User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 198 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 198

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  1. Mar 1, 2011
    10
    Unlike a RTS such as Starcraft, Dawn of war is better because of it is affordable for it's content ($30 USD and $35-ish in Canadian in stores I believe). It has a great re-playable campaign with six different races (Imperial Guard, Blood Ravens, Tyranids, Orks, Eldar and Chaos). So far I have only played Imperial Guard and Eldar campaigns and have finished neither in the time I have had to play it. The DLC Last Stand adds a unique twist the multiplayer making you manipulate your individual heroes rather then small armies and using teamwork to achieve victory. The micromanagement of your armies is way more challenging than RTS involving mass-Spam/Suicide *Cough Cough* Starcraft 2. If you're new to the game series you will have to get used to things like Unit facing, the easy to use cover system, and the tech-up system. Another more important thing is the immense strategy involved, if you have a sniper and they have a lot of infantry it willl help you win fights, However if they have armoured vehicles and you do not you are most likely finished. If you are finishing off the series like I am and all three, one of the most notable differences is the generals added into multiplayer game play that and not more windows live (The loss of xbox achievements makes me a bit sad). If you are still reluctant to get it, I think you will be missing out. Relic took a new approach on this game in hopes of picking up first time buyers and I hope more people will be willing to play this great RTS. Note: Please first time buyers do not get this mistaken as a spin of starcraft, The 40K had the concept of space marines way before starcraft was even created. Overall I think this RTS deserves a 10/10 for affordiblity, graphics and gameplay. Expand
  2. Oct 8, 2011
    9
    Retribution adds a lot to the already exisiting multiplayer in the form of a new faction, new units and overall improved balance. On the cost of this, the single player takes a large hit and is reduced from a story driven tale of heroics, down to simple cookie cutter maps with loot, where the story is just down right bad. But, this is okay. The game instead turns the focus to multiplayer (and the developers are currently busy balancing and tweaking further to make the game better), where Starcraft 2 revolves around a lot of macro-management, Retribution takes that entire part away and fully embraces a focus on micro-management, where you use few units to accomplish great tasks. I won't lie, from a difficulty point of view, this game is a lot easier than other RTS' in multiplayer as soon as you get used to it. However, up until then, you will be punished a lot for mistakes. Overall: Great multiplayer game, great soundtrack, good graphics and well made. + the developers are still working to make it better, which is always a plus. Expand
  3. Mar 2, 2011
    9
    Excellent game! It is a stand alone, so you do not need the original or chaos rising to play. I haven't tried the multi-player, and I don't intend to, so my rating isn't based on any part of that. You get to play the campaign with any of the races, which is excellent. That is one of the things I didn't like about the prior games. There is also a new system for recruiting troops while on the battle field. Similar to playing a single player, non-campaign game. You no longer have to collect war supplies, or health supplies or any of that. All of these items use the squad/hero's energy instead. The supplies in the crates are replaced by requisition and energy, which you use to recruit troops or upgrade heroes. The only thing I really hit it on, is that the campaign is a little short. Not a big deal, as there are five of them, I just sorta wanted to play the Space Marines a little bit longer. Great game! Ignore the 60 over there on Critic reviews. I have no idea what GamePro is thinking. Expand
  4. Apr 20, 2011
    4
    game play i found wasn't much different from the first 2 DOW2 games. can't comment on the mulitplayer as i didn't play it over than a few goes on last stand which soon got boring playin the same map. As for the campaign i didn't appreciate the fact that all the effort i put into the first 2 games upgrading my squads was chinned off, sure it gives a few more races to play in the campaign but it was pretty much the same campaign levels and missions just using different people. Expand
  5. Jun 18, 2011
    6
    I'm a bit disappointed with this one. Don't get me wrong it's still good fun and has some good challenges but they have taken away some of the things that made Dawn of War II so brilliant. Instead of just having a few heroes to upgrade (which I loved) you now focus on bigger groups. The upgrading is also changed for the worse in my opinion .
    For me Dawn of War II was just a bit better.
  6. Mar 3, 2011
    10
    yes gamepro i don't know of any reason why this game would get a 60. it just has way too much good content. the worst this fantastic game should get is 80. and that's only because the AI hasn't really been worked on as much as i'd hoped and the game needs to be patched up big time. but those are just minor flaws. the 5 campaigns and the awesome new content to last stand is more than most 50 dollar titles give now a days. this is like a full feature game for 30 bucks. it really is. unlike chaos rising, which was more of a traditional expansion, retribution completely reinvents the dow2 system. what they did to the campaign was genius. thats why i love relic compared to most other gaming companies. they're always trying something fresh, something new. its a breath of fresh air really. plus, undoubtedly the best rts graphics out there. and no starcraft aint got nothing on this game. if you think starcraft has better graphics than this game you need to get your eyes checked. all in all though its everything i hoped for and more. Expand
  7. Mar 1, 2011
    9
    Let me preface by saying I haven't played the multiplayer, so I can't comment on the game's value to MP enthusiasts. That said, this game is pretty awesome. It is mostly the same Dawn of War 2 gameplay (essentially an action-rpg with tactical elements more than it is an RTS) with some cool additions. You can now build units in the field, and the game features a Starcraft 2-esque unit upgrade system. It also, unlike the previous DoW2 games, has fully playable campaigns for every race, including the new Imperial Guard. This is what totally sold me on the game and I was not disappointed. The campaigns offer the opportunity to get accustomed to the specialized units each faction offers as well as presenting a sooooomewhat interesting story. There is a huge difference in how engaging each plot line is (the Tyranid hive mind just growls commands but the Ork pirates have some dialogs that I actually laughed out loud at), but for 30 bucks you really can't go wrong. After playing through the campaigns and familiarizing myself with all the units I feel like I can play multiplayer without being totally lost.
    Keep in mind: this is NOT a Starcraft 2 clone. There are no resource gatherers or crystals/wood/whatever to harvest. It is much more akin to an action RPG like Diablo than it is Starcraft or even Dawn of War 1, and despite the heavy micromanagement things usually don't get too out of control as you usually only control a handful of units.
