DoW 2 Impressions

14 Dec

Kotaku’s AJ Glasser has posted impressions of several rounds of Relic’s Dawn of War 2, and it’s pleasantly revealing.  It seems like DoW 2 shares more in common with Company of Heroes (what Relic has referred to as slingshotting), just as Company of Heroes seemed to have built upon DoW 1’s design.

Glasser notes that each race has an offensive, defensive, and support ‘class’ to choose from at the outset of a game; a refinement of CoH’s three more general and varied ‘class’ options for each faction.  In CoH this meant a unique tech tree; in DoW 2 it seems to mean a unique hero unit.  Hopefully this offense/defense/support option means more than just a specialized unit and factors into what sort of squads are available so you’ll be forced to craft different strategies to deal with each type of army.

There are now three main resources: requisition, power, and command.  Requisition is traditionally for infantry and power for vehicles, and it seems like command points will be used for building on captured points or upgrading your commander unit.  With the presumably smaller army sizes it seems that hero units will be playing a more important role in the game, as Glasser mentions her Eldar support hero was able to continually resurrect her teammate’s Space Marine hero.  Alongside hero units are avatars — more powerful units available to all factions.  It seems like they’ll act as a traditional tech benchmark: the first player that gets access to avatar units is going to have a big advantage.

But what sounds most exciting is that Glasser admits to being a turtler; preferring to base build early on and amass a late game army to walk all over her opponent.  I have friends who enjoy this tactic, but honestly it usually leads to a boring game if they pull it off, or an embarrasingly fast one if they don’t defend themselves well enough early on as they build up their economy.  And now, she genuinely doesn’t feel like she needs to do that.  If the game can convince turtlers to shed their shells, (ha!) that’s a sign that Relic has managed to give players enough control and security while on the move that they don’t feel like they would be better off hiding.  Which means more accessibility, and less people quitting prematurely, which will be a welcome change.

*UPDATE*

Rock Paper Shotgun has scored a video of DoW 2 multiplayer in action!  Check it out.

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