Dawn of War II: Retribution Review
A wealth of high quality content across all modes makes Retribution a great addition to the series, despite having a weaker story and a few technical issues
Posted by Tim Reid (with_teeth26) on Mar 14, 2011 - 2:18am EST (Mar 14, 2011 02:18)
Given their track record, it is safe to say that Relic doesn’t subscribe to the saying “don’t fix what ain’t broken.” With Chaos Rising, the first expansion to 2008’s Dawn of War II, the developers found a great balance between fast paced gameplay, a strong narrative and tight, tactical combat. Yet Relic still made a large number of significant changes to the formula with the second expansion, Retribution. This second addition to Dawn of War II isn’t the big step up that Chaos Rising was last year, but it’s still a very high quality package filled with more content that you could possibly hope for from a $30 dollar expansion. The most notable new feature is that you can now play through the campaign as all six races, including the all new Imperial Guard, although there have been content additions and gameplay tweaks across all modes that make the experience feel fresh as new and more fun than ever.
40th Millennium space heating
The only real drawback of having six playable races in the campaign is that the story had to be made vague enough to apply to all races. The setup for the game’s campaign is that Gabriel Angelos, Captain of the Blood Ravens, accidentally released a demon during his interplanetary battles, and the demonic forces are taking control of a number of planets forcing each race to fend for themselves in the face of impending exterminatus; the mass-destruction of life on all of these planets. The campaign lacks the intricate role playing elements of pure and corrupt that were featured in Chaos Rising, but the narrative serves its purpose well enough; to give a vague background to your endeavors. The design of the missions themselves is top notch, perhaps even better than in any previous Dawn of War II game, and you will have a ton of fun playing through the campaign no matter what race you choose. The levels remain the same when playing through the game as different races, but the enemy race, cutscenes and some of the plot events change from playthrough to playthrough. Each time you go through the campaign it will take about 6-10 hours depending on whether or not you do the optional missions (which you absolutely should), so even if you only play through the campaign once or twice its a decent length for an expansion. The first few missions, which act as a kind of tutorial for the games basic mechanic, are tedious to play through more than once, and start to grate after the second or third time you run through them as a different race.
Hint: Daisy is not a flower
The ability to play as a race other than the Space Marines in the campaign isn’t the only change the mode has see; a number of smaller adjustments and tweaks have added a bit more variety to the formula and do wonders to increase the replay value even further. If you so wish you can play with four heroes as with the previous installments, pouring resources into making them stronger and more effective in combat. However, you now also have the option to deploy units for that race in addition to, or even instead of, your heroes. Now when you play through missions you will try and capture resource points like in the multiplayer; they will grant you a chunk of resources in either the form of Requisition or Power which can be used either to further upgrade your hero’s health, damage or energy, or build new units at the bases you capture along the way. This gives you more freedom in how you approach each mission, and if you disliked the action-RPG gameplay of the previous installments you might find this style of gameplay to be more to your liking.