    The game is by no means perfect: it's a little silly and requires a pretty good system to run well on higher detail levels. Also it gets a bit repetitive by the end, but the introduction of so many new hero units (your "avatar" characters throughout the campaign) makes for a much more interesting experience than Chaos Rising expansion (which added, ahem, ONE unit for the campaign).
    Also, Retribution DOES NOT require the previous Dawn of War 2 games to play or enjoy and is totally stand alone. It also removed the Games for Windows requirement that the previous games had (and was almost universally hated).
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  8. Mar 2, 2011
    9
    To put it bluntly, I am very satisfied with this game. The single-player, which for many constitutes the core of the DoW franchise, is great. While the "all factions playable" approach does put a tax on story-telling, the increased amount of gameplay choices and replayability more than makes up for it. Also, the Last Stand, a coop hack'n'slash mini-game focused on defensing against waves of attackers, received a healthy dose of new content, which is a nice bonus. However, for me, Dawn of War 2 is a great game because of its unique competitive multiplayer aspect, and in this respect Retribution has a lot to offer. First, for a mere 30$, buyers of this expansion have access to the full multiplayer contents, even if they have not bought previous DoW 2 titles. This is great for getting into the multiplayer if you're a late comer to the franchise. Then, the new faction introduced by the expansion is solid. The Imperial Guard are a core faction of the Warhammer 40k universe, and their implementation in this game is very convincing. At first, the idea of a race based on weak human soldiers and strong vehicles seemed pretty underwhelming in comparison to the other more original races of Warhammer 40k, but trying out the IG in-game convinced me otherwise. They are a very tactical and rewarding faction, and are a good supplement to the faction roster. Additionally, the old races have also received new units (Autarch? Land Raider Redeemer? Battlewagon? */"% yeah) and good balance changes, making Retribution multiplayer the definitive DoW 2 experience. All in all, this game is a winner, especially in terms of quality/price. Expand
  9. May 25, 2011
    7
    While this is still a good expansion to Dawn of War 2, it isn't nearly as good as its last expansion, Chaos Rising. The good things about this one are that there are multiple different campaigns depending on the race you want to be. The problem is that the campaigns are not nearly as good as the original or Chaos Rising. Gameplay is still great though.
  10. Jul 3, 2011
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The game play is really fun at first. But, soon you are hampered by limited variety of units, base structures, defenses that other games provide. You also become heavily reliant on 'Hero' units which is just irritating. The 'Last Stand' mode is just and ONLY Hero units instead of using or building an army or defenses to strategically fight off waves of enemies. This system of game-play is different, but too simple. The singleplayer campaign and maps are really linear, every planet seems to be forked by bottomless grand canyons that force you to move your army in specified directions adding to your foes ability to predict your movements. Further more, by the time you beef up your army, you find yourself at the last level of the campaign unable to even allow you to replay missions for fun or to continue the leveling your army. This limits your ability to play around with your new army and perks. This game also is missing a 'skirmish mode' were you can create and play against computers enemies in multiplayer maps for practice and fun or for non-competitive/ranked game play. This game has a lot of potential, but falls short of game-play and variety. Expand
  11. Jul 5, 2011
    9
    A MUCH improved take on the already great series. The game is full on steam works now which means no more awkward GFWL match-making and bad multi-player. The game runs great, has an involved story and super fun multi-player.
  12. Aug 5, 2011
    6
    After playing DOW II I was very disappointed with the repetitive maps and travel to one end game play fight a boss, it put me right off the games. Thankfully this has been resolved and the missions keep you wanting to complete the game up to a point, I still enjoy the wargear upgrades and they have added the ability to field armies instead of just hero's allowing you play the game in different ways. Two things that are really irritating me about these games though. The 1st is their complete lack of tactics involved once your characters are level 5 or above. So although the missions vary the invunrerability of your characters kills the motivation, [I played it on very difficult]. The second is the storylines, since dark crusade they have been pretty much none existant. Replayablity is so so. You do the same campaign but with different races, some are amusing such as the orks. Tyrannids are annoying to listen to but forces you to play a different way [army rather than heros] and the eldar just make you want to punch them. Co-op was enjoyable, but your playing it with a friend then, and multiplayer is fresh compaired to other RTS as they have a completely different system. Graphics are good when you consider how much is on screen, but the whole invunrable characters and lack of story wont push this above a score of 2 kittens for me or a plate of doughnuts, gamesworkshop have been around since the 80's and there background fluff puts dungeons and dragons to shame sometimes so why with that much material at hand can they not generate something that grips the player. Buy it if you enjoy multiplayer and like kicking bottoms, but don't bother if your looking for a deepish RTS like starcraft. Expand
  13. Jul 18, 2011
    1
    Im a fan of dow series, but this expansion sucks.
    Campaings are all the same...boring, nothing new, less items and stats than dow 2. Multiplayer is the best thing in the game have more bugs than the first dow 2, have epic imbalance nids and ig are ultra overpowered. There are some bugs that a lot of times can make you loose a match, the ia works like an anti ia cause units have no
    priority when they are shooting, per example infiltration units shoot power nodes and there is nothing you can do.
    The best of all is that developers dont fix anything they dont give a f.
    Thanks god i only paid 15 bucks for this.
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  14. Mar 6, 2011
    9
    Great RTS, however Retribution was shorter than previous dow2 games and even though it had multiple race selections for the campaign the campaign missions were near identicle which made it hard to play through once more. Despite that the game was better with in game trooal and honor guard. Game is 100% better with the wargear that comes with special edition, space marine white helm is orgasmic and can collectively give your force commander upto 3000 hp. Great for 1 play through game. Expand
  15. Nov 4, 2011
    9
    This is how an expansion is done. Pros: Voice acting is great Long time to complete for an expansion (12-14 hours) Graphics may not be much different from Dawn of War 2 but it is still great Get to choose alot of races Multiplayer is awesome Brings back Requisitions & Power (from Dawn of War 1 but no base building to an extent) Cons: No matter what faction you choose, the single player campaign maps are the same.

