Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II review

Warhammer Dawn of War II: first look

This is only a first look and, I have to say – bearing in mind I’ve only played an hour or two – a rather  negative overview of the latest Warhammer game.

(Addenda: It did later grow on me, with better hardware to play it).

For a start I don’t particularly like the shift away from base building, but that’s more an initial reaction as I think the new style will grow on me.

I really don’t like the fact that in (solo) campaign mode you can only play Space Marines. I paid for a game with 4 races, I want to play 4 races.  To my way of thinking, I have been cheated. Yes, you can play the other races in live multi-player games and that, presumably is the target audience, but the simple fact is a) I wanted the solo campaigns and b) I don’t particularly like multiplayer with strangers as too many of them, sadly, are, idiots.

Can’t say I’m happy about it, but I can see that reason for the reliance on Steamvault – what I cannot and will not accept is the insidious way it installs itself into your startup config. and loads every time you start your computers.  If you are not playing the game, why does it ‘need’ to be loaded into memory? Ah it doesn’t…

Now to the real issue – I don’t like the game because… it’s not playable!

As first I had the resolution too high for the games liking  and, largely due to the Nvidia driver issues, it completely locked up the computer. HOWEVER, to change the setting you have to get into the damned game to change them – it look several crashes and reboots to get to the video settings to lower them. Clearly this is an issue.

Now here’s the thing, with all the settings lowered, it still runs too slow on my system to be playable to any degree, let alone factoring in internet lag.

The ‘system requirement’ (read minimum hardware) are said to be P4 3.2GHz (single core) / AMD Athlon 64×2 4400+ or better, with 1Gb of memory (1.5Gb for Vista) and a GeForce 6600 GT/128MB ATI X1600, or better.

My system, at present includes 2Gb of memory, Athlon 64 4400+ and an Nvidia 8800GTX – with this level of hardware, forget it, I do not think you will find this game enjoyable with what is a respectable level of hardware.

As is it, for me, I’m just waiting on a few parts to finish upgrading to an all singing, all dancing 6Gb, iCore7, Nvidia 295 based monster. We’ll see how it runs then!

In the end, I believe this is just another example of a game that was created by developers with bleeding edge hardware and not sufficiently tested – or uncaring – for casual players without a substantial four figure budget for a games computer. It is games like this that are driving people from PC’s to consoles!

It does say ‘enhanced for multicore’ and favours Nvidia – as such I would say this game was made for people with at least 4Gb of memory, fast quad-core Intel chips and Nvidia 260 or better. In that respect, the game is a fail.

1 thought on “Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II review”

  1. I agree, this game is a failure! It’s a shame, since it had great potential. And I think THQ o Relic (?) should disassociate from Steam and Microsoft, plus allow 4 races during single mode play. Like u pointed out…it was paid for! Maybe I can get some money back and dump on Ebay…

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