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.