    Overall a gem of a game and one of the best games I've played in 2011
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  16. Mar 10, 2011
    7
    This is my first 40k game and from a fresh eyes looking at it, it does have a lot of positives. First the price. Second the items/skills 3rd the characters personalities. The finding cover aspect seems very intuitive. The combat is nice. But I did not enjoy the way the game loads, it seems to be a black screen right up till the game scenario started. Combat consistency seemed lacking when it came to control, I couldn't put my finger on it but I was not able to get certain units to do what I wanted and was left wondering why. That might be a buggy aspect because it was not always the case, just at certain times, hard to pinpoint because I was not willing to take the time to do so as so much action is always going on. I love the character regeneration of HPs and energy, gives you the ability to retreat. That is also a feature I like. All in all I love most of the detail in this game, it just feels a need to be refined and polished. Map layout bothered me personally, they do mix it up but i felt constrained to a very narrow corridor at all times, zig-zaging up the map in a tunnel like fashion till the end of the scenario. I love the choice of races but I could never repeat the maps over and over in order to experience each race and its abilities, thus it seemed like a lost feature for me in terms of re-playability Expand
  17. Mar 10, 2011
    9
    Excellent game with 6 race different with their own campaigns.
    Very good RTS, with low price and best quality.
    Warhammer is a best value to RTS game.
  18. Mar 10, 2011
    7
    Dawn of War II: Retribution takes what DoWII already has going for it and adds on to it. The campaigns are enjoyable, especially in co-op, and the addition of two new factions adds some needed depth to the multiplayer game. Most importantly, the switch from the travesty that is Games For Windows Live, to the use of Steamworks for multiplayer, is excellent. Detailed stat-tracking is available and playing online much less painful than the original game. However, for all these good points, Dawn of War II remains fundamentally a step back from Company of Heroes, mechanically and in terms of complexity and tactical variance. While a quality expansion, Retribution does nothing to change this and remains tinged with the disappointment that this is not the best Relic can do. If you already have the core game and enjoy the multiplayer, this is definitely worth the buy just to get away from GFWL. The solid content and nice bonus of a brief Relic intro cinematic for an expansion make it a good buy for those who prefer playing chill co-op campaigns with bros as well. Expand
  19. Apr 6, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution is a RTS game, you move your squads strategically behind covers and use theire abilities to deal healing, Damage, Buffs and loads of other features.
    Retribution seems to be the last or perhaps the second last if they follow-up like they did in Dawn of war 1 with 3 Expansion packs. I bought the game the second Steam released it online, i sat down with a smile so big i almost got ear-wax in my smile holes, i was especially exited with the fact that we could chose our race to do campaign with, but as i played through the second or third level i felt alittle disappointed simply because it was '' forward '' they have put so much effort in the effects but not enough on levels, i managed to kill my way to level 10 after the sixth mission, seriously. i hoped and prayed the campaign would be like it was with the Space Marines in the Chaos Rising or simply in Dawn of War 2( Un-expanded ) but no it's kinda like playing Skirmish only they have no base.

