Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War – Winter Assault (2005, PC)

Cover Art

Hello everybody, this is my review of the 2005 expansion to the hit RTS game, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. This was the first expansion to Dawn of War and it was published by THQ and developed by Relic Entertainment, the same companies that worked on the main game. The game introduces a new faction, the Imperial Guard.

It’s your choice!

Plot:

The plot of the game is divided into two and it takes place on the Ice planet Lorn V. When I say it is divided into two it means you can play the same story from two different perspectives, Order and Disorder.

ORDER

In the order campaign the Imperial Guard are sent to Lorn V to find and fix an Imperial Titan. A titan is a machine of immense power that can change the tide of entire campaigns forget about battles. On the way, the Imperial Guard meet fierce resistance from the Orks and Chaos and when all seems doomed and hopeless for the Imperial Guard, suddenly they win or break through. The Imperial Guard become suspicious that someone or something is helping them, and they are right. A small force of Eldar, led by Farseer Taldeer are assisting the Imperial Guard as they need assistance against a new threat, the Necron. The Necron are an ancient race that gave their souls for immortality and are now trapped forever in machines fighting across the galaxy. The Imperial Guard make it to the titan and power it just before the Necron show up. With the might of the titan the Imperial Guard destroy the Necron forces and win back Lorn V.

DISORDER

In the Disorder campaign you are leading a WAAAGH!, an ork war led by the Ork Warboss Gorgutz. The Ork and Chaos forces clash and slaughter each other until the Imperial Guard arrive and force an allegiance between Ork and Chaos. The allegiance is fragile at best and both forces still kill each other. The Chaos Lord Crull, wants the titan for himself so he can corrupt the machine spirit inside it and use it to devastating effect. Crull and Gorgutz defeat the Imperial, Eldar and Necron forces. Gorgutz turns on Crull and slaughters him. After beating all the enemies on Lorn V, Gorgutz and his WAAAGH! look to the next planet to take under his command.

So what did I think?

To be very honest there isn’t a lot of differences from the expansion to the main game, mainly a lot of gameplay changes. The graphics are the same, though that isn’t to say that they aren’t vivid, pretty and great to look at, though a little dated now.

They took on a different composer for the expansion from Jeremy Soule to Inon Zur. Inon Zur is a huge name in the gaming soundtrack industry. The games I would know his compositions from would be: Fallout (3,NV,4). Crysis and Dragon Age: Origins. The soundtrack is fantastic and it is quite militaristic. There is a sense of honour, pride and duty to the Imperial Guard soundtrack which perfectly fits in to their ethos, while the Eldar soundtracks are much more subtle and quiet. With the Ork and Chaos soundtracks comes dread, fear and anticipation of something bad. The songs fit the mood and they add to the character of each army.

The Imperial Guard as an army themselves are quite effective. Their infantry are cheap, but bad at fighting unless you upgrade them, then they become dangerous and in some cases a little overpowered. The magnum opus of the Imperial Guard forces are their armour. The tanks and artillery of the Imperial Guard are absolutely devastatingly powerful and very few armies can match the strength and ferocity of Imperial Guard armour. A fun army to play if you want a bit of danger, because until you get to the armour and building your vehicles, they are quite vulnerable.

The story was good. It was interesting seeing the Eldar and Imperial Guard working together as allies of convenience and I enjoyed the Order campaign. What I did not enjoy was the Disorder campaign. I found the missions to be tedious, boring and just pointless. I felt like there was way too much dragging out of things and increasing the play time for the sake of it instead of giving it a good reason. Overall a good story, but if I was to play it again I would just stick to the Order campaign myself.

