Dawn of War 3: EGX 2016 hands-on
We already named
Dawn of War 3 as one of the best games at EGX 2016, and it was playable there, so there's a chance you managed to have a go yourself. If you didn't manage it, but you're jonesing for a strategy game, Dawn of War 3 might scratch that itch.
The scale comes in somewhere between the full scale warfare of Dawn of War 1 and the squad-based shenanigans of Dawn of War 2. In this hands-on, you're controlling the Space Marines, lead by hero Gabriel Angelos. He's a close range monster, and along with the towering mechanoid super-unit Imperial Knight Solaria, they're spearheading your attack against the evil Eldar.
Each of the heroes play differently in this mission. Angelos wades into combat with his excellently named God-splitter hammer, and starts laying the smackdown on everything around him, knocking enemies around left and right with mighty swings. He's backed up with a squad of terminators that teleport into battle with big hammers and short-range teleportation devices that can hop around the battlefield flanking people.
Solaris? She's an animal. As one of the game's new super units, she stomps around the map wrecking everything, firing chain guns and shoulder-mounted missiles at anyone stupid enough to stand in front of her.
But no hero can win the battle alone, and they'll quickly be outnumbered without the proper support, and these heroes are backed up by selection of tanks, mechs and troopers that you pump out of your base. Space Marines being as they are though, your best bet is to toss plenty of basic Tactical Marines at the problem. Space Marines are so into the business of 'toss marines at the problem' you can use drop pods to deliver troops and vehicles anywhere on the map.
The battles are a perfect mix of AAA quality and faithfulness to the Warhammer universe that mean not only do the plasma guns and autocannons look great as they fire, but they're also the right ones, sticking to the lore. This is bound to win over the game fans, and this touch of authenticity with your high fidelity makes each battle feel exceptionally brutal, with human detritus scattered across the map after each battle.
Despite all these new touches though, it feels decidedly old-school in terms of mechanics, in a way that really works for me: this is a game filled with upgrade trees and rally points, where each unit has its own special strength. This is what Relic has always excelled at, and while I was worried after its experiments with Company of Heroes 2 ended in (in my opinion) failure, it looks like Dawn of War 3 is going to continue their reputation as one of the finest real-time strategy studios out there.
Hell, with Sega publishing this and Total War: Warhammer and strong relationships with Relic and Creative Assembly, Sega is becoming the company to watch for AAA strategy games. Dawn of War 3 looks immense.