Dawn of War III
|This is a /v/ related article, which we tolerate because it's relevant and/or popular on /tg/... or we just can't be bothered to delete it.|
"In darkness, I shall be light
In times of doubt, I shall keep faith
In throes of rage, I shall hone my craft
In vengeance, I shall have no mercy
In the midst of battle, I shall have no fear
In the face of death, I shall have no remorse"
- The voice in the trailer.
Announced on 3rd of May 2016 and released on April 27nd 2017, Dawn of War III is the third entry in the Dawn of War series.
The game features Space Marines, Orks, and Eldar, along with Imperial Guard as an NPC race allied with Space Marines and Imperial Knights as playable allied units to the Space Marines. The campaign features all three factions, rotating which faction you're playing every mission rather than having every faction play the same shortened campaign. The story features Gabriel Angelos (sadly with a different voice actor), Macha, and Gorgutz as they all race to an ancient planet called Acheron which emerges from the warp every couple thousand years and holds an artifact called the Spear of Khaine.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Returning Characters
- 3 New Characters
- 4 Differences and New Things
- 5 Pre-Release Reactions
- 6 Post-Release
- 7 The End Times Hath Come
- 8 See Also
- 9 Gallery
|This article contains spoilers! You have been warned.|
Coming back with a new look and much closer to the first game while having elements from the second, the third installment sees the return of some of the more popular characters. Among them Gabriel Angelos, Farseer Macha and Warboss Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter will battle for the planet of Acheron for a powerful weapon known as the Spear of Khaine. Whilst the Eldar and Orks seek to obtain it for its tremendous power, Gabriel seeks to prevent anyone from using it, as it apparently reeks of deceit. More of the plot can be read below.
Part 1: Verlock Keep and Cyprus Ultima
Long story short, it begins on the Knight World of Cyprus Ultima being overrun by Orks led by Warboss Gitsompa with Varlock Keep being on its last toes against the green tide. For some reason, Inquisitor Holt has prevented further reinforcements from assisting the local Knight house from being overwhelmed. Thankfully for Lady Solaria (The Matriarch of Verlock Keep),
Captain Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos of the Blood Ravens ignored the Inquisitor's decree and came to assist Lady Solaria's forces. During the fighting, Warboss Gorgutz led a counter attack to prove that he is the better overall leader then Gitstompa. Unfortunately the Eldar led by Autarch Kyre, came on Cyprus to mess everything up which forced Gorgutz to think of some Tactical Genius which involves building a giant cannon, sabotage and Sindri'ing Warboss Gitstompa so that Gorgutz would become defacto leader. Meanwhile, the breach in the decree led to Inquisitor Holt feeling all butthurt about this and tasked Ol'Gabe to defend Starfort Helios which has been overrun by Orks now led by Gorgutz. Both Holt and Gabe talked about the reason behind the starforts, in which they were designed as a barricade against the legendary planet Acheron which houses the legendary 'Spear of Khaine' in which Holt took great interests in attaining it for himself. As you can imagine, Gabe was quite suspicious over the Inquisitor's ambition and was even more suspicious over the Spear of Khaine whose intuition led Gabe to suspect of it as a Chaotic corruption (Oh, how right he was).
On the other hand of the spectrum, Farseer Macha led an Eldar warhost to aid Kyre who he himself is also after the Spear of Khaine. However, Macha is suspicious about Kyre's prophecy as it did not add up to Macha's own divination on what lies beyond Acheron. Macha was tasked by Kyre to kill Gabriel Angelos as he sees the Chapter Master as an obstacle to Kyre's own ambition, however Macha's relationship with Gabriel stretched all the way back Tartarus. Before she could accomplish this, Jonah Orion stood in Macha's way. Macha promptly kicked Jonah's ass and threaten to kill him if he did not tell her where
Macha's husbando Gabriel Angelos is. However, being the shining beacon of bromance that is Gabe, the Chapter Master came to Macha's location to prevent her from killing his boyfriend most trusted Librarian butt budy. Macha attempted to throw her singing spear, Gabriel remembered that he was wearing terminator armour and singing spears are AP- and so managed to catch the damned weapon with his hands. Macha blasted him with Psychic shenanigans, took a thunder hammer to the face and either passed her Invuln save or benefited from the Eternal Warrior rule. Before they could end their little 'reunion' however, the planet Acheron arrived on the Cyprus system and shattered Starfort Helios, reigning space debris on where they fought (Seriously, Acheron is ECKS BAWKS HUEG, like Gas Giant size). Macha escaped whilst Gabe was left horrified over the fate of Chaplain Apollo Diomedes as it was Gabriel who ordered Diomedes to assist the resistance on Helios.
