I love Dawn of War 2 and the expansion Chaos Rising. I have no feelings
whatsoever about the expansion Retribution. Retribution was made by a
different company and it shows.
Dawn of War 2 is a real-time strategy game with role-playing game
elements. You play a character called Force Commander who leads a group
of soldiers called the Blood Ravens against a horde of monsters that
have invaded your homeworld and surrounding planets. You can control a
small squads of Blood Ravens, each led by a command type of character.
Tarkus is the leader of Tactical Marines, who are generalists compared
to the other squads. Cyrus is the leader of the scout squad. Avitus is
the leader of the heavy weapons squad. There are special characters that
don’t get a squad like Force Commander, a giant tank robot called Davian
Thule, and a late addition of a Librarian named Jonah Orion.
Each group has a different skill set and stats that can be leveled up.
You can collect loot from defeating enemies, some of which can be used
only by specialists, and others that are available to everyone. The way
the game handles loot is pretty great, the highest level gear is called
“relics” and have pretty long and storied pasts. Some of my heaviest
armor I got, for example, from looting a shrine to hallowed heroes from
the past. By the end of the game my guys were decked out in suits of
armor carved out of the bones of Saints, carrying weapons that shoot
golden crosses filled with angel tears. That’s just how ridiculous the
game gets. Another great example is that I got a heavy weapon I gave to
Avitus called the Neverending Hail of Devastation. You know what this?
It’s a machine gun that never needs to be reloaded.
The universe is just that over-the-top and silly, made sillier by how
seriously everyone takes thing. The first campaign in the core game is
defeating a horde of space insects. After you succeed at that you then
move into the expansion where you ultimately have to deal with corrupted
Blood Ravens. It plays out partly as a mystery as there’s a traitor in
your midst that’s determined by your actions. The expansion introduces a
mechanic that’s basically Purity and Corruption. Actions will give you
points to either. The more points you gather towards one or the other,
the more powers you unlock, and allows you to use either Purity Gear or
Corruption Gear. If you get too corrupt you can use items to lower your
corruption score, but these actually make you weaker as sort of a
The setting and the gameplay are all great. The only problem I have with
the game is that you’re limited to a really rigid campaign in
single-player mode. If the game had instead a more randomized campaign,
like games like FTL or XCOM, I think it would have made the game even
better. As such, the developers were aiming to create a game to compete
with games like Starcraft 2, which I don’t think they succeeded at. It
was a real missed opportunity, hopefully someday someone can make that
game (in this setting), but till then I can just replay the single
player campaign and hope. I guess I could try and make it myself…