Dawn of War 2: Retribution First Look

We pull on our peg leg and walk the lava plank with a first look at the upcoming expansion to this popular space opera.

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Fans of the Warhammer universe can’t plead entertainment famine at the moment, with a feast of new games coming out based on the much-loved franchise. In addition to third-person action adventure title Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and the Vigil-developed massively multiplayer online role-playing game Warhammer 40,000 Dark Millennium Online, Gamescom 2010 saw the reveal of two more games based on space cavorting, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution and its eventual replacement, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III.

At Gamescom 2010 we had the chance to see Dawn of War II: Retribution in action, including a look at the cranky Orks and their quest for loot. The game will take place 10 years after the events of Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising and replace the tin-can-wearing Space Marines with the garbage-can-wearing Ork Freebooterz, led by warboss Kaptin Bluddflagg. Joining his ragtag crew are Mister Nailbrain, Spookums the Kommando Nob, and Brikkfist with his jetpack and hammer. Developer Relic Entertainment is keeping the exact story details close to its chest, but it did say that it loosely revolves around the Eldar getting their hands on an important item--an item that the Orks would also like to be in possession of and are willing to smash and kill to steal.

The Ork humour and personality were on show in spades, and as we completed our gear loadout aboard our ship before jumping headlong into the combat, Kaptin Bluddflagg slipped into something a little more menacing, donning a set of sharp, dirty steel shoulder armour. As a Kommando, Spookums can equip a grappling hook, and while it’s not necessarily the most predictable device with regard to its precision, when it works it will allow you to get him close to the action, flanking fortified positions for a tactical advantage.

Our demo level took place on a lava planet. It wasn’t always a lava planet, but the frequent bombardment of the region had seen the planet surface break up, exposing the fiery core underneath. Our objective was to locate and destroy gateways. Variety is key to allowing players to experience battle the way they want to, and DOWII: Retribution is promising plenty of it. Locating war banners allows you to build and add new units to your squad of four heroes, while requisition and population points allow you to quickly amass a small army. Locating and taking control of an HQ will allow the building of vehicles, with the promise of tanks available later in the game. From what we've seen, this isn't a resource management game, so you can simply begin to build once you control the structures.

Stomping around, our main tactic was to use Kaptin Bluddflagg as a meat shield, soaking up all the incoming fire of our attackers, mitigating chunks of it with bonuses coming from our armour and character progression. Once their weapons were fixed on him up front, we used the rest of our squad to lay into them wholesale, Brikkfist rocketing into groups with his jetpack and landing heavily on top of them.

In addition to the pickup items that drop on the battlefield, once you return to your barge after successfully completing a scenario you will earn new war gear and experience points. As you level up, you will be rewarded with a choice of loot, as well as unlock new abilities to use as part of your arsenal.

From our brief look at the game, it’s already very much in the vein of its predecessor and brings with it the humour and looting personalities of the Orks. Changes to the reward system should provide new toys to play with more often. Grab your eye patch and your parrot for when these space buccaneers board the PC in early 2011.

Discussion

54 comments
ArachisPT
ArachisPT

Finally multiple multiple campaign choices! I enjoy watching this game come together piece by piece but I really wanted them to add the Tau to the mix not the Imperial Guard! Although Tau aren't good in the close quarter combat style that the DoW2 uses I would like to see the melee units they would make for that to happen!

Avitus546
Avitus546

finally they announced the space marine campaign a few days ago.....although it's kinda weird, cuz we won't be leading our force commander (he'll be going to the eye of terror along with the rest of his squads) but, we'll lead apollo diomedes, cyrus, martellus (o.O) and a honour guard called "The Ancient"!

AlexMK4
AlexMK4

george43 I agree Tau are my faves and their suits would give them a good advantage on field. In fact most of the missions you do in the game with the marines can be linked to Tau tactics quite easily e.g: Small precision strikes and all that. The big reason why they included the inquisition over them is cus they can have tiny squads of super buff guys like the marines, but even better. And lets be serious if Tau get into close combat with anyone they are stuffed.

hewoks
hewoks

I personnaly like DOW more than Star Craft. the story of SC is better yeah but I prefer the squad aproach from DOW.

osogitz
osogitz

I was reading alot of comments and apparently it seems a lot of you have forgotten what Relic and THQ were trying to do with the DOW2 label. It is a Real Time SQUAD-BASED Strategy geme. It is very similar to the table top game. It is about micro/macroing your squads and their abilities to get the job done and not base building.