Graphics: No difference to the Dawn of War graphics, so I must give it the same score. 7/10

Sound: Another amazing soundtrack from an extremely talented and well known composer. The sounds of battle are as fierce and exciting as Dawn of War: 10/10

Game play: The gameplay is the same, but with an extra faction? Yes please. The campaign let it down a bit though and I thought the Disorder missions were tedious and boring. 8/10

Worth: It is, but only for the extra faction. The story isn’t all that great for me. It has 10 missions split over 2 campaigns and 5 of those missions I didn’t really enjoy. 7/10

Story: It was okay, as I said I didn’t enjoy the Disorder campaign, but that was more about the playability. It was interesting seeing the factions team up and seeing the danger of the Necron forces. So overall it was an okay story. 6/10

Total: 76/100 C+

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (2004, PC)

Cover Art

Name: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (2004)

Developed/Published By: Relic Entertainment/THQ

Genre: Real-Time Strategy

Platforms: Microsoft Windows

Players: Single player, Multi player

Age Rating: PEGI 16

Hello everybody, this is my review of the video game, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. Dawn of War is a Real-Time Strategy game set in the grim dark world of Warhammer 40,000. The game was developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, COMMANDER!

Plot:

The plot itself is centered around a planet called, Tartarus. A horde of Orks have invaded the Imperial planet and are slaughtering the Imperial forces on the world. To answer this, the Imperium sent the Blood Ravens chapter of the Space Marines, super soldiers that fight for the Emperor of Mankind. The commanding officers of the Space Marine forces is a man named Captain Gabriel Angelos and his Librarian (Magic-Wielder) Isador. Initially the Space Marines must make planet fall to aid the Imperial Guard forces on Tartarus. A small force lands and destroys the Orks that are at the landing site. The Space Marines have many ferocious battles with the Orks until their scouts tell them that there are also Chaos forces operating on the planet.

The Orks are eventually driven back and defeated but Eldar (Space Elves) are found to be operating on the planet too which makes the plot even more confusing for Captain Angelos. Hidden in the darkness is a Chaos Sorcerer named Sindri who is feeding Isador with information, as he wants him to help the Chaos forces. Of course, Sindri doesn’t tell Isador this as he has him believe that what he is doing is for the good of the Imperium. The Eldar and Imperium fight in some battles until it is found out that the Eldar are here to stop Chaos from getting a key and releasing something…something bad. The Eldar tell you that because of all the battles between them and yourselves, they don’t have the strength to fight Chaos and that you must do it alone.

The Blood Ravens give a hammering to the Chaos forces on Tartarus and the Chaos leader, Lord Bale is eventually killed. Just as everything is going right, betrayal, as Isador turns his back on the Imperium and betrays Captain Angelos. Angelos delivers swift justice to the traitorous librarian, but Sindri gets away with the key. Sindri uses the key to ascend into a daemon prince. Angelos, the Blood Ravens and the final remaining forces of Eldar all come together for a final battle with Sindri and his horde of demons. Angelos defeats Sindri and the key is free, the Eldar tell Angelos not to destroy it as it will bring something much worse but Angelos does not listen and smashes the key. Because of this an even more powerful demon is set free and tells Angelos that the planet is actually an altar to the Chaos god of blood and murder, Khorne, and that every being killed on the planet fueled the demon’s release. The demon tells Angelos that he will allow him to live for setting him free and Angelos walks away telling the demon he will be waiting for him. THE END.

So what did I think?

The game is played like a good ol’ classic RTS. Base building, resource gathering and army building are the order of the day with this game. The base game starts you off with four races and I would say three of those are vastly different with Chaos and the Imperium being basically the same army with some variation. There are a number of game modes within skirmish such as annihilate, which is destroy all enemy buildings, control area, which is controlling the most resource points on the map and assassinate which involves killing the enemy commander.

The game play is fun and it keeps you interested as every army would have their own ways of dealing with situations. The Orks for example would be a horde army and would try and overwhelm you with numbers while the Eldar would be a lot more conservative and use hit and run tactics. The Imperium and Chaos forces would be an all rounder army and have an answer for all situations and while it is good for them to be like that, it creates two problems:

  1. They are overpowered – Having an answer to every situation means you don’t have to really think or use tactics, just send the force that would be required to deal with whatever is happening. I’ll put it to you this way, if the Space Marines lose, that is your fault.
  2. They are boring – Basically the same point. You don’t really have to worry about tactics so it becomes kind of monotonous playing them.

