Vancouver – Relic Entertainment’s  newest RTS title, Dawn of War 2 , is now available for pre-purchase  on Steam for $49.99 USD. But wait, there’s more! Gamers who already own Dawn of War: Soulstorm (either a retail or digital download version) can enter into an early access beta . If gamers don’t already own Soulstorm but want to get in on the early beta, Steam is offering the expansion pack for 75% off  of the retail price. The beta will open to everyone on January 28. Gamers can play on five unique multi-player maps, and it will be available for download free of charge via Steam .
Early reports from Village Gamer’s own rabid Dawn of War staffer include several expressions of approval, however many of the descriptive words he utilized can’t be repeated here. He did emerge from the beta long enough to say that the new GUI is great, along with several game mechanics which have been carried over from Company of Heroes , another Relic title. He likes the new squad tactics and objectives which require more strategical thought and planning on the part of the gamer – he followed this with an ominously Orkish sounding “if you want to beat the enemy, you have to be the enemy.”
Mike also reports that the voice-acting and audio quality are top-notch, with some great character writing and one-liners. So far, his favourite in-game expression has something to do
with not having enough teeth…and he has promised a more in-depth look at this beta-version of Dawn of War 2 later this week, once he’s had a chance to kill everything in sight. (His words, not mine).
Personally I was pleased to see Dawn of War 2 listed on the preliminary title choice poll for the 2009 World Cyber Games tournament season, and I am hopeful that the title will receive enough votes to make it onto the official games list. It would be great to kick off the WCG Canada Elite Series of Tournaments here in Vancouver with the return of Dawn of War to the WCG sanctioned titles list.
What to look forward to in Dawn of War 2:
Developed by award winning Vancouver studio Relic Entertainment, Dawn of War II ushers in a new chapter in the acclaimed RTS series – taking players to the brutal frontlines of war to
lead an Elite Strike Force on a mission to save the galaxy.
With a focus on fast-action RTS gameplay, Dawn of War II brings to life the science fiction universe of Warhammer 40,000 like never before. Experience the intimate brutality of battle as you play through the epic campaign. Clash with enemies on battlefields ablaze with visceral hand-to-hand and ranged combat. Lead and develop your squads into the most battle hardened elite strike force in the Galaxy.
* Brutal Frontline Action & Tactics – Get straight into the action and experience intense melee & devastating ranged combat. Use vicious melee sync-kills to obliterate your enemies. Outsmart your opponents – using dynamic and destructible environments to suppress, flank and destroy your foes.
* Non-Linear Single Player Campaign – Command an elite strike force, choosing from a variety of playable races and play through that race’s unique storyline, developing the skills and abilities of your squads and commander as you progress through the game.
* Co-Op Multiplayer – Play through the entire single player campaign co-operatively with a friend, at any point in the game, anytime.
* Next Generation RTS Engine – Utilizing Relic’s proprietary Essence Engine 2.0 to deliver cinematic visuals, detailed graphics & special effects