BY CHRIS GAINOR
“Dawn of War 2” makes an interesting twist on the Real Time Strategy genre.
The standard process of building up bases has been replaced with on the fly upgrading of units and leveling of units. “Dawn of War 2” is shaping up to be another outstanding game.
“Dawn of War 2” is currently out in beta for the general public. The beta contains four playable races, two modes of multiplayer and five maps. The playable races are the Space Marines, Orks, Eldar and Tyranids. Each race has three Commander units, varying in roles between offensive, defensive and support.
The two multiplayer modes are Annihilate and Victory Point Control. Annihilate is the simple destruction of your opponent’s headquarters. Victory Point Control starts with both teams at 500 points, as your team gains strategic points on the map.
As long as your team has one more strategic point than your opponent, the points will begin to decrease. The game is over once the points reach zero. The strategic points easily change hands, which makes the battles a constant struggle.
Each of the five maps is fairly balanced. Strewn about each map are Requisition nodes and Power nodes. Both of these are resources required for the building of the units.
Just as the strategic points, the resource nodes switch hands easily and must be defended. Terrain can provide cover for units lowering damage taken from opponents. This becomes an important stratagem in battles.
The combat of “Dawn of War 2” is focused on keeping units alive. Each loss of a unit is a loss of a valuable investment of the unit costs, equipment costs, and experience.
Use of cover, use of equipment based on what is being attacked, and maintaining resources are all keys to victory.
“Dawn of War 2” is showing strong signs of being just as strong as the first. In the competitive field of real time strategy, balance is necessary to create a game that is reliant on the player’s skill. “Dawn of War 2” is achieving this balance and testing the skills of players. The full game is being released Feb 19.