So over the weekend I got to play around on the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III Open Beta, and even though the Beta had very limited game features, I still had a lot of fun. So I feel that I should start this review by stating my previous experience with the Dawn of War Series. I didn’t grow up playing this series, so there is no “nostalgia” bonus for me when playing this series. I remember getting the entire Dawn of War 1 Collection and Dawn of War 2 Collection on a Steam Sale a few years back and started playing them then. I began with DOW 1 and played through the Single Player Campaign until I got to this stupid mission in one of the expansion packs that made me basically rage quit the game. A few years later I jumped into the DOW 2 Series and played through a majority of the single player campaigns before moving on to some other game. Please don’t let this mislead you into thinking I didn’t enjoy DOW 2, I really did, I just also have ADD which makes it difficult for me to play a whole game beginning to end. So let it be know that if I sit down and finish a game to completion without switching to another game, that means that game is fire.
So If you noticed I spent a majority of my time in DOW 1&2 playing only the single player campaigns. So when I booted up the DOW 3 Beta to discover that only the Tutorial and Multiplayer were the only actual playable parts of the beta, I was in for a surprise. Also, since I have almost 0 multiplayer experience from the other games, I might not be able to do that good of a job comparing the multiplayer part of this game to the others in this series. So of course I started out with the tutorial. When playing the tutorial the biggest change I noticed were these “Capture” points that once your units captured the point a shield would form around them blocking all ranged attacks. This means that if you want to attack units in one of these shields you will have to send melee units to drive them out of there. The rest of the tutorial was very similar to the rest of the games in the DOW Franchise, just with a few optimizations. After finishing I decided to step it up to the big leagues and try out multiplayer. The beta only allowed you to play 3 factions: Space Marines, Orks and Eldar. From my research I see that those 3 factions will have their own single player campaign. And, from my experience with the other games in this series, you could play other factions than just these 3 when playing multiplayer so I assume that might be something that’s added on in the future. Since I played the Space Marines in the Tutorial, I decided to stick with them when going online. Once I got loaded in I really had no idea what I was doing, so I just started building stuff and hoped no one would yell at me. As the match progressed I was able to understand the basics of how these matches play out and tried my best to contribute.
Here’s the basics of multiplayer matches from my understanding. First your team captures control points and build listening posts on them to generate your team’s resources. There are a number of these control points that will be in a contested area so you will have to fight the other team for some of these control points. So once you and your team start getting resources and building your armies you then go and try to fight the other team. Here’s where this game differs from other RTS games I have played. Instead of having to wipe out the other team’s entire base and army, there is a large structure your team will destroy in order to beat the other team. Similar to a “Nexus” from other MOBA type games. But I believe that this does not make this game a MOBA, it’s more just a borrowed feature from that genre that helps streamline the match and makes things more efficient in my opinion. Instead of having to wipe out each and every last unit your team just has to destroy an object, making it easier to coordinate and focus your armies.
Even though I didn’t win any of my multiplayer matches I still had a blast playing them. There is obviously a pretty large learning curve to this game that can’t really be achieved by casually playing over a weekend. As a more casual player of this series I really wanted a few single player missions to play during the beta, but I’m guessing they want to keep those out due to spoilers. As far as my recommendation for this game is concerned, I will recommend this game for those who are fans of RTS games and are looking for a new challenge. I’m also pretty sure fans of other titles of this series will not be disappointed with this new installation. Since I wasn’t able to play any single player missions, I have a different recommendation for more casual players like me. If you haven’t played Dawn of War 1 or 2, grab those from your favorite video games distribution platform and play through those. It will give you a very good idea if you like the series or not and since those games are pretty old now they should come at a very good price. I grabbed my copies during a steam sale and think I paid around $20 for all of DOW 1 and 2 and their DLC’s. If I’m able to get a copy of this game after release expect a much more detailed review of the single player campaigns.
Check out the game on Steam
Disclosure: We received the Beta copy during Open Beta.
Check Out The Developers: Relic Entertainment
Check out the Publishers: Sega