Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
Dawn of War III Cover.png
Developer(s) Relic Entertainment
Publisher(s) Sega
Director(s) Philippe Boulle
Producer(s) Lee McKinnon Pederson
Designer(s) Brent Disbrow
Brock Robin
Byron Chow
Shaun Easterday
Damon Gauthier
Carolina Mastretta
Programmer(s) Remy Saville
Anthony Bergelt
Ian Thomson
Kris Lang
Artist(s) Matthew Kuzminski
Nick Unden
Yvi Mendoza
Tristan Brett
Robert Westwood
Michael Mussellam
Writer(s) Kyle Berndt
Adam Bullied
Composer(s) Paul Leonard-Morgan[1]
Series Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
Engine Essence Engine 4.0[2]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Release April 27, 2017
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III is a real-time strategy video game with MOBA influences[3] released by Relic Entertainment and Sega in partnership with Games Workshop, the creators of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It is the third stand-alone title in the Dawn of War series, and the first new release in the series since Dawn of War II: Retribution in 2011. It was released for Microsoft Windows on April 27, 2017.[4] On May 26, 2017, Feral Interactive announced that the Linux version would use both the OpenGL and Vulkan graphics APIs, while the macOS port would use Apple's Metal.[5] The macOS and Linux versions were released on June 8, 2017.[6]

In February 2018, 10 months after release, a couple of gaming media outlets published that Relic would stop active development of the game[7][8]. Relic developers confirmed these claims shortly after on the same day, while promising to maintain game servers and forums online[9]. Their official statement mentions the game didn't meet expectations at launch nor during the course of its life.

Plot[edit]

A "catastrophic weapon," known as the Spear of Khaine, is discovered on the lost planet Acheron, and three forces converge on the planet – the Blood Ravens Space Marines under legendary commander Gabriel Angelos, the Eldar led by Farseer Macha (with both heroes returning from the first game), and an Ork horde led by Warboss Gorgutz (his fourth appearance, after Winter Assault, Dark Crusade, and Soulstorm).[10]

The campaign begins on the Imperial Knight world of Cyprus Ultima, which is under siege from a massive Ork horde led by Warboss Gitstompa. For reasons unknown, the Imperial Inquisitor Holt has ordered the Imperial Navy to blockade the planet and denies Lady Solaria's Imperial Knight House Varlock any reinforcements planetside. The Blood Ravens under Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos run the blockade to help Lady Solaria, but not before Varlock Keep is looted by Lieutenant Gorgutz. Gitstompa uses the looted parts to build an enormous cannon capable of defeating the Eldar.

Autarch Kyre, the leader of the Biel-Tan warhost on Cyprus Ultima, summons Farseer Macha to aid him against the Orks there. Kyre is using Cyprus Ultima as a staging ground to travel to the planet Acheron when it emerges from the alternate dimension of the Warp. Kyre is obsessed with the Spear of Khaine, named after the lost Eldar god of war and said to be able to kill enemies with a single blow. He seized the Spirit Stone of Farseer Taldeer (Dark Crusade) from her twin brother, the Eldar Ranger Ronahn (Retribution). While in his custody, Taldeer unwittingly told Kyre of the prophecy surrounding the Spear of Khaine. In a trance, she prophecised that the wayfarers would be called forth by the Spear of Khaine and united by the Storm Prince. Convinced that he is the Storm Prince destined to unite the fractured and nomadic Eldar, the power-hungry Autarch secretly keeps her prisoner as a way to swell his own ranks of his Swordwind army through using her as a puppet. Unable to communicate with anyone, Taldeer is effectively isolated from any help. Farseer Macha, however, does not trust Kyre, and secretly begins to build an insurgency with the aid of Ronahn, who pretended to cooperate with Kyre as his spymaster, and Jain Zar, Phoenix Lord of the Howling Banshees.