Meanwhile, Gorgutz promptly jizzed himself with all the loot being crash landed around him due to Helios' demise. Unfortunately, other gitz such as Weirdboy Zappnoggin and Big Mek Wazzmakka are fighting over the loot. After Gorgutz promptly bash their heads in and forced them to comply under his leadership, Gorgutz then led on a joyride to Starfort Charon so he could find out what the hell is going on in Acheron. Apparently how he managed to get onto the Starfort without getting shot down isn't worth worrying about (seriously, he's just there and hopping off a crashed craft without any further explanation). After blowing up the defenses of Charon with nothing more than a bunch of Gretchin with explosive grenades (seriously, you would think that the defenses of an Imperial Starfort would be a bit more secure), Gorgutz then used the opportunity of the disabled Starfort to land on Acheron without the worry of being blown up. On the other hand, Macha met with Ronahn to discuss on the potential craziness that is Kyre. Apparently, the reason why Ronahn was here and acting as a secret spy for Kyre was because Kyre somehow got his hands on Taldeer's soulstone due to some altercation with Ronahn. Apparently, Kyre is using Taldeer's prophecy as not only as to stroke Kyre's fragile ego but to also keep his legitimacy stable. Despite the fact that using another Craftworld's soulstone for nefarious purposes, especially one from Ulthwé should be enough to send half of the Craftworld's forces to shank Kyre's ass for Heresy, this did not come to pass. After some discussions, Macha, Ronahn and Jain Zar (Who came to Macha's assistance to stop Kyre's foolish action that would further weakened the Biel-Tan craftworld) all agreed that Kyre's prophecy is nothing more than a steaming pile of Bullshit and will lead their people to ruin. Unfortunately Jain Zar didn't just tell everyone to stop follow Kyre because she didn't feel like it (yes seriously, she'd rather kill Eldar than that and there's a weak explanation on her trying to get Macha to realize her potential through the conflict) which would have ended the conflict immediately and stopped Eldar from killing each other. So Macha and Ronahn devise a plan to distract Kyre's forces with the aid of Gorgutz so they could sneak around and steal back Taldeer's soulstone instead. Macha and Ronahn also managed to convince Gorgutz to aid them by essentially waving the Spear of Khaine all over Gorgutz like he is some sort of attack dog. So with Gorgutz now in the race to get his 'Super Pointy Stikk', Dawn of War 3 has essentially turned into a Monty Python sketch with all three races bonking each other's heads so they can leap frog each other to get to the Spear first.
Part 2: Acheron
On the other side of the theater, Gabe discussed with Captain Balthazar on board the Blood Raven's Battlebarge to retrieve Diomedes' Gene Seed for he fears that he is dead. However, Inquisitor Holt being a shady motherfucking dick, threatened Gabriel not to go to the remains of Helios or else he would shoot Gabe's aircraft out of the sky. This understandably twisted Gabe's nipples to no end and secretly arranged Balthazar to teleport Gabe on the remains of Starfort Helios. They agreed and Gabe was transported on the destroyed Starfort. What he saw disturbed Gabe as the remains of both the Starfort and its crew members was fused with the structures of Acheron. Fearing for the worst, Gabriel along with a group of Terminators proceed to cleanse the area of both Orks and Eldar with sufficient Dakka. Once Gabriel found where Diomedes is located, to everyone's surprise, Apollo Diomedes has indeed survived due to rolling a 1 on his To Wound/Destroyer roll and escaping unscathed (or maybe he just passed every Armour/Invuln save, he was wearing termie armour). After hearing the Inquisitor's actions, Diomedes was understandably pissed as fuck. Inquisitor Holt himself was displeased, but more pressing matters was at hand due to everyone wanting to get the Spear of Khaine.