The graphics of the game are nice and still hold up to this day, but they have aged and not too well. I mean don’t get me wrong, in 2004 this game was beautiful and it was everything I was looking for in a Warhammer 40k game, even graphics wise, but 17 years is a long time in the video game world. That being said, if you are buying this game you would know what year it came out so you would have an idea of how it would look, so as I said, the graphics are still pretty nice. Between the different units, cool settings and fierce battle scenes, it really makes the Warhammer 40,000 world come to life in a way we had never seen it before, and I love that.

Next we will talk about sounds and music and the first thing I will have to say is the voice acting is absolutely on point as to what I would think everyone will sound like. You have to remember, bar some audio books and some older games, most of the Warhammer 40k races wouldn’t have been heard, so this would almost be the first time hearing them and all I can say is that it is exactly the way I would imagine it to be. The Orks are humourous yet fierce. The Eldar are refined and emotive. The Chaos voices are full of rage and fear and the Space Marines are noble and determined. The sounds of battle are absolutely perfect also, from the roar of the chainsword to the exploding fire of a Bolter, this scenes of battle are created with these amazing sound effects.

The soundtrack for the game is one of my favourite video game soundtracks ever. Every song is an absolute masterpiece and you can tell that they put a lot of effort and love into it to give you these spine chilling experiences at home. The composer for the game is Jeremy Soule who was worked on over 60 video game soundtracks. He composed the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Supreme Commander to name but a few. As a veteran of the industry, it is no wonder why the soundtrack sounds as good as it does.

So, what are my final thoughts? Dawn of War has stood the test of time in the RTS genre and is regarded as one of the best RTS games ever created. It is certainly one of my favourite RTS games and with the three expansions that came out after that only added to how epic the game is, the game never gets boring. Of course there are two sequels to the game, Dawn of War II and III respectively but they are a lot different to the original and I would say personally to just stick to the first one. Fun, fierce and fast, a great game all around and one that I will continue playing as long as computers can run them.

Graphics: Nice, but quite aged. For the time the graphics were stunning but they don’t hold up too well anymore. That being said I still enjoy the graphics. 7/10

Sound: From the amazing soundtrack by Jeremy Soule to the some of the fiercest battle noises in an RTS, the sounds are incredible. Another nice touch is the background noise is mostly sounds of other battles going on across the planet and I for one think that is a nice touch: 10/10

Game play: Excellent RTS, very tactical for the most part and extremely enjoyable. It has definitely earned its place in RTS history. 10/10

Worth: Yes! For many reasons. If you’re a fan of RTS games you will enjoy it. If you’re a fan of Warhammer 40,000 you will enjoy it. If you’re a fan of both…well enough said really. 10/10

Story: The story is okay but it’s a typical Warhammer 40,000 short story. Space Marines fighting Chaos and the same old shenanigans going on. It’s an okay story but one I have dealt with MANY times. 6/10

Total: 86/100 B+

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Warhammer Lore: Chaos

The star of Chaos

Hello everybody! Last time I wrote about the glorious Emperor of Mankind and a little about his back story, now I must speak of the single greatest threat to the galaxy, something that is older than time itself, Chaos.

Firstly, what is Chaos? Have you ever felt anger and the wanting of bloodshed? That is Chaos, specifically Khorne, the god of blood and murder. Have you ever felt lust for someone? Or wanting more than you have even though you know it could be bad for you? That is Chaos, specifically, Slaanesh, the god of excess and decadence. Have you ever felt sickness or even beaten a cold or flu? That is Chaos, specifically Nurgle, the god of disease and decay. Lastly have you even felt tricksy? That is Chaos, specifically Tzeentch, the god of magic and change.

