger armies could not be a bad thing. In general DoW3 had been very promising to me. The truth turned out to be something else, however.

It was like they had removed all the good parts from both games and put together a very boring mixture. The races (the whole 3 of them) did not have as distinct feel to them. Hero units seemed highly durable while normal ones died fast -- even Space Marines. And upgrading them happened in a dull, linear way. Loot system from DoW2 was gone too.

The new doctrine mechanic was a truly puzzling design decision. Before a match, you get to choose 3 doctrines that give bonuses to different things and basically determine your tactic. And if you cannot benefit from your doctrines and your tactic turns out poor, you lost before even starting. I think I like a less restrictive system. What was wrong with being able to adjust your approach during a game?

The doctrines are chosen similarly for singleplayer missions too. Then again, the campaign is merely a glorified tutorial for multiplayer. There is no separate campaigns for each race either. Instead, you are forced to take turns in playing the Space Marines, Eldar, and Orks. I so disliked that. I would have preferred to stick to Blood Ravens or at least the same race.

I did not play the multiplayer but it evidently has its own problems. Players with more time played are at an advantage thanks to having more stuff unlocked. Although, I think the game displayed a message about the system having been improved. So maybe it is not as unfair now.

The other problem was how Relic really prefers people to play as they intended, which evidently is not scout rush which I think was quite popular in the previous titles. Bases are protected by a deadly tower that needs to be destroyed first. And before that, its shield generators need to be taken down too. That of course led to MOBA comparisons, and maybe that was what Relic was after.

The only good thing I have to say about the game is its performance. It ran completely stable for me without any hitches or crashes. The system requirements are not exactly from the high end, though.

It is kind of amusing, and I guess unfortunate too, how Games Workshop gives the Wh40k license to anyone who asks and about every developer then proceeds to make terrible work with it -- apparently now even Relic Entertainment.

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