Disappointment, Outrage and Betrayal – An Autopsy of Dawn of War III

We all know that feeling when you’ve been a fan of something since the very beginning since that first fledgeling title saw the IP spread its wings and become something amazing.

You felt proud, didn’t you? When it grew and grew and grew. More and more people came to bask in the radiance and you all felt connected by your shared love of this game regardless of faction or playstyle.

But then the inevitable. The failure. The rapture. The sundering of a community thought so strong by a steaming pile of casual focussed trashed.

 

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“I see skies of green, flaming rockets too, I see them boom, for me and you, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world”

 

In fairness, if I didn’t state it in the title you’d think I was referring to well… a million possible games. It could be Fallout 4, it could be half the Call of Duty titles, it could be more games than I can possibly think of and put those on the backburner for now because we’ll focus on Sega’s latest murder.

Fresh from butchering Total War Warhammer with its Day ONE Chaos DLC, Sega is back with known and trusted developer, Relic Studios, to massacre an IP beloved by fans the world over. Relic has held the keys to the Dawn of War kingdom since its inception, primarily known as the developer behind the massively successful Company of Heroes, the studio has done a brilliant job in the past.

Now as to why there was this shift from hero to zero well it’s arguably the death of THQ played some part. With Sega in full control they were free to say, “Here are all the things people loved about the first two games, let’s get rid of them.” Of course, intricate and effective cover system DLC will likely be on the horizon for $4.99.

Dawn of War was always a real-time strategy game, unit composition mattered, abilities mattered, special/heavy weapons absolutely mattered, morale mattered, cover mattered. In Dawn of War III, all that matters is who can spam basic units to keep the opponent on the back foot while working to drop their elite.

So, it’s every other strategy game, right? It’s been (and I shudder to use this term) mainstreamed. It’s not pretty but it’s true. Dawn of War has gone the way of Fallout 4, cutting down the elements that made it what it was in order to appeal to a wider audience.

 

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The real cause of all the outrage? Not enough Dakka

 

Frankly, it shows. Looking at the mixed reviews on steam with only 56% positive and the Metacritic user score sitting at 4.9 it paints a pretty clear picture. Long term fans have been alienated in favour of those who see this as a Starcraft ripoff and if we can’t agree on how bad this game is we can all agree that those people have a special level of hell reserved for them.

You’ve no doubt noticed that I have some strong feelings about this and well I do. I’m a huge fan of the series and of the wider universe, I play the tabletop game and am currently working my way through the Horus Heresy. But this isn’t rage coming from some sense of entitlement because of my investment, it’s disappointment.

Like so many others I’ve watched this series go from arguably one of the best Sci-Fi RTSs to date, to well… rubbish. I really can’t, without repeating myself, describe DOWIII as anything else anymore. It’s sad and depressing but it’s ultimately true. The IP has been carved up – no doubt mainly into DLC – to create something that is a shadow of previous titles.

At the end of the day the damage is done, the executives are cheering with their fat stacks of cash that will no doubt grow larger, the common man celebrates for he too can now enjoy this series and the lone, basement dwelling diehard fan is left with nothing but bitter resentment and dreams of a bygone age and nothing to do but tell people on the internet how awful this game is.

 

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I see D weapons have been nerfed in 8th edition

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Disappointment, Outrage and Betrayal – An Autopsy of Dawn of War III”

  1. A summary of this blog.

    “I don’t the game, therefore it is bad.”

    “I don’t like people who aren’t cool like me and are from my crowd.”

    “New gamers shouldn’t exist and the market should not adapt to a wider consumer audience.”

    “People who don’t agree with me are idiots.”

    I mean you could of really just talked about the game and how the lack of actual content is the thing that really lets it down. Rather than sounding like the myriad face book posts regurgitating words and phrases others have said before them, with seemingly little to no understanding of what an RTS is.

    1. That’s fair and valid criticism which is more than most offer. In future when shitting on something I’ll endeavour to be more precise. I’m admittedly still inexperienced with much to learn so thank you.

        1. You have no idea how welcome actual criticism is, you’ve given me pointers. As someone relatively new to the field I honestly appreciate this. So please, feel free to call me out anytime you happen to read my work.

  2. The game itself isnt bad, but what kills it is serious lack of content. Imagine if the game had basics which even Starcraft has – stances for example, or something like individual upgrades for units, where you can give Tacticals the weapons u want like in first game. If there was + one faction at least and more elites, I would have no problem. Possibly if elites were reserved for Heroes and you could build units like Wraithlord or Terminators but they would cost more… there are even iconic units that are missing. Why the hell there are no Land Raiders (yea I know they werent in vanilla DoW) or Avatar of Khaine …. game engine looks like it could handle whole universe, animations are just great, seeing Wraithknight jumping around the map is glorious, voice acting is kinda okay I like it on my Eldar even if it feels little more Protossy than that “we are more than you” style DoW2 had to it. I am kinda fan of both races (but lack of Warlocks in DoW3 is disturbing). …. and the best for last. Campaign was like one big WtF. DoW1 campaign was done in similar fashion, but still it was thousand times better. Yea, they kept things from dow lore like Chapter Master Angelos, and all those characters like Macha, Gorgutz, Taldeer and so… but that was the only thing this game has in common with other games….. why dont make per faction story? Is it too much for Sega? If Relic did so many good stories (yea, even stereotype of DoW2 vanilla wasnt that bad) why this? why now? It really gives the feeling of recyclated CoD game to it and its the first game in the series. I just hope they will not take 60 bucks for Expansion packs). What kinda hurts me that even Total War wasnt in such condition I believe. Really I doubt they were developing it for 5 years. More likely cutting the content out to sell as DLC cause I dont see any real explanation here.

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