The Dawn of War series is known for having large amounts of strategy coupled with a rich story that is Warhammer 40k. As usual the story will revolve around the Space Marines getting into some kind of debacle that has the universe being on the verge of destruction. Retribution takes a note from expansions from the previous game and adds more races to play as in the campaign. This also marks the game in the DoW series that uses Steam Play and not Games for windows like Chaos Rising.
Chaos is starting a whole new issue and plans to throw the universe into peril for the Dark Emperor. Because this game allows the playability of multiple races the reasons for the Orks wanting to destroy Kyras (traitor from Chaos Rising). Every ending is different and each race has their own story to tell. The endings are really what you play the campaign for. If you love the rich atmosphere that is Warhammer 40k you will most likely appreciate this expansion more than the average gamer.
The gameplay is what really matters in this title. Every race plays differently. The Orks and Imperial Guard have always relied the most on numbers while the Eldar and Space Marines seem to focus more on buffing their units with quality equipment. The RPG elements return but in a very different way. The point system from DoW2 and Chaos Rising has been taken out. Now you gain only abilities when you level up. However, it is impossible to upgrade everything. While the process appears to be simplified it ends up being a strictly strategy based thought process. While this same process happened with other games in the series it is still a simpler version of it’s predecessors. It retains its RPG customization roots and that is what counts.
Relic has done it again and made this game stand out among the other titles. Unlike DoW2 and Chaos Rising you can now build armies on the battlefield rather than take only commander units into the fight. Requisition, Energy and population are all a factor when building your army on the fly. You collect these resources through crates that you used to find items in. Capturing camps and vehicle buildings are top priority unless specified by the current objective. Vehicles can turn the tide of battle and cost quite a bit of everything. Planning ahead seems to be the best option but battles can quickly go from in your favor to game over.
Customization got bigger in DoW2 and with the addition of squads they can be upgraded to have different weapons and abilities. For instance Ork Boyz have two upgrade possibilities. Shootas and Burnas, each are good for their own use. Burnas are anti infantry and ignore cover while shootas are longer range and the Ork Boyz gain the ability to throw grenades. Having one of each is usually a good option but there are a plethora of other classes to utilize like the Weirdboy or Nobz. Every race has their own upgrades, equipment, units and combat styles. You can also substitute your commander units (such as the Mek Boy) for the Killer Can. When you sub in a noble unit like this they gain extra abilities from the unit taken out. Some of these are nice, some aren’t. Another bonus is that when you take out one of those units you gain more population points. This works best with races that rely heavily on numbers.
Complete with multiplayer and six different ways to play singleplayer Retribution has plenty to offer and Relic outdid themselves with this title. May main complaint is the levels are the same through everyone’s campaign and it is pretty short. But the length is overlooked considering the races you can play. When Relic makes an expansion it is always better than the previous one. This is a worthy title and there is a planned sequel.
I loved this game and being a Warhammer 40k fan helped. I wish the Necrons were in it, but I digress. For 30 bucks you are getting quite the deal.