Reader Review: Dawn Of War II: Chaos Rising

Reader Review: Dawn Of War II: Chaos Rising

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Alex does, as he walks into a bar with a space marine, a tyranid and an ork.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Alex Walker. If you’ve played Chaos Rising, or just want to ask Alex more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising (PC)

Relic’s standalone-expansion to the Warhammer 40K universe rides on! With a brand-new campaign, maps and the long awaited Chaos Marines, there’s never been a better time to be corrupted.


It All Fits: Thanks to the developed Warhammer 40K universe, the in-game world feels realistic. The characters fit, the plot seems plausible and the battles are suitably epic and chaotic. Nothing is out of place, and the final twist in the story kicks into place it all plays out exactly like it should. This isn’t classic literature, but it is coherent and fun to play through.

Corruption: Embracing the dark side unlocks gear and abilities than you’d have as a normal Space Marine, but at the cost of other abilities. The Librarian, for example, loses his healing power in exchange for more damage. It’s a choice you’ll have to constantly recheck during the game, as your slide into Chaos opens up different strategies and ways to play the campaign.

Micro-management: Like Dawn of War 2, there’s no base-building or managing of the economy. The downside is that it turns off fans of building big bases – Starcraft fans should probably look elsewhere – but what Chaos Rising does, it does very, very well.

Chaos Marines: They might look like darker versions of the Space Marines, but the Chaos are a very, very cool race to play with. Rather than the grenades or explosives of their non-corrupted cousins, the Chaos get a series of magical abilities, daemons and even Gods that you can pledge allegiance to for different specialisations. And wait until you see the puking blob-monster The Unclean One – he’s awesome.


Unbalanced: As the campaign tells you, simply coming into contact with the Chaos corrupts your units. But so does completing quests. Or not completing them. Or even just sending units on a mission. That’s fine, Relic, but if you’re going to unbalance the equation then at least reward players with some decent gear for staying on the straight and narrow, as opposed to the game-breaking abilities and gear you can get for ignoring a side quest or two.

It’s Still Dawn Of War 2: The campaign has been improved immeasurably, but if you didn’t like the first then you’re definitely not going to like this one – and if you didn’t play the first one, then you’re going to be well and truly in the dark as well.

Two Different Games: Just like the original, the multiplayer feels like a different game from the campaign – and while Chaos Marines are a definite improvement, the single-player is still a far superior experience.

With a stellar campaign, an improved multiplayer and – finally – the addition of the Chaos Marines, Chaos Rising is a superb expansion. For the campaign alone, it’s a must-buy. And at US $39.99 on Steam, it’s a bargain too.

Reviewed by: Alex Walker

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


  • its not a bargain on steam at all since its $29.99US on the US steam store

    if you shop around you can find it = or cheaper than that and you wont have to download it if thats something that is concerning for some people

    • It was US$29.99 on Steam for us during the preorder period (that’s how much I paid when it went up for preorder). It changed around the time of release.

      In comparison to EB’s preorder price of like $56 or something, it was a damned good deal at the time, at any rate.

  • So it’s not a bargain on Steam because you can get a cheaper bargain on Steam?

    It’s still cheaper than retail.

    EB are selling the ‘Corruption Edition’ (same game with four unlockables) for $58 AUD.

    If you want the Gold Edition, which comes with Dawn of War II and the expansion, paying at retail will set you back $78 AUD from EB. Steam have that going for $45 USD, which at the time cost me $50 AUD.

    I’d still consider that a bargain (over retail at least).

    Incidentally, you COULD have picked the game up in Australia for $29.99 USD – but this was a one-day only offer thing which I missed.

    • My point is more that the steam price is ripping off australians and as a point you shouldnt buy it off that one especially when there are ways to buy it off the steam US store anyway(althought these are more difficult these days but still doable)

      If the game companies get it into there head that we will pay and extra 10US for no other reason than they can charge us that its going to start making EB look cheap(there are cases where the instore price has been cheaper than purchase price on steam due to developer greediness

      • If the steam price is ripping off Australians, then what does that say about retail stores?

        Only times in store price has been cheaper than Steam is almost always because of Activision, who price their games on Steam in USD the same amount we would pay from a store in AUD.

        Personally, I don’t mind paying the extra $10 in this case to support Relic considering it’s still less than $50 – but point taken.

  • DoW 2 is a mere shadow of the greatness that was DoW 1. DoW 1 was awesome, in DoW 2 they decided to throw away everything that made that game good.

    I’m specifically talking about multiplayer here of course.

    • If I recall it was stated heavily that DoW2 is indeed NOT going to be much like DoW1 and has taken the series on a new path.

      The devs said on the official forums even that DOW2 wasn’t going to be like DOW1 and that there is hardly any comparison. They were taking giant bold steps to bring the franchise into a different area. XD

      I much prefer the thought required to win a match then the tried and true; build up BIGGEST ARMY, CHARGE!!!!!!


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