Snabböversättning av LeftWing, av PCGameplays artikel om Dawn of War II
<img src=http://www.wh40k.se/bilder/rykten/1b.jpg align=left>Only few RTS-games are dared to be made like Dawn of War.
Inspired by the Warhammer 40k universe is this daring mixture of Fantasy and Sci-Fi filled with brutal combat and fast paced action which is unique.
The Expression ‘Over the top’ might have been started when the first Dawn of War RTS-game came on the market.
Everything is ‘Over the top’ in Dawn of War, we think about the impossibly huge melee weapons, the heavy cannons that serve as firing-weapons or the dying animations.
And didn’t we get spoiled as Dawn of War fans thanks to the 3 expansions (Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm) that enlarged the playable races to 9.
But the test of time was getting more visible, and it’s getting time for Dawn of War 2.
Stefan Wenmaekers, whom looked during the recent changes to his house like a Ork Warboss and even placed green Goblins on machinegun nests on wooden structures to keep people at bay with annoying questions about building permits, put himself forward as the first candidate to go to Vancouver, Canada for the world premier of Dawn of War 2.
But Glen Vranckx was also on the lookout and had wrapped himself in silver and gold tinfoil for the occasion. (Sisters of battle combat armour as it was told to be)
A brutal battle, that lasted for 3 days and 3 nights, it was so violent that the editor’s room, the parking lot and the nearby mall were completely destroyed.
In the end the fight was won by the totally insane Wenmaekerian combatmoves that are now banned by the Geneva Convention and have made sure that Glen Vranckx will never have any kids for the rest of his life.
And that might not be such a bad thing. Take it away, Stefan!
On the contrary of what a human would expect, was the ‘Relic-crew’ that made next to Dawn of War, also did Homeworld and Company of Heroes was made from ‘down to earth’ people.
Who would have expected just like me a band of crazy game-designers in crazy outfits, will be disappointed.
Whether it is the Canadian feel for quality, or the pressure of making a sequel to a successful game, the gang of designers I saw gave 200% for their work.
After we had a quick tour through the offices, and were requested to remain quiet whilst we walked past the designers (The game would had to be stalled for a month because of my noise), we were guided into the presentation room where it was all going to happen.
Before we start with the presentation I would like to give a quick introduction into the warhammer 40,000 universe where Dawn of War 2 is based upon, and a greet with the Space Marines and the Orks, the 2 races that have been announced for Dawn of War 2 to this date.
After that I will make a quick explanation what Relic wants to do with this second Dawn of War game followed by...
<img src=http://www.wh40k.se/bilder/rykten/2b.jpg align=left>...the presentation of the game itself.
Dawn of War veterans may skip this introductory and skip right to How should it continue?
[Introductory to the 40k universe skipped due to it being useless for many.]
<img src=http://www.wh40k.se/bilder/rykten/3b.jpg align=left>How should it continue?
At one moment Relic ventured into the Canadian forests to think about the RTS-genre.
After living for several days of hunt and fish catches they ventured back to the civilised world, they came to the conclusion that modern day RTS-games were shortcoming on 2 points.
There are no long term goals and as a player you don’t have enough interactivity with your units.
In practically every RTS-game you start a mission building a base from the ground up, that when the mission has succeeded has no further use.
Nothing you build then will go with your to the next round and that’s a waste of the time you put in it.
It’s much better according to Relic to spend your time on your units and achieving your goal.
At the end the player has to be able to depend on cool rewards for their input.
In Dawn of War 2, awards are pieces of gear, weapons and rare artefacts
“Give the gamer the desire for more, getting better and stronger and achieving their goal will become a whole lot more intense that way!” , as so the makers said.
Back when the gamer had to be satisfied with defeating their enemies and a medal every now and then he is overwhelmed with choices of new weapons, stronger armour or upgrades.
“Let’s pimp out squads with cool stuff!” is the motto at Relic.
This aligns perfectly with the second vision, the overall feeling of your units.
Like RTS-games are build today, you usually go to battle with nameless, faceless units.
In Dawn of War 2 every single unit will get a name, a face, a unique feeling that will help create a better feeling of recognition with the gamer.
Pity of your units is also harder when dozens of squads like a ant nest are hacking away at eachother.
Overview premieres in Dawn of War 2, and that is why Relic has limited the number of squads to 6.
It speaks for itself that you will fight every map and objective with these troops.
Because you never have access to a unlimited number of cannon fodder, you will be constantly busy with how you use your squads and how you are going to make sure they survive.
For the squad leader this even goes so far that he has to survive the mission to make it succeed.
That Relic means this for real became apparent during a demonstration involving the Space Marines fighting Orks.
DAWN OF WAR 2 IN ACTION!
From the Space Marine spaceship we got a view of a planet where 3 emergency situations were found in colour zones (Green, blue and red) according to their difficulty.
In the green conflict zones a large group of Orks has overrun landing zones and it’s the task of the Space Marines to drive them back using 2 squads.
As a reward for this you get a Suppression Rifle, that fires a insane amount of bullets per second and a Thunder Hammer that you can attach to the Commander’s gear. During this short...
<img src=http://www.wh40k.se/bilder/rykten/4b.jpg align=left>...attack the new ranger combat of Dawn of War 2 was demonstrated.
The visual beauty of the map with the landing zones is the first thing noticed.
With subtle movements 2 Space Marine squads take cover whilst the Orks draw near.
What follows is a shitload of ammunition that is fired towards the Orks, where the lighting effects, the smoke and the flying debris are only overcome by the cries of dying orks and the rattling of automatic weapons.
As if this isn’t enough, from the spaceship a artillery strike is started where the missile strikes wipe out dozens of Orks in a single blow.