One detachment of Eldar forces assault the Imperial Starfort Helios where Blood Ravens Librarian Jonah Orion is studying an Eldar artifact, but Gabriel Angelos and his Space Marines arrive in time to rescue the Librarian, although at the cost of critically damaging the Starfort. The Inquisitor is incensed at the damage done and Gabriel orders Chaplain Diomedes (Retribution) to stay with his detachment on Helios to defend it and oversee repairs.

Back on Cyprus Ultima, Gitstompa's cannon is sabotaged by Gorgutz, and it explodes just as he is about to engage Macha's forces, who overrun him. With Gitstompa defeated, Gorgutz quickly subjugates Gitstompa's other subordinates. Gorgutz forms a new warband with them and begins preparations to travel to Acheron, which he heard about after battling the Eldar in the Kaurava system.

Farseer Macha and her forces prepare to assault the Blood Ravens on Cyprus Ultima and nearly kill both Librarian Orion and Gabriel Angelos when a meteor shower interrupts the battle, heralding the arrival of the planet Acheron.

Gorgutz seizes the opportunity to crash his spaceship into another Starfort and overwhelms the defending Blood Ravens before landing on Acheron. Helios crashes on Acheron's outer shell when it emerges from the Warp. Gabriel Angelos and a squad of Terminators boards the Starfort to administer last rites to Chaplain Diomedes, but end up rescuing him from the Eldar and Orks attacking him in the wreckage of Helios.

Farseer Macha and Ronahn manage to have an audience with Gorgutz (after killing many of his troops) and convince him to fight Kyre in an effort to derail Kyre from getting to the true surface of Acheron where the Spear is kept. Learning of the Spear on Acheron from Macha, Gorgutz wants the spear for himself. Ronahn leads Gorgutz straight to Kyre's outposts and Gorgutz kills Wraithlord Valador. While Kyre is preoccupied fighting Gorgutz's forces, Macha, Jain Zar, and a handful of Striking Scorpions raid Kyre's main base where the Spirit Stone of Farseer Taldeer is kept. Macha's strike group barely escapes with the aid of sympathizers within Kyre's ranks as well as a surprise attack from a detachment of Gorgutz's Orks.

Meanwhile, Gabriel Angelos has tracked Gorgutz's warband all the way to the Vault, one of the many passageways to Acheron's true surface below its outer shell. He destroys Wazmakka's cannon that was brought there to break open the vault. The Inquisitor orders the orbital bombardment of the Vault despite Angelos being in the immediate vicinity of it, in an attempt to destroy it and cut off any access to the Spear. The Imperial orbital bombardment does not have the intended effect of sealing the Vault, but rather, breaks it open. Kyre sees the destruction of The Vault as an opportunity to lead his forces down to the true surface of Acheron. Enraged, Librarian Orion and Chaplain Diomedes swears vengeance on the Inquisitor for (seemingly) killing the Chapter Master and opening the way for Kyre. It is not until Lady Solaria informs them of news of Angelos' survival from Inquisitor Horst that they shift priorities towards regrouping with Angelos on the surface instead.

Macha and Ronahn make an unsettling discovery on Acheron - they come across an enormous Greater Daemon of Khorne - a Bloodthirster, trapped in the ice, but attempting to awaken. The Bloodthirster was sealed there by the ancient Eldar eons ago. Kyre also discovers the Daemon but thinks the Spear of Khaine should be used to kill the daemon. Taldeer, Ronahn, and Macha aren't so sure, and think the Spear is nothing more than a trap and decide to cut all ties with Kyre in order to save their people. When they attempt to flee via the Colossus Gates, Kyre locks down their escape routes. Taldeer orders Ronahn to place her Spirit Stone in a Wraithknight and to pilot her new mechanical body to help break down the Colossus Gates' locks. Knowing that only twins, one dead and one living, can pilot a Wraithknight, Ronahn reluctantly complies despite his objections to risking her life again. They flee to another section of Acheron away from Kyre's forces.