g3ost
g3ost

@george43 Inquisition was actually a part of the first dawn of war since Sisters of Battle are a part of the Inquisition (Odro Hereticus), it would be great to see a more full Inquisition in Retribution, the main hero to be a Inquisitor (check Inquisitor Eisenhorn) and not just a Sister of battle, waiting to see which part of the inquisition will be playable :)

sammoth
sammoth

Can't wait Relic has done such a great job with the 40k Universe.

george43
george43

The Blood ravens story will most likely be continued in Dawn of War 3. For now we get the best race of the 40k universe in a whole new campaign. Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork Ork! The inquisition is kind of shocking to see though. They haven't been unleashed in any of the DoW series. Be interesting on their unit choices. But honestly I was hoping for tau or imperial guard in this installment. Tau would probably work really well in DoW 2. Necrons on the other hand aren't really conducive to DoW 2 playstyle. Their tier 1 units are their best units and they would be nearly impossible to balance.

008Zulu
008Zulu

@Exodurge Orks, Inquisitors and the third would be the Blood Ravens?

345tom
345tom

I hate how Gamespot handles ALL Warhammer games. They need someone who knows what theyre talking about doing the reviews really. I always get annoyed as they never seem to actually learn anything about whats going on, just the main idea.

idontlivehere11
idontlivehere11

Finally, the most interesting race gets some time in the spotlight. But really, no IG till now? I don't care how inacurrate the scale maybe, I just want to play the real heroes of the imperium.

Exodurge
Exodurge

@008Zulu it's not just orks, theres a campaign for each race, including the new race, the inquisition.

008Zulu
008Zulu

Orks, why did it have to be Orks? I get why they probably couldn't continue with the main story (The High Lords of Terra aren't the most forgiving people out there. If half a chapter turns to Chaos, they usually declare the entire a chapter a wash and kill them all anyway).

feleas
feleas

Way to be a cliffhanger.... Chaos Rising it ended with us going to go deal with our renegade Chapter Master, but BLAMO it's gone to an Ork story. W....T....F.... lol

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

I'd love to see someone in the mod community use the template for DoW II and make a Transformers title... I'm far too inept to even dream of doing it myself.

supdotcom
supdotcom

i really hope they add the majority of the races in the original dow.

Marineb0i
Marineb0i

@GenGilman From an earlier article, the main focus in on the orks, but there's a total of three separate campaigns (i think).

Eban8
Eban8

What new teams will be added? I hope they add more than just one this time.

GenGilman
GenGilman

10 years? And Orks? What the hell happened to the whole Blood Ravens becoming a renegade? I demand answers!

Justin-Sane
Justin-Sane

Orks were one of my favorites to play when I use to field the mini's. I'm really looking forward to this. Also, a lot of games favor the multiplayer of which I'm not a big fan of. I apprecitate good single player games the most. Must have for me.

IceCold_83
IceCold_83

"... Ork Freebooterz, led by warboss Kaptin Bluddflagg. Joining his ragtag crew are Mister Nailbrain, Spookums the Kommando Nob, and Brikkfist with his jetpack and hammer." That quartet just cracked me up :D Orks, ftw.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

lil skeptical of this expansion. Single player not a draw at all (for me anyways), and im doubting whether they will add enough to the multiplayer to make an expansion without a new race worth it. Im also sketch on dow3 being a free to play every month and just like all free to play games, favor the guy paying the money, or you have to spend vast amounts of time tediously 'leveling' your character just to be competitive against total noobs that just have more to invest then you do.

AceBalls
AceBalls

The sound design AND music in all of these Relic games are above and beyond the call of duty. Epic and heavy magic. Whenever I fire up Starcraft 2, I feel like I've just entered the Korean karaoke club.

ChevLss
ChevLss

everyone has their valid points here, but the truth is if I wanted a tactical suad game I would have preferred a new 40k series.On the other hand, RTS has always been heavy on the action with a minor nod to strategy. you want real strategy you gotta go Civ3 or 4.

bamantm
bamantm

I just really want a bigger multiplayer. Much bigger maps and much much more units, I don't care about the base building. Fighting small scale skirmishes like this might fit the SMs and Eldar, but it seems sort of silly for primarily horde armies like Orks and Nids to have such a measly number of units on the field.

Guardsman485297
Guardsman485297

Mod the soldiers in CoH to look like guardsmen and there's your next game relic. Or cut and paste the soldiers in CoH into a DoW 2 expansion and there you go.

