fish[4]_thumb[1]Anybody who has listened to our podcast (shame on you if you haven’t), will know that I am quite a big fan of Dawn of War 2, of which I have just finished  the first sequal, Chaos Rising (yes I know I am behind with the times). I thought perhaps I should offer thoughts on why I like Dawn of War games.

You see I recently played a Starcraft 2 trial, of which I was very impressed with and disappointed with at the same time. The reason for this is that Blizzard seem to have500x_starcraft_ii_2 taken the same rts they made 10 years ago, and have simply tweaked and polished the hell out of it. So Starcraft, much like Warcraft, is essentially unchanged, and all that has been amended and changed is more a matter of balancing, tweaking and fixing than any real innovation (bear in mine I have only played a few hours).

Now the first Dawn of War game was a fairly traditional, if very good, rts, so it was a pretty big risk for Relic (and their publishers THQ) for them to maker big changes to the sequel. However a big change is what they made. They made it a tactical squad based game, and then put in talent trees to unlock abilities and loot drops. What they, in my opinion very successfully, did was blend together a traditional rts with the loot drops from diablo and rpg aspects. At the same time they cut out the base building and resource management the is the usual bread and  butter of rts’s.

109150starcraft2Now I get that some people like the base /resource gathering malarkey, but I guess this goes back to my recent, unofficial, podcast, it feels a lot like grinding to me. Even my other favourite rts, supreme commander 2, is wise enough to cut out a lot of the usual resource collecting rubbish. So when I played Starcraft 2 I couldn’t help but be disappointed when I had to set up engineers (space peons) to collect crystals (space gold) and carry it back to my space base (erm base). So that would be unchanged in 10 years then?

Starcraft is a hugely popular game and is very polished, however I haven’t been enticed to buy it, having played a fair amount of Warcraft 3, there doesn’t seem any point. I would much rather play a game were I can get straight into the action, which Dawn of War lets me do without making me jump through hoops (or to be negative,  grind stuff), but still allows me to make choices that affects my game.
dow2 2009-06-06 11-56-33-76