Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising Review for PC

On: PC

Features a new playable army, the traitorous Chaos Space Marines, and continues the epic journey of the Blood Ravens as they battle this new, more personal enemy.

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9Out of 10
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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising screenshot
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising screenshot

It is a problem that has befuddled RTS developers for years: how do you create a compelling single-player campaign that's more than just a glorified multiplayer training manual? So many games, even now, don't even bother to try. Relic Entertainment, with standalone Dawn of War II expansion Chaos Rising, has dared to, and the result is perhaps the best effort yet.

When it comes to daring to try, Relic has form. Before Dawn of War II was released, World War II RTS Company of Heroes wowed PC gamers with its incredible graphics, fast-paced action, and... shock horror... stripped down gameplay. Dawn of War II took the streamlining of the genre one step further, dropping base building and resource gathering almost entirely (it remained in multiplayer, but you got the impression it did so through gritted teeth). Some lambasted Dawn of War II for hardly being an RTS at all, labelling it a slightly more complex Diablo-style dungeon crawler. Others praised Relic for moving things forward. I sort of sat on the fence.

My main beef with Dawn of War II wasn't this shift in focus, but the distinct lack in variety in the campaign missions. Most of them followed one of two repeating patterns: last stand against Tyranids/Orks/Eldar; or make your way around a map and fight a boss at the end. Truth be told, it got boring after a while.

This is where Chaos Rising excels. It not only improves mission variety (to my mind, I can't remember any two missions the same), but adds layers of strategy and excitement, so much so, that you start to forget you're playing an RTS, and instead believe you're embroiled in some kind of Warhammer 40k-fuelled Modern Warfare.

Relic has surely played Infinity Ward's influential shoot-em-up; Chaos Rising's campaign is packed full of set-pieces, scripted moments, and hurtles along at such a relentless pace you worry it may reach its exciting end without you. Put simply, there's a lot more going on.

Take, for example, one early mission set on the frozen planet of Aurelia, which has mysteriously reappeared after thousands of years lost in the Warp. The Blood Ravens, once again guided by the disembodied voice of Gabriel Angelos, are fighting Chaos, as they have a want of doing.

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User Comments

reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio@ Endless

£8 DoW2 + CR bundle from Amazon, can't argue really! Looking forward to it. You got any tips?
Posted 23:23 on 01 January 2011
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ reynoldio

it's more like Company of Heroes than SC or Cannon fodder. DoW is pretty unique in it's mechanics though. At least it was.
Posted 14:09 on 01 January 2011
reynoldio's Avatar


Cross between Starcraft and Cannon Fodder then - come on postie, I'm excited now!
Posted 11:46 on 01 January 2011

renegade@ wyp100

Dark Elder are a bit pants :P.

I want Tau! Oh and Impirial guards, those guys are fun because they suck
Posted 02:34 on 13 March 2010
wyp100's Avatar

wyp100@ CrimsonChaotic

alright the only race that really sucks is the dark eldar, they always have been and forever will be the WORST

What?! I'm sure you'd change your tune with an interrogation needle stuck in your brain!
Posted 09:54 on 12 March 2010
CrimsonChaotic's Avatar


alright the only race that really sucks is the dark eldar, they always have been and forever will be the WORST
Posted 22:30 on 11 March 2010
Bloodstorm's Avatar


Dark Eldar, Tau and Imperial Guard have to be in the next expansions. I'm so happy that Chaos made it back and maybe when i come back from Wick on monday night i'll be playing this on the tuesday.
Posted 12:45 on 11 March 2010
Handwipe's Avatar


SexyJams, you are one sexy babe. Can I have your number? Wait a sec....are you a dude? I can't tell from that pic. maybe you are gay. maybe you are a dude that looks like a chic. probably both. sorry I brought it up.
Posted 08:26 on 11 March 2010
Handwipe's Avatar


Dawn of War 1 and 2 were excellent. I can't wait to play this. Chaos always ruled supreme, when I played the tabletop game 13 years ago Chaos was my army and they were by far the most badass army, most fun to play, and definately the most fun to build and paint. Kharn the Betrayer FTW!!!!! If he was in this game I would literally ***** myself. Judging by the reviews so far and the history Relic has with making kick ass games, chaos rising will be worth double the $30 price.
Posted 08:24 on 11 March 2010
SexyJams's Avatar


only one new race is the only bad comment you could make.
This sounds a really solid game.
Nice review Wes
Posted 19:15 on 10 March 2010

Game Stats

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising
Out of 10
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising
  • Much improved campaign
  • Chaos Space Marines
  • Corruption mechanic is good
  • Only one new race
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 12/03/2010
Platform: PC
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Real-time strategy
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 405 51
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