GreySeven
GreySeven

This DOWII expansion looks like an April fools joke. I'm having a hard time believing it, though it would be cool to throw the orks in the spotlight to spice things up a bit. And DOWIII? I'm Looking forward to seeing what kind of a turn the series will take in the RTS world.

Shadowboro
Shadowboro

DOW II to me feels like it's got more in common with RTT games like the Ground Control series (esp GC2) and Starship Troopers than it has with any RTS games. In fact I would classify DOW II as an RTT with RPG elements. Personally I liked both DOW 1 & DOW II and I don't see what the fuss is about about losing base building. I do however wish they would of added 2 playable single player races per DOW II expansion instead of one. Not having playable campaigns for the Tau or Necrons is a shame as far as I'm concerned.

macljot
macljot

There's only 1 game I've seen that suits the suicidal/frantic feel of the WH40K universe but it wasn't a 40k game. World in Conflict would have been awesome if it had come out as a 40k game or been easily modable (and properly advertised)

grove12345
grove12345

@elancion. i dont know i feel Company of Heroes was the most amazing RTS. I guess you can compare the games to football vs soccer COH was like football in the sense you line up a defense or offense make a move with intense action and reset. DOW2 was like soccer since you are running around the map all the time. There was like no front line. I like COH more b/c 3 well positioned guys could take on 6 or 7. DOW 2 seemed to ignore the human frailty and i think with that lost alot of strategy.

AceBalls
AceBalls

@elancion. Am in total agreement. Starcraft 2 was a wonderful surprise in terms of how it evolved in hi resolution and a couple of unit swaps in multiplayer. Had I noticed the reek of mothballs when I opened the box, I would have given it back to EB games. If that's what took over ten years to improve, then whatever forced that to happen is very afraid of change. DOW2 is a haymaker knockout compared to SC2's left jab.

elancion
elancion

dow 2 is the future of rts gameplay those who still like gathering crystals and building a ton of useless buildings for tier upgrades when you can simply put those upgrades on an interface is beyond me. but any hoo those who prefer classic rts style gameplay you got ur stale old sc2. those of us who want something fresh and different added to the genre we got dow2 nuff said. let the hate begin i welcome it muwahaha ha ha.

blargablarg
blargablarg

I hope Dow 3 has ALL the races, and units special to the space wolves

stratommy
stratommy

Dow 3 should be CoH - basebuilding + dow2 speed + warhammer 40k environment(and races of course) + heroes. About me this would be the perfect game. i really don't understand why relic didn't evolved CoH gameplay to realize dow2...

stabby_mcgee
stabby_mcgee

"Developer Relic Entertainment is keeping the exact story details close to its chest, but did say that it loosely revolves around the Eldar getting their hands on an important item--an item that the Orks would also like to be in possession of, and are willing to smash and kill to steal. " Is there anything that the Orks are not willing to smash and kill to steal?

IndianaPwns39
IndianaPwns39

DoW3 should essentially be this: DoW1+expansions+DoW2 graphics+Tyranids. DoW1 was great! After all the expansions all that was missing were the Tyranids (of course they're in 2, but they're worth mentioning separately).

Exia2004
Exia2004

SoulStorm owns DAW II i hope some day they will see the mistake they did to change the formula, after playing SS for 4years i got tired but DAW 2 keept me in front of the PC just to finish the Campaign in coop the only good thing....

x007wes
x007wes

Calling DAW2 a RTS requires a real stretch of the imagination...DAW1 was superb as a RTS, but they changed the formula so much in the name of "evolution" that at best, DAW2 can only be called an Action Role-Play. I'm begging you, Relic, keep the elements in DAW2 that work well, discard the rest, and bring back the spirit of DAW1... Love always, long-time 40k fan.

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

I would get Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising and have 5 factions, but I'd rather get Soulstorm and have 9

Abberon
Abberon

A single-player expansion to a game whose only redeeming value was multiplayer? No thanks Relic. I loved all of Relic's other games, but DoW2 has easily the worst single player campaings I've ever played in any game...ever.

334750
334750

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

334750
334750

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Oomans are pink and soft - not tough and green lika Da Boyz :D

icebox98
icebox98

"Knowledge is power, hide it well"

Jajathinx
Jajathinx

Dawn of war: the last crusade really got me onto this style of real time strategy games, and i hope this one will be just as good :)

WillyChong
WillyChong

Yeah! Finally THQ and Relic make some sense already. But I really hate to see the new game comes without a new army! Bring me the Imperial Guard or Tau!

ele975
ele975

Can't wait for this, since DoW 2 i've been waiting for a SP with orcs :D