GreySeven wrote this review on .
Many reviews seem to dismiss DOW2 as a non-RTS and waste of time because there are no structures involved. I never thought you needed structures to have an RTS to begin with and like the fact that repetitive base building has been eliminated! There's still plenty of strategy in guiding several small units through missions, but you have to take advantage of it. I would wager that many players played this game on easy and never really needed to use cover at all. I mean, on easy you can take out any enemy armor with a few bolters and a grenade, what's the point? It's way more fun using Tarkus as bait in heavy cover while gaining an advantage behind enemies with Avitus and his plasma cannon because 1) that's how the game is meant to be played and 2) it adds a ton of excitement to the game when you play it the way it was meant to be played!
One of the downfalls of Soul Storm was the loss of all bases even during defensive missions. I really appreciated the persistent bases of Dark Crusade while playing Soul Storm. In DOW2, however, it's basically a non-issue. Any defense missions you go on involve resources you previously captured, and as long as you defend it well enough it stays yours! Simple is better!
Each unit appeals in their own way either through hardcore melee attacks, long ranged devastation, grenade support, or stealth, and you can choose who will best suit your gameplay method and bring them on mission after mission. A big surprise for me in the single player game was the addition of a dreadnought. I had no idea! I was a little disappointed, however, when I found out he could not be upgraded to hellfire. Love those things...
Each unit can add your own special touch to their specialization. You can make you commander a melee or ranged specialist, you can nerf the hell out of your other units if you spend their skill points wisely, or you can make them uber by giving them specific strengths and sticking with them. It's all up to you!
There are plenty of items and armor to pick from with a variety of different benefits with each. I'm glad to say that terminator armor is not always the best solution too. I mean, yeah its sweet, but terminator armor can not take cover and typically just bashes things apart by walking near it, but they can carry the highest damage weaponry available so there is a trade off. A fast kill or endurance in cover? Your choice.
I realize there is a lot of grumbling about the plot of DOW2, but you know what? I think it's the strongest it has ever been. Squad leaders will argue with one another between side missions, talk about their pasts even when you are off the main plot, and the voice acting is very well done throughout. The main story is, without a doubt, very brief if you play it straight through, and you get a lot more out of the game if you spend the time to defend captured resources and take on optional targets. Not only will the characters develop more, but you will also be offered more gear to make the final mission much more manageable.
As always, I will mention, this DOW game like all others makes its difficult settings... DIFFICULT! Don't expect to hold on to much or keep your units on their feet often on any of the higher settings. It may be a good idea to play it through on a intermediate setting of your liking, NOT EASY, but intermediate just to get a hang of it THEN tackle the tough stuff.
The graphics and sound are great and the environment crumbles and deforms with every blast and explosion. I like to play with the sound cranked up and listen to the maelstrom of battle.
Online you're on your own. As always, I get crushed online, but I keep trying. It is a very different game online and if you are sued to the abilities of the squads you make in the SP game, you're going to be in for a shock. Very few of the squads respond in a similar manner and have far lower resilience in PvP. But it's very addictive to gain levels, lose a lot, and keep coming back for me. I hope, sooner or later, more maps will be released for a more various game.
Two things I would have liked to have seen in this game. 1) an SP plot that revolved around a chapter I made instead of the Blood Ravens, though I love the Blood Ravens and stick by them having the spotlight here, and 2) the ability to play the SP game as any of the four races... maybe not the Nids. Might not be a lot of plot to build on with a bunch of subtitled growling and hissing. I still contend that a Eldar point of view and an Ork point of view would have been very cool. I think a lot of people would get a kick out of playing as Orks and putting down rebellious nobs as often as fighting the other enemies. Would be funny too! Here's hoping for the next game, though I think the expansion will probably have a Chaos single player game. If I were to hope for something form the expansion to come it will be the addition of the Sisters of Battle, Grey Knights, and Tau. My favs...
If you are a fan of the DOW series, I don't think it would be possible for you to be disappointed here. In my book it goes down as the best of the series so far and I look forward to the expansions that will inevitably follow.