On Acheron, Farseer Macha and her posse sneaked to where Taldeer is resting and proceed to 'borrow it' for their own uses. However, they were caught and were forced to flee, fortunately they completed their task and Kyre sighed in disappointment. Near the vault shielding the Spear of Khaine, Gabe and friends fought their way to destroy the Eldar. However, Inquisitor Holt decided that if a bunch of enemies are gathered in one spot, you might as well just nuke them and requested an orbital bombardment on the vault. Unfortunately it turns out shooting a door has a chance of blowing it open, which certainly happened and that was near where Gabriel's forces were (though he did at least warn Gabe with more than enough time for the Blood Ravens to flee), so Gabe ordered his brothers to flee and while remaining behind because he knew it would look really cool for the trailer. Apollo Diomedes and even Jonah Orion flipped their shit on the Inquisitor, with Diomedes swearing he wants to rip Holt's head off and shit down his neck and Jonah calling Holt a fucking retard for even requesting orbital bombardment. Holt, feeling the heat of a chapter of pissed off Space Marines went and plead with Lady Solaria. Solaria then laid down the sickest burn in the game, calling out Holt's cowardice in not only letting Solaria's house to die by the Ork invasion but also firing orbital bombardment near the position of Gabriel Angelos, she further states that no one would fear the incompetence and idiocy of a 'disgraced Inquisitor' threatening Holt that his ass is grass once she tells Holt's superiors on what he has done. Holt later put an ice pack on that burn and cried himself to sleep, but before he did, he told Solaria that Gabe may still be alive and what do you know, Gabriel IS alive since he watched the bombardment from a distance while taking advantage of that Iron Halo/Cataphractii Terminator re-roll bullshit. Gorgutz was also practically under the blast and he survives due to... he just does.
Inside the vault on the true surface of Acheron, Autarch Kyre used Macha's supporters as leverage to draw her out and force her to comply to his will. Unfortunately for him, they were standing on an icy prison keeping a FUCK HUEG Greater Daemon of Khorne from escaping (yes, it is yet another reveal that Chaos is the ultimate big bad, Que more moaning and bitching that the plot is uninspired) and Macha rightly concluded that fighting would only wake it and that something was wrong with the spear. Naturally Kyre didn't listen and after an intense firefight of elf-on-elf violence, Macha then pleaded to Ronahn to let Taldeer's soulstone to be interned in a motherfucking Wraithknight. Ronahn as you can imagine, hesitated cause he is a good and dutiful brother and would never put his sister into harms way again; the situation however, was dire, thus Ronahn relented and became the co-driver with his sister. During the infighting, Kyre knew he was distracted and continued his campaign to retrieve the Spear. However, bad luck follows Kyre everywhere, and is forced to butt heads with Gorgutz army. These two both battled each other before Kyre won, grabbed the Spear of Khaine and attempt to slay Gorgutz. His plans were slightly hindered when a part of the blade broke and he was liquefied, as it turns out that the Spear was a Trap designed to spill the blood of the ambitious and greedy and to act as a blood ritual to release the daemon from its prison. Kyre did the 'Oh Shit!' look before ending up like Sindri Myr as daemon chow.
Part 3: Tartarus 2, Electric Boogaloo
With the daemon released, everyone promptly shat bricks. Macha and Taldeer then did a quick divination and found out that the only way to victory is get all three races to unite and spank the daemon to oblivion. Macha, somehow managed to convince Gorgutz to join her cause despite being backstabbed by Ronahn (Or as Gorgutz would like to call him, Ronny) whilst Gabriel has a....somewhat intimate chat before he himself joined her cause. Unfortunately for Gabe, part of the ritual needed to defeat the daemon was to blow up Acheron....with his own Battlebarge. Captain Balthazar overheard this and eagerly accepted his fate before pile driving a seemingly fully loaded Battlebarge into the planet's crust in a spectacular display of needless sacrifices.
Seriously, how many Blood Ravens were on the ship? Anyway, the ship blew up the mantle and hurtled the shrine housing the Spear of Khaine into orbit. You would think that the Battlebarge would have just fired its weapons or even have a Cyclonic Torpedo ready, but it seems the Imperium has a knack for wasting expensive ships by blowing itself up for myriad of reasons. On the other hand, Angelos and Balthazar did mention how the Daemon was shielding Acheron and how it took a trio of listening posts to guide the Battlebarge down to the surface; nevertheless, it still is retarded, because the Inquisition normally issues Exterminatus device approved for Space Marines to use by placing it directly on a planet's surface, or use Nemesis weaponry to bannish the daemon regardless of his Wounds stats; and while it is possible that the Blood Ravens having bad relationships with the Inquisitor would have prevent them from getting one, they didn't even bother to ask and instead killed dozens or hundreds of battle-brothers wile wasting ressources the Blood Ravens can't afford to lose, proving therefore that the staff didn't even know about it.
