Sunday, March 29, 2009

Let's Go To War Lads! Waaaaagh - Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II

ifWarhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is a real-time strategy video game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ for Microsoft Windows. It is the sequel to the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War video game series. Dawn of War II was released in North America on February 19, 2009.It retails for $39-$49.99 depending on where you shop.

- Pros: Most everything is subtitled, missions are fast and to the point, simplified controls.

- Cons: Side missions are slightly repetitive.

Presentation: The presentation of the game is actually very good and sets up the story nicely. The graphical theme is consistent to wrap most of the game and is visually pleasing to the act. The controls are explained well in the tutorial and gets you right into the action. I have found the game to be enjoyable overall with minimal hiccups. You can also get loot drops during the progression of the game that you can use to modify your different units. There is no base building and you only get to use a few units at a time which can be customized to suit each mission. I think it's a nice change in a real-time strategy game to have this feature.( 7of9 tails.)

Graphics: although the graphics are not the best I have seen in a real-time strategy game, they are above average and very similar to
Call of heroes graphical style. The character models are average in my opinion and could have been done better. I am not saying that the graphics are bad, they are actually good in most cases. There are lots of explosions and plenty of features to go around and make this an enjoyable graphical experience.(7of9 Tails.)

Sound: The sound is fairly well done and hitting for the atmosphere. There is plenty of sound effects and voice acting in this game which are above average from what I'm used to. They can get incredibly intense during battle and this makes you feel like you're in the middle of a massive firefight. I really think they did a good job in this department and I was pleased with how it sounded on my surround system.(8of9 tails.)

Controls: the game has very simplified controls that allow this game to be played using only the mouse. There are a few hotkeys that can be used but are not absolutely necessary to beat the game. There is not much more to say to this, other than that the controls are wonderful and simple.(9of9 tails.)

Replayability: after the single player campaign is over you can play online against your friends and other people you don't know. Unlike in the single player campaign, you can play as all three different factions to see which ones you like the best and compete against opponents over the Internet. Also you can play through the game again to try different strategies or the co-op mode that was implemented. It's a lot of fun with friends. I think you get your money's worth for this game.(8of9 tails.)

Accessibility: now for the most important part of the review, accessibility! From my time playing through the game the story elements and cut scenes had subtitles. The characters comments when issuing orders and when they were under attack did not have any subtitles. Although this should have been subtitled it will not take away from the game if you are deaf or hard of hearing. All the important parts are subtitled and sometimes I even turned off the sound so I would not get a headache. There is one minor flaw in the game if you happen to be colorblind, although this will not have much of an effect it should be noted. There are different types of cover you can take and they are signified by different colors when you hover over areas that you can take cover in. Although you can usually tell visually that a treaty is going to give you less protection than a broken wall. Just a minor flaw that does not take much away from the game if anything in my honest opinion. You can play this game in black and white and still have fun.

Since everything can be done with the mouse there is no real need for alternative configurations. You can adjust the sensitivity settings and you can also turn on sticky clicking. This makes it so that you can only click on your units and clicking on the ground will not constantly deselect your units if you happen to have any kind of coordination issues. I find this to be a highly accessible computer game. Definitely worth checking out if you like real-time strategy games or the Warhammer universe. I would venture as far to say 90% of the disabled can easily enjoy this game. (9of9 tails.)

Closing comments: Although it's not the greatest real-time strategy game ever made, it is a very fun game and should provide for at least a few weeks of entertainment. Everything can be done with only using a mouse and thankfully they kept the control simple and not ridiculously overdone. Definitely worth checking out this game if you want to be able to play a game casually as the missions are usually short and quick. You can also play this for a few hours at a time if you choose to do so and still have fun.(8of9 tails.)

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