    But since im such a gentle soul and a big Warhammer fan i will give this a 9. It is worth every penny, no doubt about it
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  20. Apr 21, 2011
    5
    Having played through all the DOW1 and DOW2 series... this new release left me cold, new factions are always a good idea, but the game just feel like a bunch of dlc maps rather than something that should have been released as a full game. The only thing they got right is dumping the multiplayer server and using steam... after that... sorry but Chaos and vanilla dow2 were better and you can pick them up for under a tenner. Expand
  21. Aug 12, 2011
    7
    While Retribution is a stand alone game and does not require the original Dawn of War 2 or Chaos Rising to play, it is not the best place for players to jump into the series if they are looking primarily for a single player experience. Retribution allows you to play the campaign through as any of the six factions (Space Marines, Chaos, Eldar, Orks, Tyranids, and now Imperial Guard) but the missions and story are the same no matter which army you choose. The campaign is, however, a decent length and while easier than the original game or Chaos Rising, will still be sufficiently difficult on higher difficulties for most players. In previous games, the focus was on leading a small group of hero units through a variety of missions, outfitting them with a vast variety of wargear based on how you spent points in their abilities. Retribution shifts the focus from collecting large amounts of wargear to fielding a larger force or small army. There are far fewer wargear options for heroes and leveling hero units has changed significantly. There are fewer abilities to unlock and many simply upgrade non-hero unit health or damage. Eventually, once you've unlocked the army options, the missions become simply clicking attack move with your huge force and wasting whatever you come across. There is little strategy or tactics in the campaign compared to the original or Chaos Rising. Retribution does, however, come with many new multiplayer options. GFWL is finally gone (thank God) and the game now has chat rooms to better find opponents. A Free For All mode is now included which plays similar to the Victory Point based take and hold mode of previous installments except without teams. First player to capture victory locations and amass the requisite amount of points wins. Multiplayer stats and rankings can now be tracked through Steam and are viewable outside the game. Many well designed new multiplayer maps are included. There is also a new Last Stand arena which is slightly more difficult and which seems to throw a lot of vehicles at you. Very fun. I also purchased the last stand DLC which provide fresh ways to play the various hero units. The new Last Stand hero, the Imperial Guard Lord General, is similar to the Hive Tyrant in that he relies on summoned troops. He also has the ability to summon turrets to the arena to create choke points or kill zones. A lot of fun. If you're new to Dawn of War 2, Retribution might not be the best place to start even though it is a stand alone expansion. If you've played either of the previous titles and are into the multiplayer, Retribution is a must have as it adds lots of new content for both Last Stand and ranked play in addition to the new Imperial Guard faction and dispenses with the terrible GFWL. Expand
  22. Aug 7, 2012
    7
    Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War 2 - Retribution picks up where Chaos Rising left off, this time around allowing the player to play the race of his choosing in a highly linear story. Regardless of what race the player chooses, the maps he is offered will be the same but the difference will be in the conversation, items and skills available to his troops. Unlike the previous installments, there are only 4 troops available but the player can choose to swap these around with very strong elite units or purchase squads on the battlefield by looting supply crates. Doing so will turn the game more Real-Time Strategy-oriented. However, co-operatively playing on the highest difficulty I found that there is no substitute for your heroes and that you are more or less forced to choose them. The skill system has been simplified and you will find yourself hard-pressed to fill out all the equipment slots as there is very little loot. A definite recommendation for those who co-operatively played the previous installments. Expand
  23. Oct 28, 2011
    9
    Game is fun. Graphics are top notch. I'm a fan of WH 40K in general. It is nice to be able to do the campaigns are various races. The campaigns are pretty much the same only with different units, but that's fine with me. Familiarity breeds content. I don't play the on-line play because opponents are too good. I'm just a casual player who doesn't want to treat a game as homework, but there's lots of room for tactics certainly. Last Stand was fun at first but eventually it grew tiring because it was too repetitive and there didn't seem to be much point to it. I reached L11 and at that point it felt purely like grinding (max is 20 or 21). But the game is good value. I would rate Starcraft 2 a better RTS though if you had to play one. Expand
  24. May 21, 2012
    10
    Underrated gem that is more RTT than RTS. But note: this is a multiplayer game. There is a campaign mode for SP and co-op that is rushed and poor to mediocre. The fun is in MP, where the feeling is very different and gameplay very satisfying, focusing on tactical unit positioning, preservation and micro (ability usage etc.) with a very light macro/economy side.