All three heroes were teleported onto the shrine (It would be safe to assume that all named elite heroes survived Acheron's destruction) by Macha's help to face the daemon. As explained, the previously seen ECKS BAWKS HUEG daemon the size of a Imperial Cruiser has now shrunk in size to be the same height as any old regular Greater Daemon. In a hilariously bizarre and completely un-Khornate way, the daemon AKA the Storm Prince, spends more time healing itself by literally drinking a fountain of daemon kool-aid...we wish we were joking. That and the fact that the daemon used trickery of all things to set itself free (Spear of Khaine fiasco, daemonic doppelgangers, etc)...one must wonder how Khorne might have felt after learning that this jackass along with another failure continue to became such staunched followers of the Blood God. During the fight, Gabriel in a completely uncharacteristic way, acknowledged ignoring Macha's warnings back on Tartarus was a mistake which resulted in the devastation of the Blood Ravens in Dawn of War 2, in which Macha in turn, uncharacteristically accepted it; but come on now, we all remember that her warnings were fully aimed at protecting the plot, not making things clear for the Blood Ravens & the Inquisitor on what they ought to do. After kicking the daemon to death, all three heroes departed to go their separate ways with Gorgutz finally getting his 'Super Pointy Stikk'/Spear of Khaine. Again, this is bizarrely uncharacteristic for all of them as we usually see an Eldar ending up backstabbing the Orks and Space Marines into muderfucking each other instead of simply...you know...keeping their promises. Maybe they decided to wait until their armies could rebuild?
Anyway, with the mission done, it is safe to assume that Inquisitor Holt is going to have his anus enlarged by fifteen meters over the shit he has done to Gabe and friends.
All in all, the last few missions was vaguely similar to the plot of the original Dawn of War. As both games ends with a cataclysmic fight against an agent of Chaos being freed from a millennia long prison that is disguised as an object of immense power, in which a gullible pawn thinks he can take it for his own benefit, only to be used as a sacrifice to free the daemon in a blood ritual. Both artifacts are seen by Gabriel Angelos to be malicious and needs to be destroyed with Macha warning Gabe about the true nature of both artifacts. The only difference is that Gabe actually listened to Macha for once on Acheron, thus making the ending of Dawn of War 3 more Noblebright than the original Dawn of War.
Oh yeah, the secret after credits ending depicts none other then the return of the Necrons. Which would probably be more impressive if the story hadn't pretty much stopped there with no sign of continuing.
Imperials (Blood Ravens)
- Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos: Returning with a ornate and badass looking set of Terminator Armor. Would be 100% badass if it weren't for the fact that he was capable of inexplicably jumping (and flipping!) several meters off the ground in said Terminator Armor (And the fact that he's no longer voiced by Paul Dobson *sob*). They try and explain this away by linking this ability to his hammer, but considering that Diomedes can do this too and we're not clear on how the hammer does it, it's still stupid. Spends most time battling with the other two factions to prevent them from obtaining the Spear of Khaine, as he suspects it may be corrupted. Some art has him standing at Primarch-grade height. He is loyal and thoughtful of his chapter to the point that he defended his new librarian buddy Jonah Orion from the jealous yandere-virgin as well as went against an inquisitor's order to try and give Diomedes last rites when the starfort Diomedes was on crashed into Acheron. Currently having a harem relationship with his librarian buddy Jonah Orion, Farseer Macha and Lady Solaria of the Varlock Imperial Knight house, probably Diomedes too.
- Chief Librarian Jonah Orion: Promoted to Chief Librarian after surviving the battle against the chaos corrupted Chapter Master Azariah Kyras. Now sports a goatee and wearing fancy new armor. Is currently having a bromance relationship with his Chapter Master.
