Dawn of War2: Chaos Rising Review
Hey its that Lil Guy Cristof here to talk to you about something I'm sure most 40k and RTS fans alike have been talking about lately: Dawn of War 2 - Chaos Rising. Below I'm gonna write a little bit about the ups and downs in Relic Entertainments newest addition to the Dawn of War franchise Chaos Rising. First and foremost there are NO spoilers in this review. I will not discuss story elements other than those that are already known to us in the first Dawn of War 2 or the trailer to chaos rising. I will however speak of some of the new units to be found in Chaos Rising so without further delay here we go!
First off Chaos Rising is an EXPANSION to the original Dawn of War 2. The reason i emphasize expansion is because it is just that. While Gamespot and other sites say the title is stand alone I cant be 100% sure nor would I suggest getting it if you haven't played the original Dawn of War 2. In my opinion starting a Chaos Rising campaign without knowing the story of the first game would leave you diminished and asking a lot of questions. Chaos Rising starts you off shortly after the final battle with the Tyranids in the first game. Without spoiling how or why planet Aurelia has returned from the warp and you and your team of ridiculously awesome Blood Ravens are sent to investigate. The method in which the story of Chaos Rising plays out is one of the biggest perks of the game. One of my biggest gripes with Dawn of War 2 was the defense missions. The taking of shrines, arrays, and foundries eventually led to a never ending plethora of boring defense missions where you stood by three generators with your squads and watched as they eradicated whatever was attacking them whether it was Tyranids, Eldar, or Orks. This aspect is completely changed in Chaos Rising and much to my delight. You can still capture all the building types from the first game as they appear throughout the missions in the game. You thankfully never have to go back and defend them later on. The enemy will sometimes push and take them back but ONLY in the mission your currently in. Once you take a structure and beat that mission its implied to be yours for good. More than anything they are just extra points at the end of your missions. Whats cool is that in some levels taking the structures is a big detour from your main objectives and can even cost you the mission if your not careful. This brings me to my next area of discussion....corruption
Corruption/Redemption is a totally new system added to the franchise. Corruption/Redemtion is a new echelon of leveling where you "choose" to follow the path of Chaos or stand by the teachings of the codex! The reason I say "choose" in such a way is because its not always a choice. For the most part choices are pretty simple. If you wanna be a jerk or find the easy way through a situation than you will gain corruption points. If you firmly believe in the ways of Emperor than you will do whats right even when its the more difficult choice. This gives you redemption points, which lowers your corruption bar. Following the path of Chaos changes your abilities to give them a nice Chaos twist. The story also changes as you become corrupted which is awesome since the game has multiple ways the story can progress. In a cool twist corruption can also happen for other reasons. Without giving too much away an example of this is a level where if you hit the "fallback" command that particular squad gains corruption points. You can also gain corruption from your choice of equipment. Some items are attuned to Chaos while others are attuned to redemption. As you follow a path you will also hear your squad mates react to your decisions. This leads me to what I believe is the best part of the game...SOUND!
The sound in the Dawn of War franchise is perhaps my favorite of all features. The way the units would scream their battle cries in the first Dawn of War games and the way Dawn of War 2 units would interact with one another on the battlefield simply made those games EPIC. This legacy continues in Chaos Rising. The sound in game is amazing. The music is riveting and has an epic battlefield feel to it. All units in the game have a whole new set of lines that they say that not only reflect the sheer awesomeness of their respective faction. A prime example of this is a Space Marine force commander saying "Yes..Yes!! You'll need a tank to take me!!" Upon being fired upon by a Chaos Predator. Unit interaction has also been updated somewhat to include some pretty sweet Chaos sayings such as "Give my regards to Slaanesh!" upon killing Eldar units as the Chaos faction. Phrases like that not only emphasize the epic feeling of a game like Warhammer but also shows how closely a company like Relic pays attention to the lore of the game (to those that don't know the souls of all Eldar that cant be preserved by their races technlogoy all go to the Chaos God Slaanesh). They also added some dialogue options to the mission setup screen where you as the force commander can ask Captain Angelos or whoever is briefing you some questions. Its a small addition but it adds to the entirety of what is Dawn of War 2. All in all the sound quality in the game is in my opinion perfect.
No game review has only positive remarks. There are always some negatives to every game and Chaos Rising is no different. Luckily the gripes I have with it are very minor and few and far between. First off there are some path-finding issues with some of the units in the game particularly with Librarian Jonah. Some of his abilities grant him free spells with his auto attacks so you have to babysit him less but even with those additions he has a few of line of site issues and not to mention that he will die REALLY fast if you don't watch where hes standing. Another gripe I have with the game is that the single player mode is short. That's to be expected with an expansion and this is perhaps due to the fact that the campaign is really well done and fun to play. In the end I think Chaos Rising is a pretty awesome addition to the franchise and personally cant wait to see more factions and expansions added to Dawn of War 2. The gripes mentioned are easily overshadowed by the sound, story, and multiplayer aspects added to the franchise. Being able to play with the Chaos faction against others who don't own the expansion is also a big plus. All in all Chaos Rising gets 4 and half lil guys out of 5! ---- 4.5/5