Chaos is ruled by four gods and each of these gods are as horrid as the next, but in their own separate ways. Khorne and his followers would massacre and rip apart your body just for looking at them the wrong way. Slaanesh would give you everything you desire and more than your body can handle. You would become a horrific shell of a person that is always chasing after something they can never achieve and things will become more excessive as it goes along. Nurgle will rot your body from the inside out and fill you will deadly plagues and diseases, but you will feel none of it. Not only that, you would thank Nurgle for his “gift” and try to spread it to everyone else. And Tzeentch would destroy your mind and make you question everything you ever knew about everything until you become a babbling mess.

The four Chaos gods: Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh respectively

Chaos started out as three major gods, Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch but Slaanesh was born at the fall of the great Eldar empire. The Eldar or Aeldari as they’re known nowadays used to have the most powerful star spanning empire that was ever known. They eliminated the notion of need, there was no sickness, no famine, no wars, everything was paradise…but too much paradise can be a bad thing. Because the Aeldari became bored and strived for nothing, they started dabbling in the extreme. From sexual pleasure that went way beyond the norm to torture, killing, experiments and basically anything they wanted to do. This excess in pleasure and pain spread all across the Aeldari empire and there was such a build up of psychic energy that Slaanesh was born out of all this Chaos. When Slaanesh arrived she devoured countless Aeldari souls and destroyed their vast empire overnight. Some escaped and others continued that life and became the Drukhari (Dark Eldar). The Drukhari are masters of torture and vile experimentation. It is said that it is better to die then be captured by the Drukhari as they will mutilate and abuse your body and mind until they are bored of you. Even then, they might just tear your skin off and force you to live anyway. Nothing is too extreme in the eyes of the Drukhari.

The four Chaos gods in their infinite wisdom and mischief ended up turning the Emperor’s most favoured son, Horus Lupercal or Warmaster Horus, against him and corrupted him from the inside out which led to the Horus Heresy and ended the golden age of Mankind. Brother turned against brother and the galaxy burned for all to see. Some of the legions that turned devoted themselves to specific gods. The World Eaters through their barbarity and vicious ways turned to Khorne. The Death Guard, masters of chemical and biological warfare turned to Nurgle. The Emperor’s Children, a legion that has always strived for perfection, no matter the cost pledged themselves to Slaanesh and finally the Thousand Sons, followers of Magnus the Red and users of warp magic turned to Tzeentch. Even though there were five other legions that fell to the darkness of Chaos, they never committed themselves to one Chaos god over another and because of this they became, Chaos Undivided.

Chaos Marines of the four gods.

The ultimate goal of Chaos is to overtake the galaxy and bring all creatures big and small under it’s influence, but if something is this powerful then why hasn’t it done it yet? Well one answer, the Emperor of Mankind. Even though the Emperor is sitting on a Golden Throne from being mortally wounded by Horus Lupercal, he is still battling the forces of Chaos in the warp. Being one of the most powerful psykers in history means he has enough strength to hold most of Chaos at bay, but if his strength fails, then Chaos will overrun the galaxy and it will be quickly destroyed. Let there be no question, Chaos is the ultimate evil in the Warhammer 40,000 universe and in a universe where happiness and hope are in minuscule quantities, that is saying something. There are the most vile, repugnant, horrific beings that mankind can conjure up and they will not stop until all life in all parts of the galaxy feel the embrace of Chaos.

Will you fall to the darkness? Do you hear the voices of Chaos? Will you slaughter for the blood god and add more skulls to the skull throne? Will you let life rot and embrace the gift of plagues? Will you explore the extremities of pain and pleasure at once and make sure friend and foe alike feel the same? Or will you change, manipulate and exploit until madness is the only thing you can call friend? Oh you think you’re strong enough to fight the call of Chaos. Think again, friend, many have fallen to its gifts and one day you shall fall too. Just remember one very important thing….Chaos is eternal!

