Friday, October 15, 2004

Dawn of War

So I picked up the new Warhammer 40,000 real time strategy computer game Dawn of War. It's not bad. I'm not exactly the biggest fan of the RTS format. I'll play it, and indeed I've wasted more hours than I'd care to admit on, but on the whole I think it is actually a pretty shallow genre. RTS games are all about resource management; how you spend your first thousand points, gold, minerals, whatever, will generally decide the whole game. And, in those cases where such expenditures are not decisive, between players of equal skill for instance, the vagaries of micro-management dictate the final outcome. On the whole I suppose it isn't the worst way to wittle life down twenty minutes at a time, but there are certainly better game formats around.

Measured against other RTS types, Dawn of War isn't bad. The graphics are nice, though large battles and certain terrain types can cause some lag, especially on lower-end machines. I play the 40k miniatures game, so the background story is of some interest to me. Dawn of War actually captures the 40k flavor pretty well, and I recommend it to fans of the table top version. The four races have are all fairly equal, though the Eldar are probably the best and the Orks are probably the worst. Leaders are too important though, and they come out too early. It isn't as bad as Warcraft 3 in that regard, but it would've been better if leaders were higher up on the tech tree.

So, if you are a fan of real-time strategy games, or if you're a Warhammer 40,000 player, I recommend you pick up Dawn of War and give it a try. If you're on the Gamespy multi-player thing they have, the LeperColony is always up for a match.

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