One of these rockets doesn’t explode and is actually the transportation device for the Commander that has come to fight along.
After the short fight is over, it’s time for the rewards.
The suppression Rifle now belongs to one of the squads whilst the Commander gets to use the Thunder Hammer.
A strange weapon, abandoned by fleeing Orks, is taken back to the space ship.
Possible research could lead to getting something new.
During a second fight melee was the central act.
The Space Marine squad, which is surrounded by Orks that are attacking from all sides.
Thanks to the automatic weapons the space marines succeed in repelling the wild Orks till the necessary reinforcements arrives from the spaceship.
The Orks, that are clearly in the advantage during close combat, hack and slash till the blood splatters away.
The combat moves of the Orks are very impressive and it doesn’t take long till the first Space Marine goes down.
Suddenly a transport rocket crashes down with a lot of force where a few Orks die right away.
Out of it comes a overgrown Dreadnought of the Space Marines.
I’m rubbing my hands because this Dreadnought, belongs to my favourite Dawn of War units.
When the Dawn of War 2 version of this gruesome war machine comes into action, am I not disappointed, because the carnage that is created by this behemoth is huge.
Dozens of Orks are blown away by it’s cannon whilst others are crushed by the free arm of this metal monster.
If this is not violent enough, the Dreadnought crushes several Orks by standing on top of them!
Those Orks had a reason to scream Waaagh!
So Dawn of War 2 is still over the top and stronger then ever!
Yet again it’s time to after the mission is over to give out the rewards.
The attacked Space Marine squad gets extra shoulder pads and a Flamer to give out more punch during melee combat.
The final part of the presentation was dedicated to the destructible environments, something that fits perfectly in a Dawn of War-game.
A artillery strike from the space ship makes the Orks on the ground dive for cover.
Because of the force of the bombardment the cover of the Orks is destroyed and the survivors are forced to...
<img src=http://www.wh40k.se/bilder/rykten/5b.jpg align=left>...to hide in several buildings and very against the will of the Ork Warboss that is screaming at his troops that they are weak.
Several abandoned Orks are running over a bridge towards safe buildings whilst the bridge collapses under a laser-attack from the spaceship.
When the Space Marines land, they fire at the building with grenades and the recently acquired Flamers.
Yet again the carnage is enormous.
Parts of the building collapse whilst the Orks as walking torches are trying to escape.
The Flamers seem like a great response to all the close combat violence of the Orks.
A squad of Space Marines, that is sent down as reinforcements for the final strike on the Ork Warboss, has landed on the wrong side of the collapsed bridge, but no worries.
With their jetpacks they make a short travel over the abyss to get to the others.
The Warboss, a huge violent Ork with overgrown fangs where blood and drool drips off and armed with a giant sword in the one hand, and a chainsword in the other appears to be too strong for both Space Marine squads.
Even thanks to the gunfire and Flamers they have to retreat and leave the confrontation to the Commander and his Thunder Hammer.
What follows is a clash of the titans where the earth shakes and debris flies around.
Swinging around with the giant sword the Warboss forces the Commander to stay at a distance whilst he slashes with the chainsword.
The sparks fly off from the Commander’s armour whom waits for a good moment to strike.
Rarely did I saw such a intense Hack&Slash in a RTS-game!
In the end the tide turned and the Warboss got a huge swing of the Thunder Hammer and perished.
If the Commander did not have the Thunder Hammer, he would have most likely not been able to fight the Warboss alone.
The receiving of a award is not also fun, but also of strategic importance.
With the unmatched Dawn of War-tradition as a base Relic seems to go into the right direction to make this franchise even prettier, more intense and more powerfull.
Besides the info Relic was willing to give away, I was able to get the producer off Dawn of War 2, Mark Noseworthy far enough to answer some extra questions.
After that I had found out he had heard of my now forbidden moves.
PCGP: How long have you been at it with the development of Dawn of War 2 and with how many people are you working on this successor?
Mark N: The idea to make a sequel to DoW goes back many years ago because the formula worked with games, 2,5 million sold copies is the convincing evidence.
We started in September 2006 with a team of 55 developers including the original Dawn of War-team that we strengthened with members from the Company of Heroes-team.
PCGP: In a RTS-game the AI behaviour is very important to the gameplay.
What can we expect of the AI in this game?
Mark N: We've primarily continued building upon the excellent AI from Company of Heroes. Because you also go out in Dawn of War 2 with several squads, it seemed suitable to use all the good stuff from Company of Heroes, and even improve it.
The awareness of squads and their path finding are very defining for their behaviour.
Stuff like cover, withdrawal into buildings and ideal fire positions are always thought about by squads.
PCGP: Is Dawn of War 2 going to be a Company of Heroes in the Warhammer 40.000 universe then?
Mark N: Yes and no.
It’s correct that the AI behaviour has been taken from Company of Heroes.
But it’s not correct that you believe that this just happens without any changes.
For that the 2 settings are apart too much.
I’ll give a example: In Company of Heroes the soldiers go hide in cover to stay alive in the first place.
That is a reaction that is 100% correct with reality.
In Dawn of War 2 we have no obstacles of reality.
The Space Marines you saw in the presentation also go into cover but their armour suit can take on a lot of damage before the Marines even feel hurt.
The way of warfare is completely different.
In Company of Heroes the AI wonders for example if a flanking action is the best option.
In Dawn of War 2 the AI wonders, in the case of the Space Marines, if jump packs should be used to go over the storming Orks to attack them from behind.
<img src=http://www.wh40k.se/bilder/rykten/6b.jpg align=left> ....Fortsättning följer....
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