Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution Q&A - The Tyranid Campaign

Yes, that's right. The Tyranids will be starring in their very own single-player campaign in the next Dawn of War II expansion. Get the details here.

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Relic's Dawn of War real-time strategy series has always striven to bring the brutal and chaotic battles of the Warhammer 40,000 universe to life. Most recently, last year's Dawn of War II expanded the battles by adding new playable races to the original game's basic four (Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Orks, and Eldar). These new races included the terrifying Tyranid, a race of telepathic, murderous aliens bent on devouring and destroying the galaxy. The silent, wholly alien Tyranid have been a perfect antagonist to the campaign heroes of Dawn of War II--the valiant Blood Raven contingent of the Space Marines. But in the game's next expansion, Retribution, the Tyranid themselves will play a leading role in the single-player campaign. Producer Jeff Lydell explains.

GameSpot: We have to admit that it's pretty intriguing to hear the Tyranids will now be a playable faction in the single-player campaign for Retribution. Tell us about how the team eventually came around to the decision to give the deadliest xenomorphs in the galaxy a starring role in the story.

Jeff Lydell: Our goal with Retribution was to give players a chance to play with as many of their favorite 40K races as we could. Since no one has had a chance to play the single-player campaign with Tyranids in any of the Dawn of War products, they were a natural choice.

GS: How exactly will the Tyranids' story be told? It seems safe to assume, for instance, that they won't be getting mission briefings from commanding officers who trade witty banter.

JL: You are going to hear the voice of the hive mind. That's not a physical character but more of a very creepy voice in your head. The Tyranids are also psychic creatures and are capable of picking up enemy transmissions. Some of the story is told from the point of view of intercepted vox calls or overheard enemies.

GS: Without spoiling anything, tell us what the Tyranids' motivations in Retribution will be. Are they simply looking to devour known space and annihilate anyone who stands in the way? Or will they have specific objectives tied to the story?

JL: The Tyranids have a compulsive need to complete their original mission and reunite with the main fleet of the Tendril. Something in the sector is preventing them from reforming the synaptic link, and they need to neutralize that threat.

The Tyranids are looking out for the fleet, and events in the sector are going to force them directly into the heart of the conflict. It will all make sense once you are playing.

GS: Will the faction have any new units or heroes unique to the campaign (that don't also appear in multiplayer)?

JL: Yes, they will have a new unit, and it will also appear in multiplayer.

Expect the debut of a new Tyranid hero in Dawn of War II: Retribution.

GS: How will Tyranid heroes grow and improve over time? Will players kit their Tyranid heroes with gear in various inventory slots and choose to spend experience-based points in various ability scores? Or will they improve differently?

JL: The role-playing elements for the Tyranids are [restricted] to the [advancement of the] hive tyrant. We did this for a few reasons, the main one being that we wanted the majority of the Tyranids to be disposable squads. Disposable meant the progression aspects didn't make sense. We also couldn't have multiple speaking characters with the Tyranids, since their entire lore revolves around them being a race united under a single consciousness.

As you progress with the Tyranids, your overall army will get stronger.

GS: Is this change indicative of how Relic plans to design future expansions and Dawn of War games in general? By giving each race a turn at single-player campaign stardom?

JL: It's too early to speak for every future Dawn of War game, but I'll reiterate that our mission with Retribution was to get as many races as we could into the hands of our players. The last two games had focused entirely on the Space Marines as the playable characters, and it's time to let some other races have their time in the sun.

GS: Can you give us a general update on Retribution's development? What aspects of the game is the team currently working on? What's got the team most excited?

JL: We've been able to play through the entire game for a month or two now, and we are working on finishing off the last features of the game before we start fixing bugs and polishing.

What's got us each of us excited depends on who is working on what. I'm personally excited that we have multiple races available for the campaign and great stories for each of them.

GS: Finally, is there anything you'd like to add about the Tyranids, the campaign, or Retribution in general?

You don't have to be psychic to survive in a universe teeming with Tyranids…but it helps!

JL: For the Tyranids, I'm really happy with the voice behind the hive mind. The actor who did it has a very creepy voice. For the campaign, I'll add that the Tyranids aren't the last race we plan on announcing, and for Retribution, I'll add you can expect new content and new features to be announced in the coming months.

GS: Thanks, Jeff.