I hope you enjoyed my very brief write up on the lore of Chaos. There are many more stories, champions and forces belonged to the doomed factions and I can’t wait to explore them all with you. So I will end it here and say, as always, thank you for reading.

Warhammer Lore: The Emperor of Mankind

The glorious Emperor of Mankind

Hello everybody! This is a new segment where I will discuss Warhammer and other Games Workshop games lore. Today we will be begin by very briefly talking about probably the most famous figure from Warhammer 40,000: The Emperor of Mankind.

The Emperor was formed through the powers of all the shamans of Earth, the first people with psychic powers or psykers. The Emperor is thought to be created around the 8th Millennium B.C. While the Emperor was in his mother’s womb, through his sheer psychic power he made himself immortal and unable to be attacked by demons. Not a lot is known about the Emperor’s previous life before the Unification wars on Terra other then the fact that he travelled around the world, helping his fellow man and stepping in as a leader when it was needed. Terra became a wasteland eventually. Technobarbarians, cruel and ruthless warlords controlled Terra and had merciless, bloody wars. The Emperor then stepped up and revealed himself and through his leadership he unified the forces of Terra using his Thunder Warriors to destroy the armies of the Technobarbarians with a bitter civil war that went on from a few centuries to a full millennium, to become the Imperium of Mankind. The Emperor’s mission was to unite all of humanity under one banner, his, and to reject the ideas of religion and gods and superstition and to focus on science and the advancement of humanity, he called this concept ‘The Imperial Truth’. To do this, the Emperor raised twenty…eighteen…legions of his amazing warriors, the Space Marines or Adeptus Astartes.

Each Space Marine was led by a leader called a primarch. The primarchs were created using the Emperor’s DNA or geneseed, basically becoming the Emperor’s sons. But disaster struck, while the primarchs were infants a warp storm took the primarchs and launched them to every corner of the galaxy. The Emperor set forth on a crusade to find his missing children and finally unite humanity. One by one the Emperor found his children and put them at the head of their respective legions. For 200 years, humanity was in a golden age. Conquering previously held regions of space, finding lost colonies and unifying humanity…but the lure of the forces of Chaos was too much.

The Emperor leading his crusade

The Emperor had to go back to Terra to look after an extremely important project that would have greatly helped humanity, the webway project. I will be speaking more about this as time goes on. He appointed his favourite and first found son, Horus Lupercal, primarch of the XVIth legion, the Luna Wolves, as his general and representative on the front. He dubbed him, Warmaster Horus. Under Horus’s guidance, the crusade continued to thrive. But the Chaos gods had other plans and tempted Horus and eight of his brothers to side against the Emperor and cause a galactic civil war, known as the Horus Heresy. The Horus Heresy ripped the galaxy apart and for seven long years, brother fought brother until Horus finally made it to Terra.

Horus launched an attack on Terra and the Imperial Palace, home of the Emperor, and invaded with everything he had. For fifty five days, the Imperium seen some of the most brutal fighting it had ever known. Horus stayed on his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit. The Emperor along with a retinue of Terminators, elite warriors of the Adeptus Astartes, Legio Custodes, his personal bodyguards and Rogal Dorn and Sanguinus, the primarchs of the Imperial Fists and Blood Angels legions respectively, teleported to the Vengeful Spirit. It is here that Sanguinus was slain by Horus, but dealt a chink of damage to his armour. The Emperor came upon his two sons, one dead and lying at the feet of his former favourite son. The Emperor fought Horus and even though his power was great, Horus, powered by the four chaos gods found greater strength. The Emperor eventually defeated Horus using the damage that Sanguinus inflicted on his brother, but he himself was mortally wounded. Rogal Dorn found the Emperor, near death and brought him back to the Imperial Palace on Terra. Here, ten thousand years later, the Emperor is trapped inside the Golden Throne, a life support machine that keeps him in a state of undying.

