Dawn of War 3 has been announced for release in 2017. Almost a decade on from the release of the original we see the never ending war spanning into a new generation of gaming technology.
As mankind spins through the galaxy teetering on the verge of extinction in the 41st century - war of previously unforeseen greatness threatens to consume the empire. The bedrock on which stands the mighty Imperium of man is crumbling, beset on all sides by enemies with unanticipated power.
In Dawn of War 3 the efforts of the elite will be put to the test for what could possibly be the last time. In comparison, the war hadn’t even begun; the might of the Ravens will be tested for a final time. There will be no redemption, no reprieve, the war must be won – mankind depends on it.
Dawn of War 3 was revealed to the world in traditional 40K fashion - with a hair raising cinematic trailer. This is certainly something that the DoW series is famous for - the inherent quality of their cinematic introductions. Take a look.
To this day my all time favourite game cinematic comes from the original Dawn of War. Captain Gabriel Angelos of the Blood Ravens is seen fighting tooth and nail to defend against an overwhelming Ork horde on planet Tartarus. Chills.
All screenshots used in this article are actual pre-alpha screenshots from Dawn of War 3 - enjoy.
What do we know about Dawn of War 3?
First off, we can see from the trailer that three out of the pre-planned four playable armies include the Space Marines, Orks and Eldar. The campaign mode will focus around the three armies as they vie for superiority and control when a” catastrophic weapon is found on the mysterious world of Acheron.”
Aside from the obvious question of what other faction will be joining DoW3, the question of format is important. By this I mean, will the third edition side more with the original Dawn of War or Dawn of War 2? From what I have read so far I would say that the third edition will side more with the original Dawn of War but it will be incorporating many of the elite elements introduced into Dawn of War 2.
In their latest press release Relic announced that Dawn of War 3 will have “the epic scale of Dawn of War” combined with “the customization and elite heroes of Dawn of War II.” In all fairness, this is exactly what I wanted from the game.
It goes on to detail that this new edition will incorporate a lot more specialist unit types including ‘super-walkers’ and ground pounding weaponry like the ‘giant orbital laser’. This is something we have seen before but it coincides with Relics desire to ‘go big’ on their latest project. So far it is looking like a brilliant amalgamation of the series, presented in a high definition, next generation package. I am literally, twitching with excitement right now.
Our biggest units ever? Check. Giant orbital lasers? Check. Base-building, epic heroes, huge battles, it's all in there. Get ready for the biggest Dawn of War yet. - Relic
The focus will of course remain on the basic, tried and tested strategy component – explore, capture and defend. And, I couldn’t be happier – in my book the Dawn of Wars and the Command and Conquers are amongst the best strategy games out there - put simply, they are exciting and accessible to all.
Don’t get me wrong I love the newer games but titles such as StarCraft can at times be a little too complicated for casual strategy gamers. DoW strikes a fine balance between strategy and accessibility and from what I have seen so far, Dawn of War 3 is set to illuminate a whole host of new innovations without losing the interest of the casual gamer.
It is important to note that, the cover element will also be making a return to the game – it has been modified slightly to be used in a manner of allowing more resistance to ranged fire. Players will again have to consider melee options when encountering units in cover.
What do we know about the online experience?
Dawn of War 3 will follow the steps of its predecessors here and include the obvious 1v1 or head to head matches. Team based modes and Co-Op gameplay. What we don’t know but can certainly speculate on is whether or not this Co-Op gameplay will translate across into the campaign mode or whether or not Relic considers expanding the server to professional levels this time around?
To me it would seem that the growth of such an online game lies within the longevity – how will DoW3 keep gamers happy after game completion? The answer is simple – with DLC’s, modding and a competitive community ethos.
The introduction of new races and abilities via DLC is an obvious choice and one that Dawn of War is known to do well. As for modding – what franchise is better?
It is a necessary part of the DoW world – with Games Workshop working tirelessly on creating new Warhammer experiences every day the need for community modding becomes almost essential. Relic would not have the time or manpower to introduce new enemies, factions and units as and when GW publishes them, it comes down to the community to add the units they want to their universe.
To sum up on what we have so far
Dawn of War 3 is looking like the strategy experience of the decade – taking all the best elements from the iconic series and combining them to create the world’s most immersive online experience yet. Relic has taken the best of what today’s technology has to offer and my gosh, so far it shows – that trailer!
It will include all our favourite, most iconic factions and introduce some even bigger specialist units to respect and fear. This is a go big or go home effort from Relic and I can't wait to get started.
Expect to see a lot more of this title s the months go by up until release – launch is expected in 2017 for PC.