Discussion

84 comments
ThePimpChimp
ThePimpChimp

Its about time they add a tyranid campaign, I hope you can control some of the tyranid heroes like old one eye or the swarmlord

Scotterius
Scotterius

As respectfully quoted from 008zulu "I heard they got Gilbert Gottfried to do the voice of the Hive Mind." I could only hope. This is the first Warhammer product since the pentium 4 I have not been excited about. I think that the Eldar are often more alien at their best than the Tyranid. I just have doubts, I never really enjoyed the Zerg either.

Sumotaii
Sumotaii

Come on Imperial Guard. I so want to be able to play as the desperate fighting man of the Imperium. Fighting against odds that could crush any man. Come on Relic dont let me down.

008Zulu
008Zulu

I heard they got Gilbert Gottfried to do the voice of the Hive Mind. I'm loving the idea of Tyranids as the force you get to use, little sad that it wont pickup where Chaos Rising left, but this makes up for it.

ChryoEhh
ChryoEhh

@george43 That's not really true, the best example being the Tau paths, but all races had several viable builds, Chaos could go for T2 vehicles or or build a sacrificial to rush to T3. There was depth in the base building aspect. Sure, you can get everything in the end but the game has to be very even or the players have to be beginners that don't attack each other. Also, the presence of separate production and upgrade buildings adds the ability of denying certain tech to your enemy by wisely choosing what to raid. Anyway, there's no point in trying to argue which type of gameplay is better, they're basically different subgenres. It's almost like trying to compare UT with ArmA.

TheReaper180
TheReaper180

@eriktkire: Agreed. Zerg wouldn't stand a chance.

TheReaper180
TheReaper180

@Original-Gamer: Each person has their own tastes and styles. I personally prefer Chaos and Space Marines because I perform better with smaller numbers and brute force rather than attempting to overwhelm my opponent like the Orks and Tyranids.

IRoxxorUrSoxxor
IRoxxorUrSoxxor

I liked the old tyranid model (i.e. current tyranid announcer). Instead of spooky gravelly monster (done before about 1,000,000 times), some bizarre monotone unisex thing with no emotion.

george43
george43

Also people who pine for base building, base building in DoW 1 was more of a hindrance than strategy. There was no complicated builds to build a base properly. DoW 1 was "build buildings as fast as you can to get units out and use scouts in the mean time to cap requisition." Builds were actually very linear, as in, build barracks and you can build your vehicle factory. DoW 2 pushed that mindset out the door and puts you straight into the action.

george43
george43

I will probably love this game as long as they make each faction campaign at least a little longer than Chaos Rising's campaign. Chaos Rising was way way way too short. Only like 4 hours.

twistyanddark
twistyanddark

I respect that Relik went closer to the tabletop fans with DoW2, but unfortunately I am not a tabletop player. I also respect the amazing support, the free online co-op tower defence mode was amazing. Plus I have never seen another game integrate successfully 3 so different gamestyles (rpg, rtt and td) in the same product. However I am a competitive mp type of person and for some reason I find mp in DoW2 tedious. The mechanics are annoying most of the times at least for me, so I will pass this as I passed the Chaos expansion. Seems like a good buy for the fans though.

ildamos
ildamos

I realize the current DoW series appeals to gamers who like CoH gameplay and I respect that. However, I'm still praying for the day the series goes back to its base-building roots.

Hairygrim
Hairygrim

@smosleh - Eldar....badass.....you what? They're frikkin' space elves! Though Wraith-constructs are pretty cool. Chaos (no god-affiliation), Orks, Grey Knights & Space Wolves are probably the most badass ones in 40k. (& I play Tau, 'crons & IG in the tabletop so no bias there :P)

Original-Gamer
Original-Gamer

@smosleh Are you kidding? The Eldar are nothing but a bunch of pansies running around in skin tight armor and pointy little queer hats. Sucks to the Eldar and on with the Waaaaaaaaaaaggghhh!!! LMAO

brian_13un
brian_13un

The last expansion for DOW2 is really cool it is giving us a chance to almost play them all in the campaign ^_^ and I think it will also be the largest one.

smosleh
smosleh

Thanks for the interview gamespot!!! Retribution is gonna rock!!!! so psyched to finally play as other races, especially da badass Eldar.

eriktkire
eriktkire

@Hairygrim But it does fit within the nature of the Tyranid. They do have the human looking Genestealer half breeds that infiltrate and infect populations so it is reasonable to consider the hive mind is capable of translating itself. Plus Relic have done an awesome job with Dawn of War voices. All those "Mercy is a sign of weakness" type quotes, I think they will stay true to the harsh, brutal nature of the 40k universe. Hopefully this will show how the Tyranids are truly superior to the imitation Zerg (even though the Zerg were a pretty good clone)

keech
keech

@DemonRaptor Funny, as I was reading the article I thought to myself "Please tell me they got Mike Patton to do the voice of the hive mind."