- Chaplain Apollo Diomedes:' Returning as a Chaplain in terminator armor (sadly with a different vox box that actually makes him comprehensible). It was never explained why he became a Chaplain after his previous appearance. Must have felt so ashamed about serving a chaos tainted traitor so much that he couldn't bear the mantle of First Company Captain anymore. So now he's a Chaplain, sniffing out taint and making heretics...Repent. He is now loyal as ever to his chapter, so loyal that he nearly transforms into an Angry Marine after the stupid-made-manifest known as Inquisitor Damien Holt bombarded their Chapter Master Angelos. Most likely became a Chaplain because he was the one that took it as a job to cleanse the Chapter honor (by splitting the fucking head of his Chapter Master), and even saying at the end of the Retribution campaing that he cant serve the chapter as he was then.
- Farseer Macha: Returning for the first time since the original Dawn of War, and looking (almost) exactly as she's been depicted in /tg/ art for years (other than a fancy hair ornament and wearing more clothes than said average depictions). Ostensibly working for Lord Kyre to get the Spear of Khaine for him, but appears to be suspicious of his real motives for doing so. Is somewhat tsundere with Gabriel Angelos and still pissed about the whole Maledictum thing. (Ultimately they're both at fault. She didn't explain to him why he shouldn't do what he did, but that doesn't preclude him from asking, something we know he's good at, and he says himself he should have listened to her.)
- Ronahn: Also reappearing as the leader of a Ranger detachment and Kyre's spymaster, and only marginally less whiny than he was before. After losing Taldeer's soul stone on the way home to Kyre (which he is NOT happy about), he has been trying to recover his
waifu'ssister's soulstone and bring it back to Ulthwe, and so allies with Macha in a plan to undermine Kyre and get her soul stone back.
- Taldeer: Apparently Taldeer's soul stone ended up being salvaged during Retribution, as she reappears as a
WraithseerWraithknight with a big fucking sword after said soul stone is taken by Kyre. One of her prophecies as recounted in the trailers seems to refer to the impending conflict over the Spear of Khaine.
Orks (Bad Moons)
- Warboss Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter: Returning during his absence after Soulstorm, Gorgutz is back with a bigger and badder power klaw (with a retractable chain, no less). He starts out in the service of another Warboss named Gitstompa, and apparently always planned to Sindri him (though the Eldar unwittingly turn him into the Warboss of the Bad Moons WAAAGH! after they kill Gitstompa, believing that killing him would scatter the Ork horde). He's racing against the other factions for the pointy-stick. At some point gets sort of tricked by Ronahn into fighting a heavily defended Eldar base defending the vaults entrance. Macha told him she wanted the other Eldar dead, and told them they were both trying to get the spear, but Ronahn "forgot" to mention the bit about their entrance being heavily defended, which somewhat makes Gorgutz a dumbass for actually trusting dem sneaky knife ears. In the end Gorgutz is technically the canon winner because he went away with his "pointy stikk" once the daemon was slain, though they did let him get away with it and the Spear itself was depowered due to the daemon no longer being inside of it.
- Brian Dobson: The only VA from the first and second series to return. He voices generic Space Marines, Orks and Eldar.
Imperials (Blood Ravens)
- Captain Balthazar: A Captain of the Blood Ravens and serves as the mission briefer.
- Lady Rebek Solaria: Head of House Varlock of Cyprus Ultima and pilot of the Imperial Knight, Drakaina. Drakaina is equipped with two avenger cannons that'll deal more damage when heated up. Becomes BFFs with Angelos after he saves Varlock Keep from Orks (against Inquisitor Holt's orders).
- Inquisitor Damien Holt: An Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos that seeks the wandering world, Acheron, for the Spear of Khaine. He plays the role of asshole cold blooded strategist that gives little regard to his allies like they were pawns in a chess game but without any actual strategy to speak of; apparently Relic decided that Inquisitor Toth from the first Dawn of War and Inquisitor Adrastia from the second were too sane and reasonable for gamers to handle. The Imperial forces he's working with, Imperial Knights of House Varlock and The Blood Ravens, both hate his guts. The Varlock House hate him for abandoning them to a massive Ork invasion. The Blood Ravens, wary of his obsession with a Warp-tainted xenos artifact, despised the inquisitor for his willingness to waste their battle-brothers' lives for the Spear, which culminated in launching an orbital bombardment on their chapter master Gabriel Angelos to break into the Spear's complex. This made the Blood Ravens so mad that Diomedes, the Chaplain, was going to shove a BAAAANEBLADE up the inqisitor's arse only to be stopped by Jonah Orion, who reminds him that they can let the rest of the Inquisition do so later. No relation to Commissar Holt.
