Dawn of War: The Complete Collection

Warhammer 40,000 brought to the PC in a very nicely packaged real-time strategy(RTS) game. Lots of WAAAGH, lots of fights and lots of races. This package incorporates Dawn Of War and all of its expansions Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm.

Release Date

Dawn of War: September 2004.
Winter Assault: September 2005.
Dark Crusade: October 2006.
Soulstorm: March 2008.

Pros

Very good animations of everything from building construction to gun fights and artillery fire.

Sounds great too. Everything from the gunfire to the screams of dying soldiers.

The melee special kill animations are quite entertaining to watch.

Infantry go flying when artillery shells hit or when they get whacked by a big unit.

Some units are customizable in terms of what weapons to arm them with. Unlike The Moon Project though you do not design your units before summoning them. Instead, you summon a base model of the unit and then buy add-ons for them individually.

Army painter! Put your own badges and banners and paint your own colour schemes.

It has nine different races to play and they are quite different.

Very easy to get into including very good tutorials to get you started. Each race has their own tutorial. Although most of the things are the same, it is worth going through each race’s tutorial to learn the unique characteristics of each race. The tutorials are also slightly different between the different expansions.

Plain Dawn Of War, Winter Assault and Dark Crusade does not need the CD in the drive to play.

The Orks’ dialogue is funny. I wonder if using the Orks in the table top game is just as entertaining.

Mods! Mods! Mods! Get some from Mod DB or FileFront.

Cons

This game requires a lot of micromanagement. If your guys are in a fight and you look away for too long, they can disappear real quick! There are no auto retreat or auto use abilities. I guess I got spoilt by Sins of a Solar Empire.

Soulstorm needs the CD in the drive to play. Quite disappointing since all the other ones do not need the CD.

Other Points

The camera is quite flexible but cannot zoom out far enough.

This is the bloodiest real-time strategy game I have ever played. That can be a plus or a minus depending on whether you like this kind of stuff.

The main campaigns for plain Dawn of War and Winter Assault are static story driven missions. But for Dark Crusade and Soulstorm the campaign is played on a risk style turn-based map similar to that of Rise of Nations. And when your army attacks an enemy’s territory, a standard Dawn of War battle is played. You cannot influence a battle from the campaign map as much as in Rise of Nations though.

The campaign missions for Winter Assault felt a bit unbalanced. I was going through the campaign on easy difficulty and sure enough, it was easy enough on the first three missions, but the final two missions became very difficult. This applied to every race. Each of the race’s final two missions took me several goes before I could complete them.

Biases

I did not know anything about Warhammer 40,000 until playing this game.

I have only completed the vanilla Dawn of War and Winter Assault campaigns and only on the easiest difficulty of normal. I also played skirmish games at various difficulties.

I really liked Dune 2, Command And Conquer, C&C Tiberian Sun, C&C3 Tiberium Wars, Act Of War, Sins of a Solar Empire and Rise of Nations.

I also liked Empire Earth 2, Dark Reign, Warcraft 1 and 2, Supreme Commander and Total Annihilation.

I did not like Homeworld.

I look forward to winning my first multiplayer game.

DRM

Soulstorm needs the disc to be in the drive to play. The others do not.

All the games require an activation key to be entered to play the games.

The Steam version requires Steam (oh der!).

Patches

Dark Crusade 1.11 – Patch for Dawn of War: Dark Crusade. This must be installed before the 1.20 patch.

Dark Crusade 1.11 to 1.20 – Patch for Dawn of War: Dark Crusade.

Soulstorm 1.00 to 1.10 – Patch for Dawn of War: Soulstorm. This must be installed before the 1.20 patch.

Soulstorm 1.10 to 1.20 – Patch for Dawn of War: Soulstorm.

Minimum Requirements (as stated on box)

  • Windows 2000/XP
  • 2.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon XP or equivalent processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • DirectX 9.0c(included on disc)
  • 64 MB DirectX 9.0c compatible AGP video card with Hardware Transformation and Lighting
  • DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card, 16 bit
  • 12.5 GB free hard drive space
  • 8x DVD-ROM drive
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse

Computer Played On

  • Core 2 Duo 2.16GHz
  • 2Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon X1600 256Mb RAM (laptop version)
  • Logitech G35 headset and/or Realtek HD Audio(no idea what model) with Altec Lansing ACS41 speakers or Logitech ClearChat Premium PC Headset.
  • Win XP Pro
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

My Creations

Car brands and Mr. Bean banners and badges for the army painter. Download Dawn of War badges and banners.

Not really a creation but here is a recording of me emulating the commando from Command & Conquer, humans and orcs from WarCraft 2 and the Chaos Marines from Dawn of War.

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