DEVELOPER: Relic Entertainment
DESIGNER: Philippe Boulle
COMPOSER: Paul Leonard-Morgan
PLATFORM: Microsoft Windows
RELEASE DATE: 27th April 2017

WAR! What is it good for?

Apparently, a third instalment of the Warhammer 40,000 video game series, so that’s something!

Last week, the SBOC team took on Relic, Sega and Games Workshop when we headed over to the Institute of Engineering and Technology, where they showcased their upcoming title, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III. Combining some elements from its predecessors alongside exciting new features, DoWIII is set to be a great 2017 release.

The player takes command of one of the different races in the game, which initially are limited to the Eldar, Space Marines and Orks. Each race has a different set of heroes, tactics and products, all of which must play into their real-time tactical gameplay if they have any hope of disabling their enemies camps. We got to sit down with some representatives from the developers and publishers, who outlined for us the key strategies for each race.

The Eldar were my personal favourite in terms of gameplay and design; set up as the elves of space, they specialise in ‘hit-and-run’ attack formations, using their strong offensive skills before the enemy can target their weak defences. Led by Farseer Macha from the original game, the Eldar offer up futuristic elegance to the battlefield, slashing and smashing with sophistication and control.

These guys are, in many ways, the ‘starter’ set for those learning the ropes of the game, and with a face like Gabriel Angelos keeping you in line, it’s not surprising that the marines are the regimented footmen that they are. The Blood Ravens are certainly a force to be reckoned with, and whilst there are no ‘good/bad’ guys in this war, the superhuman’s from the future are definitely a dynamic set of fighters worth researching.

Perhaps the most iconic race of the Warhammer series, the Orks are a hilarious dive into the world of tanking. It certainly helps that the voice acting covering their battle-play consists predominantly of cursing, yelps and deeply satisfying cockney accents. Their leader, Warlord Gorgutz, may be above the average intelligence of the rest of his race, but even he cannot suppress their madness and chaos. Orks are a great race to play once you understand the basic tactics of the game, and should definitely be given a chance!

The base features of the game hearken back to the traditional RTS base-building of the first game, but also draw in some awesome additions made possible by game evolution and technology alongside the incredible inventiveness of the developers. Something to look forward to as the game hits the market is definitely the heroes and the big ol’ walkers, whose special attacks are near-euphoric in their devastation.

As far as the impression we got on the day goes, it seems like Sega and Relic Entertainment really had their heads screwed on with this one. The setting is beautiful and powerful, and certainly intriguing for those of us interested in good storytelling, and the passion that the developers feel for the game and its focusses is palpable. As long as they really utilise the hard work they’ve clearly put into the design of the misty planetary panes, the aesthetics of the game should be one of the massive highlights.

If you’re a fan of the Age of Empire, Homeworld and StarCraft series, DoW III is a natural successor to add to the game library. Beta sign-ups are now open, too, so what are you waiting for? Get smashing!

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