Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm Review for PC

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Dawn of War returns with its third and final expansion
Dawn of War returns with its third and final expansion

Dawn of War returns with its third and final expansion

When Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War came out just under four years ago it didn't revolutionise the RTS genre, but it did offer a compelling, solid, fun and, for its time, spectacular strategy experience. However, it did feel slightly lacking in the playable race department, offering only the Space Marines, Orcs, Eldar and Chaos Marines for future fantasy fans to sink their fangs into. Three expansions and nine races later we've finally got our hands on the Dark Eldar and the Sisters of Battle in what's promised to be the final Dawn of War expansion ever. Having pumped hours into the two new races, stayed up late into the night busting open the ultimately unnecessary single-player campaign meta-game and stared bleary-eyed at the game's new air units, we can confirm that Soulstorm is bloody brilliant and a fitting finale for the RTS franchise. Phew.

First off the two new races. The Dark Eldar are evil incarnate, kind of like the Eldar gone very, very bad. They concentrate on pain, torture and terrible acts of depraved violence. And they love it. And I love them for it. The Dark Eldar, while not the most popular of races among fans, are an intriguing lot. They've got a creepy, crazed feel that should offer the more unstable of Warhammer 40k fans an alternative to the similarly bad but more soulless Chaos Marines.

On the battlefield the Dark Eldar are best used with run and gun tactics - their high mobility but low durability makes them perfect for quick-fire attacks and even quicker retreats. Because of this the Dark Eldar are a very strong tier one race, but get less useful the longer a skirmish goes on. Their super-powerful Dais of Destruction is more of a spectacular luxury than a useful unit. Better to rush your opponent and try to finish them off before they pump out the Terminators.

The Dark Eldar's hook is the harvesting of souls from corpses strewn about the battlefield. Soul Essence is a spectral resource used to power their sickest and most powerful abilities, some of which affect the entire battlefield. For example, you've got the Screams of the Damned ability, which reduces the morale of all enemies, to the all encompassing Soulstorm attack itself. These special abilities are accessed from a bar above the main toolbar at the bottom of the screen, and consume souls from the Dark Eldar's Soul Essence attack, meaning you'll have to make sure you harvest as many souls as possible from the corpses of your defeated foes.

The Dark Eldar are evil incarnate

The Dark Eldar are evil incarnate

The other new playable race, the Sisters of Battle, are an all-female Space Marine/Imperial Guard hybrid who have taken their devotion to the God-Emperor a tad too far. They have an all white angelic look, with halos and Organ tanks (yes, I said organ tanks). They're good all-rounders, durable, mobile, and powerful, but they don't excel in either area. Like the Dark Eldar, the Sisters of Battle won't top many Warhammer 40k fans' favourite race list, but they're worth a few hours of play, if only to hear some of the fabulous lines of dialogue their units have been blessed with.

Unique to the Sisters is their Faith, built up by adding Holy Icons to Listening Posts. In the game Faith acts as a sort of supplementary tier, granting Act of Faith special abilities and access to the Sisters' most powerful units, but in the Dawn of War lore it is the "metaphysical measure of their devotion to the Emperor". Sounds like a dodgy cult to us.

Nothing from the Dark Eldar or the Sisters of Battle, changes the way hardened Dawn of War veterans will play the game. The fundamentally fun take and hold resource based gameplay is as important for both the new races as it is for the Space Marines, Orcs and everyone else. In a way this sums up everything you need to know about Soulstorm - it's more of the same.

Each race has been given air units, a first for the series. These work in almost exactly the same way as ground units except they can travel over all types of terrain. Most are mobile and best used in quick strike attacks. One of Soulstorm's biggest draws for fans will be messing about with their favourite race's new air unit. Unfortunately you can't control their height, which is a bit of a shame, but we understand that this could potentially have caused problems on the battlefield.

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Anonymous

This game is bloody awesome ,..................yes i think DoW Soulstorm as an expansion pack might deserve 8 , but if u see it as a stand alone game it deserves 9/10 atleaast . So far i have not encountered ne bugs .