OrderDrake
OrderDrake

Cool, i love warhammer and these games. I would like to see the old school RTS version polished up, ahhh the good ol soulstorm days =D

Hairygrim
Hairygrim

Voice of the hive mind? Not a good idea. A voice makes it easier for you to identify with. The whole idea of the Tyranids is for them to be the most alien race encountered, meaning that they should have nothing recognisably & distinctly 'human' for us to identify with.

george43
george43

I thought Orks were going to be the stars? Thats what the early preview hinted at. I am disappoint. :(

jlee14
jlee14

Relic is awesome, I love how they keep there games fresh and new by adding juicy content. I hope they make it better now that they have steamworks.

Dr_Thunder
Dr_Thunder

I have a feeling that SwarmLord with his 4 boneswords is the creator of the "slap chop".

vadagar1
vadagar1

@thereaper180 I sure hope so man :)

hvypetals
hvypetals

not interested in playing as a tyranid but VERY interested in a space hulk 2 FPS

k_oldsoul
k_oldsoul

never liked Dawn of war 2(Dawn of war 1 is one of my favorites)..but graphics are tempting !

M14Ok
M14Ok

Did you notice the Tyrant with 4 boneswords? AWESOME.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

finally some variety ...tyranids>zerg... ....soo many races so little time

gladin09
gladin09

"Something in the sector is preventing them from reforming the synaptic link, and they need to neutralize that threat." I am no expert but I know that the Necron have the ability to disrupt Tyranids like that :P

sykopat99
sykopat99

I'm hoping to see Tau before DoW III :)

davisbe76
davisbe76

I'm just hoping for a Broodlord! Makes perfect sense to me, and a genestealer on steroids would certainly make for a strong contender with the other commanders, and fluff-wise the BL is in the vanguard, directing infiltrators and early attacks.

GentlemanGamer
GentlemanGamer

looks very fun. nice that people who dont like space marines can play as something else.

J0nGalt
J0nGalt

Tyranids lame. Chaos awesome.

TheReaper180
TheReaper180

@vadagar1: I think that actually is the last faction they are announcing. In a trailer that was released awhile back, it did show a Farseer and a Wraithlord fighting Chaos on what I'm assuming is a Craftworld.

TheReaper180
TheReaper180

I'm pretty excited about this. I know the Orks' campaign will allow you to build 'fodder' units as you progress through levels. I'm guessing the Tyranids will be the same way. I'm ready to kill some Space Marines.

ponorac92
ponorac92

I think that the next Dawn of War II should have Necrons...I love them... :)

starscreamPL
starscreamPL

Starcraft2 is a good game but comparing it to Dawn of War 2 is wrong. Totally different games, it`s no problem to play both of them, because they offer different experience. I prefer DoW2 without a doubt and I`m no Warhammer fan at all.

coaltango
coaltango

even though im a hardcore fans of the warhammer franchise its still no match for Starcraft 2

WillyChong
WillyChong

@vadagar the Tyranids weapons are armor are actually mutable parts of genetic strants they receive from the fallen. So safe to say they can evolve all sorts of weapons or armor parts through mutation.

Majero88
Majero88

YES!! Finally this is the expansion pack I've been waiting for :D

WillyChong
WillyChong

Hahaha, the title Retribution is meant for. THQ & EPIC finally wanted came to sense redeem themself by giving us gamers a better game. Not only switiching from the Window life to Steam, but also finally, finally give a different faction campaign! Lets hope we can see a better light for this one.

vadagar1
vadagar1

hmmm I wonder if we will get evolution type upgrades and chitins instead of armor and weapon drops, I must admit this sounds interesting. But from what I read this seems unlikely. Hope we get an eldar campaign as well.

NiteShadeX
NiteShadeX

@Gelugon_baat What about the Swarmlord? That damn thing is the Hive Mind incarnate. And what about Ol' One Eye? http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Old_One_Eye Being cut off from the Hivefleet, an unstable mutation withen a Carnifex that attracts other neaby renegade Tyranids seems the perfect way to incorporate this sort of campaign.

icebox98
icebox98

warhammer 40k is my rts taste, but i have to admit that dawn of war 1 still is the best. lets hop this one is better