WARHAMMER 40K: DAWN OF WAR / THQ / PC
My only dabble with the Warhammer 40k universe prior to this is when a circle of friends I had about 10 years ago got into the tabletop game and made an effort to recruit me as well. I was somewhat interested until I learned that it's about a $200 investment plus there's figurine painting involved.
Point is, I know little of Warhammer, backstory, or previous games. But it's clear that this is a Starcraft/Command & Conquer clone skinned with the 40k universe. The one exception is that instead of different mines and such that you have to stream Peons to and from, "resources" are simplified into one generic pool of money that is drawn from "strategic control points" scattered about each map (a concept appropriated from the more obscure RTS Ground Control.)
The tutorial is an utter waste of time as it has to excruciatingly take an hour and a half slowly rehashing basic RTS concepts. Dude, we know your game is a clone, you're not fooling anybody here. You don't need to re-teach the stuff that people have been doing since Dune 2. It takes about half an hour to even get around to shooting a motherfucker; the whole tutorial map could have been completed in less than that if it didn't take so much time faffing about, and just accentuated the differences between this and all the RTS games it lifts from. Which turns out to not be much; Dawn of War isn't big on depth or strategy, maps tend to focus on simply guarding control points while you pump out heaps of Space Marines to bulldoze everything along a fairly linear path.
And there's another thing - you appear to only be able to play as the Space Marines here, at least in campaign. I was kind of hoping to get an introduction to the 40k universe here with multiple campaigns or perspective swapping a la, say, Warcraft 3. Instead the plot is about as bare-bones as it gets; bald religious fanatic meatheads kill everything in their path because lol non-humans are heretics. Welp. Perhaps I'm better off, as this appears to be one of those authoritarian military fantasy porn worlds where every faction is either a shallow imperialist jackoff or Demonic Evil and the whole appeal centers around satisfying the inner 14-year-old of nerds with giant high-tech death-dealing superweapons.
"Good-looking and mechanically solid, but derivative and kind of tiresome" is about the best you can expect from a THQ-published game, and that's exactly what this is.
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