Chaos Crashing!


For my birthday I received (after asking everyone I knew since I’m far too broke to buy it myself) the expansion pack to Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II entitled Chaos Rising. Chaos is my second favorite faction in the Warhammer 40k universe, next to Orks which are already included in the game, so as soon as it was announced I knew I had to own it.

I’ve got some positive stuff to say about the expansion and some negative stuff. I loved the fact that it stayed very RPG like and indeed it seemed to move more toward an RPG feel with this expansion. We now have dialog “trees”. Sure they don’t branch but I can see them testing the waters for their 40k MMO. The story is another solid area. It was well written and had me sitting there nerding out at several parts. Of course that is partly because I am a huge 40k fan.

The biggest negative for the game was that it has a bug at the moment that causes your game to crash to desktop when you beat the final mission, sometimes. This DID happen to me and I went straight to the forums where I found out it is a somewhat common problem. Relic assures us that they are working on the problem so that’s good. What’s not good is that the game uses Games For Windows Live which means any patch has to be sent to Microsoft for approval before it can be released. The last time this happened, when Dawn of War II launched and people were getting crashes left and right, it took a week from the time the patch was done to the time it could be released. A WEEK of not being able to play what I’ve paid for because of GFWL, a service I hate completely.

The only new unit you get is the Librarian (I am speaking of the single player campaign), though you do get to mess around with a few tanks and your librarian can, if he becomes corrupt, control enemy units. This is always fun to control a big unit and have it turn on it’s friends. If you can’t tell I did go Corrupt, and I found another complaint in doing so. Like in most RPGs that give you the option of being evil, you often have to perform poorly at the game to get the evil points. For example there was a mission where, if it took me over twenty minutes to complete all my squads would gain corruption points. I was done in five minutes but had to let them sit for fifteen in order to get the corruption points.

There are other ways to get corruption, some of them pretty interesting, though I won’t spoil it for you. I haven’t tried the pure route yet to see the difference but I will once Relic gets their patch out. In the meantime the game will just be occupying space on my hard drive. Or maybe I’ll play some Last Stand.

Another complaint was the voiceovers. Most of them are quality, well all of them were pretty good at least except for Thaddeus. He sounded monotone and boring. It was like he wasn’t trying and no one cared. It stands out a LOT when he is having a conversation with anyone else. The sound problems don’t stop there either. Sometimes the voices get very quiet for no reason and then they will increase in volume again, then get quiet again. It really kills the mood.

All these complaints aside I would recommend getting the expansion to anyone who enjoyed the base game, or to anyone who enjoys the 40k universe. Of course this is only AFTER THEY PATCH IT! Trust me, beating the final, 40 minute boss fight only to have it crash RIGHT after, before anything saves, is very demoralizing. Maybe it’s not a bug, maybe it’s Chaos.

Not interested in StarCraft 2?


That’s not entirely accurate, but it does convey some of my feelings towards SC2. Let’s get one thing straight right away, I LOVED StarCraft. I spent dozens of hours on that game and I enjoyed every bit of it. All of that in the single player campaign.

That is exactly how I will enjoy StarCraft 2 as well, single player. Almost everyone is really excited for the multiplayer, but I’ve never been a fan of multiplayer unless it was an MMO or the occasional FPS.

So why am I not that interested in StarCraft 2 if I LOVED the first game? Do I doubt Blizzard? Not at all. The StarCraft cash shop has me a LITTLE concerned, but nothing too serious. No the truth is that I have heard the game is StarCraft with better graphics and a new story. That sounds awesome to a lot of people, but I am horrified that it IS like StarCraft.

The industry has come a long way since StarCraft released. Games like Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II have released, forever changing my view of the RTS. Gone was the tedious base building (that admittedly some people love. Some people ALSO love spread sheets.) and gone was the hour and a half of gameplay that saw no combat as you built up your base.

In those games you kept moving, and that is something that StarCraft 2 has apparently not done. I just don’t think that I can go back to the build+bake style of RTS.

Speaking of Dawn of War II the expansion launches in four days, March 11th 2010! Chaos Rising!