Gabriel Angelos and his Blood Ravens, along with Lady Solaria and her Imperial Knight walker, arrive at the Temple of the Spear of Khaine and overrun Kyre's forces as well as a portion of Gorgutz's forces, but Gorgutz exacts his revenge with the help of Big Mek Wazmakka's Beauty the Morkanaut, defeating one of Kyre's Wraithknights and one of Solaria's Imperial Knights.

With Taldeer explaining that the prophecy was unclear and her vision partially obscured, both Macha and Taldeer meditate and try to clearly decipher the contents of the prophecy. Meanwhile, both Kyre and Gorgutz arrive at the altar of the Spear and Kyre quickly bests the Ork Warboss. Kyre takes the Spear and attempts to kill Gorgutz with it. Unfortunately, it is revealed the prophecy regarding the Spear was a trap to free the Daemon. The "Spear's" main blade shatters without harming Gorgutz, and Kyre is consumed in a blood sacrifice that releases the Bloodthirster from the ice. Now freed, the Bloodthirster becomes empowered by the countless lives taken on and around the planet for millennia - lives slain all in pursuit of the "Spear."

All three factions - Eldar, Space Marines, and Orks are stuck battling Warp Spawn generated by the Daemon using echoes of the warriors slain on the planet. Farseer Macha tasks Gorgutz with destroying the Chaos Spires that are powering the Daemon and generating the Warp Spawn. Meanwhile, Macha urges Gabriel Angelos to sacrifice his Battle Barge, the Dauntless - helmed by Captain Balthazar, to cripple the Daemon by ramming it into a fissure on the planet's surface; sacrificing the lives onboard but would destroy the Daemon. Knowing the Daemon was shielding Acheron, Angelos reluctantly complies and the Dauntless crashes directly into one of Acheron's tectonic faultlines; disintegrating the planet. Before the Dauntless impacted, Macha teleported Gorgutz and Angelos to safety.

With Acheron fragmented and destroyed, the Daemon diminishes in size and power. With the urging of Macha, who believe the prophecy predicted all three factions (all of whom are nomadic "wayfarers") must work together to defeat the Daemon, now revealed to be the Storm Prince, the three heroes team up to defeat the Daemon after battling through hordes of Warp Spawn on the fragment of the planet housing the Temple of the Spear. All three heroes warily part ways after defeating the Daemon, but Gorgutz stays back and grabs the Spear for himself as a trophy before leaving.

In an after credits scene, a Necron Overlord has taken notice of the events on Acheron and prepares his armies.

Gameplay[edit]

The initial factions available for play are the Space Marines of the Imperium of Man (who have appeared in the other Dawn of War games), the Eldar, and the Orks.[11] Other non playable factions in-game include the Imperial Guard as well as the Daemons of Khorne while the Necrons make a brief cameo in the epilogue. In the multiplayer game, various skins are available for the three factions, different chapters for the Space Marines, alternate craftworlds for the Eldar, and different clans for the Orks.

Development[edit]

The game was announced in May 2016, seven years after the release of Dawn of War II. According to the game's executive producer, Stephen MacDonald, elements from both of the previous Dawn of War games will be featured in Dawn of War III.[12] A companion novel by the same name was written by Robbie MacNiven and released on April 18, 2017.[13] In addition, a four part comic series began serialization by Titan Comics on April 19, 2017.[14]

The macOS and Linux ports of the game, developed by Feral Interactive, while able to play in their own network, aren't able to communicate with the original Windows version,[15] which resulted in a divide in the small playerbase shortly after release. Similarly, other games by Relic, also running on the Essence Engine and ported to other platforms by Feral, have featured a separate network for Unix-based systems [16].

