Dawn of War III Holds Over 40% Negative Reviews and Climbing: Will the Franchise Survive?

We take a look at the complaints levelled at the newest game in the hit RTS series
We take a look at the complaints levelled at the newest game in the hit RTS series

The Reviews are in for Dawn of War 3, and the News Isn’t Good

Warhammer and PC Gaming fans alike were understandably excited when they heard that a third installment of the wildly popular RTS franchise Dawn of War was on its way. Reviews have not been kind to the latest game, however. Warhammer games usually generate a number of DLCs, but will the poor reviews Dawn of War III has received on Steam doom the franchise?

Best of Both Previous Titles?

Dawn of War has a storied history in PC gaming, and introduced many gamerse to the world of Warhammer 40k

Fans were eager to get their hands on Dawn of War III when it was announced, but that excitement cooled somewhat when the game was finally released.

The original Dawn of War was a fast-paced real-time strategy game that featured four factions, the Orks, Space Marines, Eldar, and Chaos Space Marines, each with their own unique game mechanics. The game did away with the resource gathering that was commonplace among other RTS’s of the time and instead had players fighting over strategic points that supplied resources over time. The game was so successful that it eventually released a number of DLCs, each adding new factions from the game’s expansive source material.

Dawn of War 2 featured a number of highly noticeable changes from its predecessor, removing much of the base building mechanics and scaling down the unit size. The sequel focused more on unit tactics and terrain, and its first DLC, Chaos Rising, featured a story campaign where player choices affected the game’s outcome to some extent.

Dawn of War 3 promised to bring back the massive battles of the first game and combine them with the tactical precision of the second. Reviews from Steam have shown that players didn’t feel Relic Entertainment succeeded at this, citing improperly balanced factions and a complete lack of tactical depth.

Balance issues plague Dawn of war 3

The three factions of the game; Orks, Eldar, and Space Marines

The three factions currently playable in Dawn of War 3; Orks, Eldar, and Space Marines.

Many players are stating that the game’s three factions, the Space Marines, Orks, and Eldar, are wildly imbalanced, ruining the gaming experience. Several reviews point out that the Eldar are currently too powerful, which is an odd twist, as others felt that that faction was lacking in past Dawn of War games.

On top of this, there have been a lot of criticism leveled at the single player campaign, which many felt was lacking. Those same people point to the attention shown to the game’s multiplayer aspects as having deprived resources that could’ve better fleshed out the single player experience. Similar comments were made on Dawn of War 2’s last DLC, Retribution, which used a recycled single player campaign for all factions.

Terrain and cover mechanics are oversimplified

Dawn of War 3 brought back the large scale battles of the first game.

The combat in Dawn of War III is definitely flashy and action packed, but many critics say that it lacks any of the tactical complexities of the franchise’s previous installment.

Many players felt let down that the cover and terrain mechanics of the second game have been simplified, with some saying that they’ve been toned down to the point of being completely unnecessary. This breaks the squad based tactical system that the game advertised itself as having, and while many praised the return of base building mechanics, others were still very let down by this.

Overall, the poor reviews for Relic Entertainment’s newest foray into the grim darkness of the 40k universe are painting a bleak picture for the franchise’s future. Many other games have had similar criticisms levelled at them, among them Darkest Dungeon, which managed to attain commercial success and is currently releasing its first DLC. Time will tell if the Dawn of War franchise is doomed, but the game currently has a lot of ground it can cover in future DLCs.

Source Links:

Dawn of War 3 Steam Page


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Sorcerer and scribe, I am always seeking out new stories, new worlds, new horrors. Delving into dusty libraries and tombs, I work to drag the Weird into the light, even if its not a very good idea...
Gamer Since: 1998
Favorite Genre: RTS
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