- Deathwatch Kill-Team Ironmaw: They compose of a Dark Angel, a Blood Angel, a Crimson Fist, a Smurf and are led by one of everyone's favourite space vikings. In multiplayer, the Ultramarine is replaced by a space marine from the chapter you selected via army painter.
- Autarch Kyre: Leader of the Biel-Tan warhost and seeks to obtain the Spear of Khaine. The asshole that led even more Eldar to die in a pointless campaign for some legendary shiny (not to mention him ignoring the Soulstones of his fallen warriors instead of collecting them, which should tell just how asshole he is), and stole Taldeer's Soulstone for good measure (which Macha and Ronahn both note could very well lead to a war between their Craftworld should Ulthwe learn about it). He hired Ronahn as his spymaster only to be betrayed by him. He still got the spear in the end, after fighting Gorgutz for it and cheated using psyker power. Turns out the spear contained a greater daemon of khorne and was possessed by it, after the spear itself shattered as Kyre tried to strike Gorgutz with it... which is just weird, even for a plot device, because daemon weapons are empowered by the daemon's presence, not structurally weakened by it. So arrogant that even the other Eldar can't stand him.
- Jain Zar: Phoenix Lord (Lady?) of the Howling Banshees and the first of the Phoenix Lords to be featured in a video game adaptation (Granted, she's also in Eternal Crusade, but has yet to fully appear in that game). Has seen Acheron before and that Eldar have been fighting over the spear for millennia. None so far has succeeded in recovering it.
Orks (Bad Moons)
- Wazzmakka: Da most byotiful Big Mek dere is. He dont call her beauty for er' looks! Very fond of tellyportas.
- Zappnoggin: A Weirdboy who sounds surprisingly sane-ish for an ork whose head can explode at any time. Has rather un-orky ideas about not getting into fights that he can't win, which he says has let him live a long time (by Ork standards, anyway).
Differences and New Things
The game attempts to blend the best parts of the first two, featuring base building and massive armies alongside summonable elite units who can sway the course of battle. The game also features doctrines similar to those from Company of Heroes 2. Unlike in Company of Heroes 2, you may take up to three Doctrines, with some being connected to specific elite units. Secondly, the Doctrines do not give bullshit like +4% to ranged damage, but either unlock abilities for specific units or upgrade the existing abilities of others (like upgrading the Dreadnoughts to gain charge attacks and shields after executing slam attacks, giving Dire Avengers Holo-Fields, or giving Deffkoptas Buzzsaws). Relic's aim was to make their latest game the most accessible, including features such as a minimalistic UI, icons to represent effects like suppression, and easy-to-read descriptors for most abilities. It is the first Dawn of War game to only feature three factions at launch rather than four, though the included factions do have more units available at launch than they did in previous titles.
Another change is the new cast of voice actors (whom according to the developers comprise of VA's from their previous title Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine). This has been met with some amount of rage from fans, most notably those who wished for the return of Paul Dobson as Angelos.
Armies are now divided into standard soldiers (things like Tactical Marines, Dire Avengers, and Boyz as well as vehicles) and elites (which includes the likes of named characters, Terminators, and Imperial Knights). The former act like standard RTS units, performing most of the legwork as well as adding bulk to your army, while the latter are more powerful units with abilities that can change the tide of battle.
In both campaign and multiplayer, players collect said elites by farming skulls (no, we're not kidding. all three factions are Khornate for some reason) Not anymore, skulls have been removed. Everyone has access to all Elites and doctrines from the get-go (save for those that are unlocked by leveling up elites). Elite units can level up based on how many enemies they killed during each game, though these level-ups don't improve them in any way, they just unlock exotic paints and new skins. Among them there are really powerful units that are showing up for the first time in the series (such as Imperial Knights, Wraithknights, and Gorkanauts). At the very least, the presence of troop units to back up the elites could mean that the rest of the Blood Ravens 4th Company might actually be getting off their asses and doing something this time around.