    For the campaign, they
    tried to fix what I thought the original and Chaos Rising campaigns lacked - a full army roster instead of just hero units - but didn't get the necessary time and resources from publisher so the campaign feels rushed and immature, there is no "feel" or balance to the gameplay but everything is either useless or grossly overpowered, missions are boring and winning is not satisfying, horrible low-quality cinematics etc. don't help either. Good idea but they just couldn't pull it off. So essentially this expansion is a multiplayer upgrade.

    Still, the multiplayer has been so much fun that it makes this one of my favorite games ever and probably the one I spent most hours on. I have no choice but to give a 10. Just ignore the campaign...
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  25. Mar 5, 2011
    8
    I'd say it's worth the money if you are a fan of it.
    Also it gets a step closer to the first Warhammer.
    (Your review must be at least 150 characters long.) -.-
  26. Mar 14, 2011
    9
    If you enjoyed the original DOW2, it's almost worth buying this just to be rid of that horrific Microsoft LIVE Gamer system. Highly recommended to fans of the DOW2 series. Those who skipped the first 2 installments should go straight to this one.
  27. Mar 8, 2011
    7
    First off, I'm a big DoW fan, and I was eagerly awaiting this game, but I must say I am fairly disappointed in the final product. Game came out very buggy, some of which was fixed with the first patch, but it still has some polishing to do before its a complete product. I'm loving the ability to use all the races, but each campaign feels very similar to each other campaign, so this takes away a lot of replayability from the single player campaign. My two main beefs are with the still lame/predictable AI(!!!), and how vehicles still seem to want to destroy cover that they never even come close to touching... And while graphics are rarely a "deal breaker" for me, I was hoping for improved graphics and performance, but this hasn't changed one bit. The multiplayer is pretty fun, although the match making system is a bit wonky, but I'm sure much of that can be worked out with a patch or two.

    If it wasn't for the fact that it is a standalone, and that they haven't tried to gouge the consumer with a ridiculously high price, I would give it a 6 for some annoying persistent issues and the lack of creativity with the campaigns(at least the 3 that I have played so far), but with those two previously mentioned factors in mind I will give it a solid 7.