This game is beyond great , 9 civs so different from each other in gameplay now thas awesome . And the character detail n animation is just awesome , sure i didnt like terrain detail much at start and it certainly isnt the best looking rts out there but hey , i m not complaining coz overall ITS THE BEST RTS yet ~ ~ ! ! !
Posted 12:15 on 12 December 2008
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forcedevil

hurray the game is decent i would rather A SINGLE PLAYER CAMPAIN its a shame its so similar to DC

yes the bugs.. did u youk if ur ally is capturing somethign from the nemy click on it to capture after ur ally captures u take it from ur ally
Posted 13:47 on 03 October 2008
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help, please?

can't create user at start ?, whats problem?
Posted 08:34 on 17 September 2008
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that guy u no

well, i think the nercons are the best offences and defence. the only thing that sucks about the necrons is that there too slow wen moving witch is hard to rush with unless u no what to do wth them. the games great and run smooth. i have not seen any bugs and srsly, if your computer cant hand 1 game of it, that is a sign to get a better computer cause im running to off a laptop. XD
Posted 04:39 on 02 September 2008
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Ali

Please Give Me Dawn of War - Soulstorm Of trainer
Posted 10:25 on 21 July 2008
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jaro627

The tau got nerfed sooo much it's rediculose and in scrimish mode even on insane the comps do not make the ultimate units and the space marines can never get a good start before sumthing kills them with one group. other then that great game. What are ur favorite races? (survey)
Posted 03:58 on 04 July 2008
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someone

the sisters of battle are amazing! thier artillery can do massive damage, penitent engines are the best walker and the living saint is amazing. the campaign is like a lot of skirmishes,which is good because you don't always have to make special assults all the time and you can get starting units and make your commander amazing. What's not to like?
Posted 10:44 on 29 June 2008
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someone

this game is awesome
Posted 10:39 on 29 June 2008
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F.M.O.

Good grief. I'm close to just breaking the disk in half. I can't even destroy an enemy headquarters without it glitching so bad that it just boots me out of the game. And it happens every time at the exact same spot and time. The load times make me want to cry.
Posted 04:43 on 24 May 2008
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GodStorm[R0]

Hi there!Well i got ss a few weeks ago and i've been playing it since then.I finished the sp campaign with sob and de(mainly cuz theyr new) at normal difficulty just to see how they are.I feel the de have to much rush power in them but that's not a problem since theyr defense sucks.The sob well i love em'!Theyr a lot of fun to play with all that fire and plasma units.Overall it's a great finale for the dow series(except for the mp bugs :-( ).
Posted 11:12 on 28 April 2008
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puppies

I have just install the game but it keep kick me out of the windows when i start the game. Please help.

Posted 17:19 on 22 April 2008
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Anonymous

i still think the space marines are the best i mean the SOB are just female space marines with new units and resource not really much of a difference
they didnt give a space marine air unit either that disappointed me but at least they still got terminators and deep striking squads
Posted 01:34 on 27 March 2008
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wyp100

The campaign is massive if you enjoy it - it will of course depend on what difficulty you play it on, but theoretically, if you were to try and counquer all four planets of the system with every single race on the hardest difficulty, I'd imagine it would take you around 50 hours.
Posted 15:30 on 22 March 2008
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Anonymous

So it it a big campaign or what? is there weeks of play or a few hours?
Posted 13:05 on 22 March 2008
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Hunkinatot10

Couple of only concerns with it, the campaign take forever to load. I have top range specs and when i click campaign it takes like 2-3 mins to open up the screen. Then it takes another 2 - 3 mins to tell me that i have conquered a planet then another 2 - 3 mins for me to get back to the actual campaign screen.

I see what you mean about SOB being over powered, but i was playing against an IG army and we were both fully upgraded and both hit each other at the same time and annihilated each others army, there over powered but have the same stats as IG on the table top version which is sh*t.
Posted 21:01 on 16 March 2008

Game Stats

System Requirements
8
Out of 10
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm
  • Dark Eldar are evil incarnate
  • Dawn of War fans will love it
  • Campaign meta-game annoys
  • Looks a tad dated
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 07/03/2008
Platform: PC
Developer: Iron Lore Entertainment
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Real-time strategy
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 105 7
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