As mentioned previously, the campaign switches between Blood Ravens, Orks, and Eldar every mission. While the attempt to incorporate all three factions is appreciated, and it is marginally better than Retribution's approach, the constant switching between three vastly different playstyles can be very jarring.
Markedly absent is a sequel/expansion of Dawn of War II's Last Stand mode which, given that Last Stand was popular enough to become it's own standalone spinoff product, is likely a deliberate omission. Thus far small fan interest exists in seeing Last Stand return.
The 12 minute exclusive gameplay released shortly after the trailer drew quite a lot of ire. With many complaining on the way it looks (having a cleaner, more colorful aesthetic in comparison to previous titles) with rumors that the team developing Dawn of War III was trying to piggyback Starcraft of all games to the animation lacking the weight and grit of the previous Dawn of War games. Special mentions go to the fighting style animations of old Gabe whose sudden usage of backflips, frontflips and jumping like a 5 ton ballerina on crack despite wearing terminator armor drew accusations that one of the lead creators of this game might be a small, black leprechaun with a fetish of Multilasers and backflipping Terminators. Hell, the goddamn Lascannons don't fire a quick, charged, devastating single shot but instead its a laser weapon that does more damage the longer it's trained on it's target.
Later interviews and bits of information released did little to ease the ire. Including the lead director confirming that sync-kills have been removed, Assault Marines being considered "light armor" units, the dynamic movement system introduced in II being removed, and fall back mechanics are also gone. At this point from a community standpoint, you were either absolutely behind these changes, or were watching something your were previously looking forward to turn into an absolute shitshow; with very little middle ground to be found. And it really doesn't help that their methods of explaining away some of the lore breaking shit seems to come directly from our good old friend. Notably they tried to explain the backflipping Terminator armor by saying that his hammer has a shard of an Avatar in it. This also happened to be an idea made by the Irish leper, and even if it was canon the developers never mentioned what this actually did to give Angelos the ability to backflip, making this move look like a hand-wave to shut the fans up.
Reactions to the beta did little to assuage the divide in the community. Some, like AngryJoe, thoroughly enjoyed it, while others, like TotalBiscuit, seemed to be completely turned off by it.
Voice Acting has taken a big change, with Relic opting to go for an all British cast (except for Brian Dobson) rather than using their stable of Ocean Group VAs from previous titles. The rationale behind this is that having British voice actors makes the game more authentic to 40K's British roots, and totally not because of the ongoing voice actors strike against major video game publishers in North America that Sega, and thus Relic, isn't affected by anyway.
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After the game was released, the reception was mixed to say the least. Those who like the game say that the traditional "build and conquer" RTS campaign is a refreshing change for those who didn't like Dawn of War II's Diablo-style campaign, and while Paul Dobson is sorely missed, the rest of the voice cast isn't too bad. The Elites system is a natural progression from Dawn of War II, and the Ork's WAAAGH! mechanic is one of the best things ever put into a Dawn of War game. Additionally, they point out that while the power core mode is too simple, it does give a good introduction to the RTS genre for those who are brand new rather than just throwing them to the wolves like other games.
Those who don't like the game are of the opinion that Relic under Sega gutted what made Dawn of War popular in the first place and turned it into something uninspired and boring by comparison, as it simplified or stripped out many of the iconic elements of the series, such as sync-kills, the cover system and wargear. Many who liked the Dawn of War II campaign aren't fans of a more traditional RTS campaign, and some also feel that the races play too similarly aside from one or two gimmick mechanics. The game also has multiple lore inconsistencies, such as Eldar with shields and backflipping Terminators, although to be fair, it isn't alone in this respect. Basically, Relic significantly altered their popular product to attract a wider audience, and ended up alienating a large portion of their established fanbase.
The decision to focus on simplification and balance in multiplayer was likely an intentional design choice considering the dev teams wanted Dawn of War to develop a competitive scene (seemingly ignoring the fact that people never really picked up Dawn of War for competitive multiplayer). However, unlike good competitive games like Starcraft, Counterstrike, and DOTA, Power Core mode did it in a very simplistic manner that made it feel like the "strategy" part of RTS had been all but sucked out.