    The studio does, once again, deserve props for experimenting with new gameplay mechanics.

    All in all, a "must have" for big fans of the franchise and RTS multiplayer gamers, but otherwise I recommend waiting until it goes on sale on Steam.
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  28. Mar 13, 2011
    8
    Much more like the first Dawn of War series than Dawn of War II and Chaos rising, you are able to field a complete army with vehicle support in the campaign instead of a small group of heroes and while the campaign missions still involve traveling around a map you have a lot more options with hero wargear and squad loadouts so it feels more like an RTS than an RPG.

    The various racial
    campaign missions are copy and pasted and each campaign is virtually identical to the rest which is a slight let down, the racial wargear DLC is very good value and is well balanced and neither useless or overpowered.

    Multi player is very, very good and the new harder last stand option is a great addition.
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  29. Mar 15, 2011
    6
    In overall it's a good game. Campaign was good for first time but apparently developers ran out of ideas since it's basically same for all races. As for Tyranids, "hive mind" was absolutely dreadful. And the comments enemies make during campaign towards the player do not fit Tyranids at all.
    Return of the custom badges was really good tho.
  30. Mar 15, 2011
    7
    As has been mentioned in many other reviews the campaign is very much a one-size-fits-all affair. Play through it twice and perhaps you'll need a couple of months break before you could do so again. But nevertheless the campaign is enjoyable, the skill levelling is improved and they are much more interesting than the previous games (perhaps because there's a diversity of factions?). The VA work is what you'd hope for from a 40k game, hammy and fantastic, though some voices may grate on your nerves after a while (im looking at you Bluddflagg). A satisfying campaign in all I thought, not amazing, not awful, satisfying. The multiplayer is a bit difficult to rate though, I owned DoW2 but did not play Chaos Rising so alot of it is new to me (the chaos faction itself [Won't mention Imperial Guard because they'll be new to everybody], Ork wierdboy, Librarian, genestealers etc etc) so in the games I've played it's been a learning experience and a time of taking notes. It's not enjoyable to lose over and over so it will take time and effort to get into, but from my time playing the first game, i enjoyed it.
    The Last Stand, on the other hand, is great fun! Pitted with 2 other heroes (they introduced the Lord General as the IGs representative) against wave after wave of tyranids, orks, eldar, space marines and other things is much more fun than it may sound, and the more you play, the more you level up, the better equipment you have the more likely you are to get further. And yes, you can import your Hero levels and wargear from Dow2/Chaos Rising. They brought a new map in too called Khornes Anvil, which starts really, really, hectic. I'm talking about 14 squads of tyranids rushing in at wave one. Best to be prepared.
    So yes, in summary this is a GREAT expansion pack, but it does have its flaws and unless you intend to do a bit of multiplayer/ Last stand you may find yourself finishing the campaign and putting it on your shelf to collect dust.
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  31. sgb
    Mar 25, 2011
    7
    It seems a bargain at $30, but it's more of a case of you get what you pay for here. The campaign is well...lazy. Relic has not improved the AI since the original DoW2, and so missions are entirely scripted affairs. They basically consist of moving your heroes through corridors, killinge everything, repeat x10, fight boss. There's a campaign for each race, but each race plays the EXACT SAME MISSIONS IN THE EXACT SAME ORDER. The only thing that changes is the occasional bit of dialogue. As noted, the AI is really bad so skirmishes against the AI are a joke. Even on the highest difficulty the just randomly send units to their deaths with no tactics or coordination of any sort. So single player is definitely not going to last you more than a few days here.

    Multiplayer is quite a bit stronger, with a decent matchmaking system for 1v1 to 3v3 games as well as non-ranked games. The game hasn't changed much from the original DoW2 though, so if you didn't like it then you still won't like it. The new race, Imperial Guard, add some building and defencive gameplay options badly lacking in the game. They're a fun and well designed addition. The removal of the hated GFWL is a big plus as well. The big surpise winner here is The Last Stand. It's essentially a hero surivial mode where 3 players fight waves of enimes. After each game, you can level up and gain new equipment that can both make things easier or even completely change how your hero plays. There's only 2 maps, but 6 different heroes to try out and level up. This is honestly interesting enough to warrant its own game IMO.