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic77%
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid7.5/10
Game Informer7.75/10
Game Revolution3.5/5 stars
GameSpot8/10
IGN7.6/10
Polygon8/10

GameSpot awarded Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III a score of 8.0 out of 10, saying "Dawn of War III builds and maintains an organic tension that yields huge pay-offs, and there’s nothing else quite like it."[17] Destructoid awarded it 7.5 out of 10, saying "Not everything works (especially the strict adherence to the core concept), but it's still very much both a Warhammer and a Dawn of War joint."[18] Hardcore Gamer awarded it 4.5 out of 5, saying "Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III successfully takes the best elements from the previous two games and blends them with traditional RTS mechanics to create a game with deep strategic gameplay."[19] IGN scored the game as 7.6/10, noting that "Relic deserves credit for not simply remaking the same game with prettier graphics, but this hybrid approach doesn’t feel as strong as Dawn of War 2’s memorable tactical focus."[20]

Player reception of the game has been much less forgiving than that of the critics, with criticism directed at the game's heavy focus on MOBA-inspired elements rather than traditional RTS-style mechanics.[21][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paul Leonard-Morgan twitter "Psyched to have scored #music for #DawnOfWar3 trailer with awesome @RageMusicUK . All hail @axisanim & @relicgames"". Twitter. May 3, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  2. ^ Takahashi, Dean (June 14, 2016). "Dawn of War III is Relic's long-awaited return to Warhammer 40,000". Venture Beat. Retrieved June 14, 2016. 
  3. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (6 March 2017). "How Dawn of War 3 uses MOBAs to modernise multiplayer RTS". 
  4. ^ Makuch, Eddie (6 March 2017). "Dawn Of War 3 Release Date, Collector's Edition Announced". GameSpot. Retrieved 6 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "Hammer of steel and fire: Dawn of War III for macOS and Linux forged with next-generation graphics technology". 26 May 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  6. ^ Nestor, Marius. "Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III Is Officially Out for Linux, SteamOS and macOS". Softpedia. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  7. ^ Wesley Yin-Poole (2018-02-08). "Relic leaves Dawn of War 3 behind as it moves on to new projects". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2018-02-07. 
  8. ^ Alec Meer (2018-02-08). "Relic: no "major content" planned for Dawn of War 3 after it fails to hit targets". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2018-02-08. 
  9. ^ "Relic Q&A". 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2018-02-08. 
  10. ^ "Dawn of War". Dawn of War. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  11. ^ Smith, Graham (May 3, 2016). "Dawn Of War 3 Announced: Trailer And First Details". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  12. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (May 3, 2016). "Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3 announced". Eurogamer. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  13. ^ MacNiven, Robbie. "Dawn of War III". Simon & Schuster. 
  14. ^ "Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War III - The Hunt for Gabriel Angelos". Titan Comics. 
  15. ^ "Dawn of War III’s multiplayer is cross-platform between Mac and Linux, but not with Windows." https://www.dawnofwar.com/article/dawn-of-war-3-coming-to-mac-and-linux
  16. ^ "This is why CoH2 will have per-platform multiplayer", on Company of Heroes 2's Steam forums https://steamcommunity.com/groups/maclinux/discussions/0/528398719787800607/
  17. ^ Starkey, Daniel (April 20, 2017). "Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III Review". GameSpot. Retrieved April 20, 2017. 
  18. ^ Carter, Chris (April 20, 2017). "Review: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III". Destructoid. Retrieved April 20, 2017. 
  19. ^ Dunsmore, Kevin (April 20, 2017). "Review: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved April 20, 2017. 
  20. ^ Stapleton, Dan (April 27, 2017). "Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 3 Review". IGN. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  21. ^ Critics And Gamers Can't Agree On 'Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War III' (Forbes) https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2017/04/27/critics-and-gamers-cant-agree-on-warhammer-40000-dawn-of-war-iii/#5c64995543dd
  22. ^ Fans bash 'Dawn of War 3' for adopting MOBA elements https://mic.com/articles/175555/fans-bash-dawn-of-war-3-for-adopting-moba-elements#.tH5nRZgoX

23 Fans forced to make thread about moderation to speak about the oppressive moderation. http://steamcommunity.com/groups/acpreport/discussions/0/2119355556483626427/

External links[edit]