Sales-wise, the game didn't do well in comparison to it's predecessors. While the original Dawn of War has sold over 6 million copies since 2011 and the was heralded with critical acclaim upon release, and Dawn of War II took the #1 spot on western sales charts during it's initial release; Dawn of War III didn't raise too much attention apart from standard fanfare, with a mixed response from the community, and game critics saying it was good, but ultimately flawed. According to Steamspy's estimates, the game's digital sales barely broke a quarter million sales as of July 2017, which is not a good sign for a highly anticipated AAA game series.
It didn't help that the playerbase declined sharply post-release, a clear sign that it just didn't make the impact people expected from the series. While Relic seemed to be listening to the community's concerns, the game was never able to recover from its downward spiral. This being said, they released mod tools, and a small but dedicated group of modders have been working on tweaking the game and adding new units.
Overall, the game is skub incarnate, being nearly unrecognizable in comparison to it's predecessors. One side hates it for being too overly simple for a strategy game and deviating too far from the things that defined DoW from the beginning, while another side likes it for trying something new and attempting to breathe some much-needed fresh air into the franchise.
The Annihilation Update
On June 13th 2017, Relic announced the addition of Annihilation mode to the game, along with turrets, a new map, and skins for the super-heavies as Free-LC. On June 20th, the Annihilation Update dropped and, it was actually pretty good. The removal of railroady objectives and the addition of a wide open map added a significant amount of depth to the game that was previously lacking, allowing players to take advantage of several mechanics that were previously hamstrung by power core mode. By this point however, too much of the player base had been alienated by power core mode and they weren't willing to come back and give the game another go, so the player count kept declining.
The Endless War Update
On October 19th 2017, Relic released the Endless War Update, which added a bunch of additional content to the game. For starters, each faction has been given an additional Elites choice; the Ironclad Dreadnought for Space Marines, the Wraithseer for Eldar, and the Lifta-Droppa Battlewagon for the Orks, which is basically a Battlewagon armed with a massive Traktor Kannon. We also got three new maps, one themed for each faction, and some more Elites skins, including Deathwing Terminators, a Primaris Chaplain, and Bray'arth Ashmantle.
The End Times Hath Come
On February 8th 2018, Relic announced they were officially stepping away from Dawn of War III, citing low player counts as the chief reason.
While Dawn of War 3 has a dedicated player base, it didn't hit the targets we were expecting at launch, and it hasn't performed the way we had hoped since. It's been tough for us as professionals who want to make great games for our players, and for us as people who care a lot about what we do. When a game underperforms, plans need to change. With Dawn of War 3, we simply don't have the foundation we need to produce major content. We're working in close partnership with Sega and Games Workshop to determine the best course of action, while shifting focus to other projects within our portfolio.
Given this, the February 8th patch was likely just Relic releasing whatever work they'd finished on the proposed expansion and fixing a couple remaining bugs before bidding the game farewell. With Relic now focusing primarily on Age of Empires IV, Dawn of War III has potentially become a Franchise Killer, though Relic and Sega are apparently in talks with GW, so time will tell. It should be noted that while Relic has no plans to produce major content, they are still patching and maintaining the game as well as putting out occasional Free-LC skins.
Dawn of War III Is Dead! Long Live Dawn of War III!
After Relic announced they were stepping away from the game, a small community of fans and modders tried rallying together in an attempt to resurrect Dawn of War III through Twitch streams, community game nights, and new mods. The goal was to generate enough interest to get Relic to return to the game, or at least release more mod tools so the fans could pick up where they left off. Although Dawn of War III remains a mostly-dead game, there's still a dedicated Dawn of War III Discord server which hosts regular community game nights. If you still want to play online, this is the best way to do it.
- The Official Dawn of War site
- Dawn of War III on Steam
- Want to make a mod for the game? Start here.
- The list of /tg/-approved mods
- The game's soundtrack, which also includes a clean version of the trailer theme
- Totalbiscuit's review of the game, which highlights a number of problems from the perspective of someone who enjoyed the previous two titles.
- ZoranTheBear and ThunderPsyker's overview of the game, offering the opinions of a newcomer to the franchise and a veteran, respectively
- Arch-Warhammer's review of the game
- Adam Millard's analysis of why the game failed. He does an excellent job discussing the issues of Dawn of War III while remaining fairly neutral and analytical.
- Here are the game sales stats
- The Dawn of War III Discord Server