    On the matter of bugs and technical issues, there's current a major bug where loading times get worse and worse with each match you play. It gets really bad for people with lower end systems, which causes high end systems to sit a wait with them. Balance is...Relic balance. The game has always had issues, and it's no different here. Competitive players might want to hold off for a patch or two instead of being frusterated by cheese unit spam and OP abilties.

    All in all, if you're in it for the multiplayer it's worth $30. If you were thinking of getting it for the campaign...don't. As a final note, this is a Steamworks game. If you hate Steam, don't buy this.
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  32. Oct 16, 2011
    4
    Oh how far we have fallen. My summary of Retribution: Stagnant, soulless & without merit. I'm not even sure it has any of the S in RTS left.

    Lets' recap. The original Dawn of War was straightforward old-school RTS. You had one or two hero units, but the meat of the game was base building & wave after wave of attacks of disposable peons. Strategic slaughtering unadulterated fun. It was
    epic in scope if not in story. Even then, the developers made an effort to engage the player and I loved the characters & the glimpses into the W40K universe. Fast forward to the original Dawn of War II. Gone is the epic in scope, but instead we are treated to an in-depth viewpoint on the Space Marines, a tight RPG-like focus on heroes, wargear, upgrades, and tactics, as well as an engaging story. Again, I couldn't help but fall into the universe, and shepherd every marine as though they were my own children, considering it a personal failure if one died (I exaggerate slightly but you get the idea - I got immersed).

    By comparison, Retribution feels like a game thrown out on the basis that fans will buy any garbage with W40K on it. It lacks the tight RPG focus on heroes, because now you get those same disposable waves of peons to work with should you screw up. It lacks any meaningful story - indeed the wonderful exposition by Gabriel Angelos in the intro ... is about it. There's less pithy back and forth, no sense of evolution of heroes, almost no visible changes in them - it's a thoroughly spartan effort, as though the soul of the game got devoured in Warp transit, replaced with a little points counter. So, unlike the preceding Chaos Rising which was pretty much more of the same DOWII, it has nothing really going for it.

    It's not epic in scope like DOW or Supreme Commander, it's not epic in story, it's not got any decent characters so far as I've played. It doesn't pick up where Chaos Rising left off in terms of your heroes' development, and the laughable 'six races campaigns' translates to the same campaign (with identical voiceovers and maps) repeated with a different race. The missions aren't even well designed. They make no practical sense when played as some of the races, and are depressingly linear. About the only thing the expansion got right was to ditch GFWL.

