The most important aspect of meeting someone, reading a book, visiting a website … is the All Mighty “First Impression”. This critical moment is telling if you’d like to continue on the path with the subject at hand. Things aren’t much different when it comes to video games. In fact, they need a strong first impression more than anything to hook you in. Dawn of War III does this with the intro movie. A chain of death, the old “Big fish eating the small fish” trope, in glorious and gory Warhammer 40k style.
My foray into Dawn of Wary III was an interesting one. Glass of Hakushu Single Malt Whisky in hand (This is a MAture rated game ya know) and mouse in the other I embarked on a remarkably gory journey into the 3rd coming of the “Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War” series. But something deep inside made me miss Dawn of War 2, as it is still quite possibly the best Warhammer 40k game ever released.
I’m still enjoying Dawn of War III though. Relic slimmed the game down to the 3 best factions: The token Space Marines, Eldars and Orks. This allows for an easily managed and cohesive campaign. It’s as if they drew inspiration from Star Craft, which is pretty much a copy of Warhammer 40k. A design choice that I’m somewhat enjoying is the entire campaign is a single event. Each mission you change factions and the story flows through as each one works towards their goal. How It will end though is going to be interesting.
A major setback I noticed with Dawn of War III is the movies in between campaigns are slide shows of still images with a voice over. I’m wondering if this was due to budgetary constraints. No matter, as I’d personally prefer the game itself to be polished and well done, more than the movies to segway you through the story.
What I do not like is the lack of a quicksave function. Also the save feature doesn’t show save slots. It just asks you to type in a name and be done with it. For a game made in the 21st century, this is rather strange and quite annoying. It indicative that they pretty much ran out of money to keep the lights on and had to hurry the game out the door in hopes of eating real food this month. It’s a shame really, because I really do like Relic.
At this point my first impressions of Dawn of War III are mixed and I can’t really give it a buy/hold off rating. Given that, if you haven’t gotten the game, I’d say give it a week or so. By then I’ll have a much more substantiated opinion of the game and can give a better assessment.