The Emperor facing Horus with Sanguinus dead.

The Emperor is still a shining light to all those who travel the warp, an area of space where ships can travel faster than light but it is also where warp entities such as demons and vile gods reside. The Emperor’s mighty psychic power is used as a “lighthouse” called the Astronomicon. psykers can see this light and know where they are in relation to Terra. Without this, thousands of ships would be lost in the warp along with millions or even billions of lives. The Emperor is also holding back the true power of Chaos by fighting them psychically in the warp. Without the Emperor shielding the galaxy from the powers of Chaos, Chaos would flood the galaxy with everything they had and there would be no doubt at all that all life would extinguish and be consumed by Chaos. But this power does not come cheap, the Emperor must eat a thousand psyker souls a day to feed his power and keep the Astronomicon lighting and Chaos at bay.

The Emperor’s Golden Throne

These days the Emperor is revered as a god, the one thing he wanted to stamp out. He is now referred to mostly as the God-Emperor by the Ecclesiarchy, the religious sect of the Imperium who make sure that the citizens of the Imperium worship and pray to the Emperor everyday through a brutal regime. The Imperium returned to the days of religious zealousness, superstition and intolerance and in turn stopped advancing technologically which went against everything the Emperor taught his people. This is enforced by ‘The Imperial Creed’, a religious doctrine, issued by the Ecclesiarchy and upheld by the Inquisition, much to the annoyance of most Adeptus Astartes who do not see the Emperor as a god being.

There is so much more to the Emperor of Mankind, but I thought I would keep this brief and not overload you in the beginning. I will touch on more aspects of the Emperor’s life and his role in the Imperium nowadays.

I hope you enjoy and as always, thanks for reading!

Damien Doomslayer’s gaming blog!

My namesake

Hello everybody, I’m Damien Doomslayer and this is my blog. My blog is going to be about games, whether they be video, board, card or role-play. I have been a gamer for most of my life. I grew up with a brother who was and still is really into gaming and that gave me the interest in the hobby.

My first video game memory is sneaking into my brother’s room to watch him play Doom on the PlayStation 1 when I was only about 3 or 4. The graphics and the game play absolutely astounded me when I was a child and to this day, Doom is still my favourite game/gaming franchise of all time

Doomguy kicking demon ass in Doom (1993)

My brother also introduced me to the world of Battle tech, Warhammer 40k and other war game systems. I started playing both Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy Battle when I was about 12. I loved both games but in recent times I have stopped playing them. I have switched over to Kill Team which seems easier to get a game in as I don’t need as many models or time. Other war game systems I have an interest in are Flames of War, Wings of Glory, Blood Red Skies, Rapid Fire, Stargrunt, Full Thrust, Star Wars X-Wing and Star Wars Armada.

The Crimson Fists Chapter of Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000

Card games are probably the first games that most children get involved with. I remember collecting and trading my Pokemon cards in the school yard and then moving onto Yu-Gi-Oh and finally onto Magic: The Gathering, all three which I still collect and play today, though Magic is my absolute favourite card game so that will be the one I will talk about the most.

The five colours of Magic: The Gathering

So this leads me on to why I want to do this blog. As I have previously stated I have a massive interest in the world of gaming and I would like to share this love with the massive and ever growing community that is out there. I will be doing reviews on games that I have played on various consoles and PC. I will be doing the reviews on games when I have played them so they may not be new games, just games I have finally finished. In my current video game collection, I have about 1200 games, 800 or so being physical. I have a lot to get through so there will be plenty to write about. Also, I will be talking about gaming news and giving my opinion on the state of the gaming industry, good, bad or indifferent. So please, join me on this journey. I will be posting quite regularly and I hope you give them a read and enjoy them.

So that’s the end of my introduction. Hopefully this is the start of something good. As always, thanks for reading!