Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III review roundup and everything you need to know ahead of release
Dawn of War III took everyone by surprise when Sega and Relic Entertainment announced it would be bringing out a sequel to it’s fantastic Dawn of War RTS series. Many believed that, after THQ kicked the bucket in 2013 and Sega picked up the rights to the franchise, the next Warhammer 40K RTS game to come to market would be under Creative Assembly’s Total War franchise – following hot on the heels of Warhammer: Total War.
Thankfully that’s not the case and Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War III is nearly here. According to Metacritic rankings – which is never the be-all, end-all of quality – Dawn of War III has had an incredibly positive reception from critics. Obviously true Dawn of War fans already knew this would be the case, when it comes to RTS’, few are as good as Relic’s series.
Currently sat with a Metascore of 82/100, reviews tend to land around the seven or eight out of ten mark. PCGamesN gave it an 8/10, along with Polygon, TheSixthAxis and Gamespot. Sites such as Ars Technica, PC Gamer and Rock Paper Shotgun haven’t finished their reviews yet, but so far all seem positive while highlighting Dawn of War III’s general weaknesses. It appears that, the general consensus is, it’s more conventional than what came before, but that doesn’t sully the experience for all but the hardcore fan.
Dawn of War III review roundup:
- 8/10 – PCGamesN: “The most conventional RTS in a historically unconventional series… Dawn of War III may yet become the champion of a genre that remains stubbornly resistant to evolution.”
- 8/10 – Trusted Reviews: “There’s still something a little old-school about Dawn of War III’s RTS action, but when it scratches those same old itches so well, there’s very little reason to complain.”
- 8/10 – TheSixthAxis: “The campaign makes for an enjoyable and challenging romp through yet another crisis in the 40K universe, and while some gameplay elements have been simplified, the three deeply contrasting races offer plenty for players to sink their teeth into online.”
- 8/10 – Polygon: “Dawn of War 3 makes an admirable attempt to nudge forward a genre that has struggled in recent years to progress.”
- 8/10 – GameSpot: “Dawn of War III builds and maintains an organic tension that yields huge pay-offs, and there’s nothing else quite like it.”
- 7.5/10 – Destructoid: “Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III takes a few steps back in time to make one step forward.”
- N/A – PC Gamer: “If I were to pass judgement on it now, I’d call Dawn of War 3 flawed but fun.”
- N/A – Rock, Paper, Shotgun: “There are moments, many of them, during multiplayer and AI skirmishes, where I’m absolutely certain that Dawn of War 3 is the best game in the series, even with its missteps when it comes to cover and fortifications.”
Dawn of War III: everything you need to know
Dawn of War III release date set for 27 April
If you’re wondering when you can pick up a copy of Dawn of War III, either digitally or in physical form (who still buys physical PC games nowadays?), you can pick it up from 27 April worldwide.
Dawn of War III minimum PC requirements
Before you drop your hard-earned cash on Dawn of War III, you’ll want to make sure you can really run it as it was intended to be played. Thankfully, Relic Entertainment have released the minimum requirements for Dawn of War III on PC ahead of its release.
|OS||Windows 7 64-bit||Windows 10 64-bit|
|Processor||3GHz i3 or equivalent (i5 required for 3v3 multiplayer)||3GHz i5 or equivalent|
|GPU||1GB GeForce 460 or AMD 6950||2GB GeForce 770 or AMD 7970|
Dawn of War III editions and pre-order bonuses
Seeing as you can pre-order Dawn of War III right up until its 27 April release date, there’s no reason to not capitalise upon its free bonuses. Those of you who pre-order through DawnofWar.com, you’ll grab the “Masters of War” skin pack alongside the game. If you pick it up through Steam, you’ll get the same perk alongside a “Company of Heroes 2 Vehicle Skin” to add a bit of traditional war to your futuristic one. If you pick up Dawn of War III after its release, you can still get the “Masters of War” skin pack if you pick up the Collector’s Edition of the game.
In regards to the different editions available to buy, you can pick up the standard edition for £55 (RRP) or grab the Limited Edition for £5 more, which comes with a premium disc book, lenticular art card and the official soundtrack. Hardcore fans can pick up the £100 Collector’s Edition which comes with everything from the Limited Edition alongside a replica Godsplitter Daemon Hammer, three mounted cloth faction banners and the Masters of War Skin Pack.
Dawn of War III gameplay changes
Relic Entertainment claimed, at the Dawn of War III announcement, that this entry into the series will have “the epic scale of Dawn of War” alongside “the customisation and elite heroes of Dawn of War II.” In reality, this seems to have led to a lack of depth compared to both previous titles but shouldn’t really change how enjoyable the chaotic large-scale battles actually are. According to PCGamesN’s review, Dawn of War III feels more like Dawn of War than Dawn of War II but, in reality, it has its own unique flavour.
Maps are still controlled by power generators and capture points but the Dawn of War II aspect is introduced through massive units called Elites that have special abilities at their disposal. In single player, these elites can be upgraded as you progress through the campaign and tend to dominate a battlefield thanks to their tactical buffs and immense weaponry. Each elite has its own specific weakness, so you’ll have to ensure you use your troops to ensure they’re accounted for when wading into battle.
The cover system is also returning to Dawn of War III but this time around it’s been simplified so that squads of units capturing areas are more resistant to ranged fire but easier to clear out with a full-on assault.
Dawn of War III single-player campaign details
Dawn of War III’s single-player campaign seemingly focuses around the discovery of a “catastrophic weapon” on the “mysterious world of Acheron” where Dawn of War III takes place. Here, each of the three playable factions (Space Marine, Ork and Eldar) vie to control the powerful weapon for their own means. Negotiation isn’t the aim of the game here, unless it’s at the end of a power fist punch, so naturally slaughter is the only way forward.
Dawn of War III multiplayer
It’s a given that Dawn of War III’s multiplayer is the major draw for the game’s longevity. We know that there’s objective-based matches alongside standard PvP and 3v3 skirmishes too. The real question is, what comes next?
Relic’s Company of Heroes 2 used DLC add ons to expand the life of its multiplayer and it’s seems likely that Dawn of War III will be given the same treatment if it sells enough copies. If things flounder relatively early on, perhaps just expect a single expansion pack. Chances are, however, Dawn of War III will fair well at retail and we’ll be treated to a trickle of new content over the coming years.
Dawn of War III factions and races
Dawn of War III
Dawn of War IIIonly has three factions on on launch, although more may be added through expansion content later on. We could go into the ins and outs of every unit we currently know about, but it’s easier to simply just watch these videos about each individual faction to understand which one you’ll work best with in multiplayer skirmishes.