    If you are an addict and can't get by without watching W40K units blow up, and Youtube just isn't enough for you, you will find more here. Anyone looking for actual gameplay may have to look elsewhere.
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  33. Apr 6, 2011
    9
    Overall, this is a solid Real Time Strategy experience. You have six different campaigns, although many of them are similar, they do play differently though with each race, which is a nice new addition to the franchise. The multiplayer is good fun (as long as the connection isn't slow), I had played some games which went perfectly without a hitch, and I also played some that had considerable lag as well. Co-op campaign is another nice feature as well, the ability to grab a buddy and play co-op online is always a welcome feature. Last Stand mode, I honestly have not played yet. I heard it is a pretty good version of a "survival," gametype though. Overall, as a released package you get a fully fleshed out game, that plays differently than most strategy games out there (for example there is a lack of base building that may be to some individuals dislike, although I find it a great addition as you can focus on micro-managing your troops rather than maintaining a base). For the price (30 USD) you can't argue that this is a fantastic package for the price, and I would recommend looking at it if you haven't tried the series yet (this is a great place to jump in), or even if you're Starcraft II gaming has hit a stale point. No, doubt I can recommend this! Expand
  34. Apr 8, 2011
    9
    Constant action, good squad-based strategy, and great visuals have always been a staple of the Warhammer 40k series, and this one is no different. The inclusion of all the factions in singleplayer is an excellent addition, even though it makes the campaign a little more stale. Other than that, I have no complaints.
  35. Apr 19, 2011
    9
    Fantastic multiplayer experience in terms of gameplay and balance support. The use of steam over windowslive is preferred; however, it separates Dawn of War 2 vanilla and Chaos Rising players from Retribution multiplayer gamers.
  36. Dec 25, 2011
    6
    I was expecting something along the lines of the Dark Crusade, but got quite disappointed, as it doesn't quite have the replayability of said DoW expansion. At least the story of the very first Dawn of War game finally gets wrapped up., and it's still a cheap standalone DoW2, so there sure are some reasons to get it.
  37. Dec 8, 2011
    4
    "I'm a bit disappointed with this one. Don't get me wrong it's still good fun and has some good challenges but they have taken away some of the things that made Dawn of War II so brilliant. Instead of just having a few heroes to upgrade (which I loved) you now focus on bigger groups. The upgrading is also changed for the worse in my opinion . For me Dawn of War II was just a bit better." I fully agree with the above comment. Too many changes to a good format. The shift from dedicated characters to basically churning out units like an RTS was a shame. Expand
  38. Jan 28, 2012
    3
    This game is highly overrated. For one, it's nothing more than bloated DLC packaged as a standalone expansion in an effort to squeeze as much money out of the DOW2 franchise as possible, before they move onto DOW3. The biggest indicator of this is the actual DLC for retribution; extra gear for the last stand and campaign missions, and new skins for multiplayer - priced at $7.50 (the skin DLC packs are *very* minimalist. They don't even bother to add new unit avatars to reflect the change in appearance!). So a few new skins could end up costing you as much as the game itself. Whilst making money is obviously why Relic/THQ (and anyone, for that matter) is in the business, they have resorted to offering scraps of content in the hope that if they call it a "standalone expansion" or DLC that nobody will notice how lacking it really is. Why do I say that it's just bloated DLC? Because the campaign missions are the same for all races, with some minor alterations. It probably could have been done in less than a month, and that's a generous estimate. It just feels like a copy-and-paste job to artificially increase game content. The storyline is boring. The dialogue is crap (where they have bothered to even put any in), and for the few imperial guard missions I forced myself to play through, it was actually painfully embarassing to listen to. Also, multiplayer hasn't changed much. They just added a few new units, a new race and a few maps. But they haven't bothered to fix any bugs that have been in the game from day one of the original DOW2. For example, there's STILL the random bug that sometimes causes a multiplayer game to freeze when a player drops out. There are also a few new bugs as well, some of these game-breaking. e.g. it is possible in multiplayer for your mouse curser to stop being able to issue certain commands, such as capturing victory points or attacking enemy units. The only merits of the game are that it's so similar to DOW2: Chaos Rising, which was great. While the game may now be cheap enough to make a purchase worth your money, it's not likely to be a good investment unless you own Chaos Rising and wanted more of the same multiplayer, but with more bugs. The bugs, combined with the boring campaign, make this game a definite no-no to anyone new to the DOW2 series. Buy the original or Chaos Rising instead. Expand
  39. Oct 4, 2013
    10
    Easily the best RTS game out there, even a few years after release (with Retribution expansion pack) compared to it Starcraft 2 feels like it is DoW's retarted cousin.
    There are 6 factions in multiplayer, each one feels very different from another and each has 3 different commanders which differentiate them further, making it very hard to be bored with it.
    There is an incredible amount
    of unit upgrades, wargear for commanders, abilities and tactics to use. Each race takes a good 30-50 hours to master, there are many people with 1 k hours clocked in and still playing (personally I have about 300 and counting). Larger maps with up to 6 players are even more challenging, with more emphasis on long term strategy rather than micromanagement.
    Yet the game is not by any means overwhelming, and it's quite easy to learn the basics.
    The only thing that's not done right is too few maps. I'd really like to see some maps coming in DLC format, but since THQ got bankrupt it's very unlikely.
    There is also survival horde-mode, where up to three players defend themselves from hordes of incoming enemies, after each game earning experience and wargear to upgrade their heroes. Although not very complex it is very addictive.
    As to singleplayer, the base game's singleplayer campaign is pretty good and lasts for a good 15 hours if you do all the side missions. Chaos Rising campaign is shorter but has new interesting features and multiple endings making it also a good chunk of fun. In Retribution, the advantage is that you can play it with any race of your choosing, not just Space Marines, but the disadvantage is worse story and less unit customization options. Personally the base game's campaign is my favorite.

    There are still people playing in time I write this review (october 2013), it's very easy to find someone to play with, both newbies and pros with thousands of hours. There are also mods (I recommend Elite mod) that add additional units and maps. Easily one of the best game I've played, and the best RTS.
    Get it, it's dirt-cheap these days. No excuses, go to a store
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  40. Apr 17, 2012
    9
    I'm usually not one for strategy games, but I've played hundreds upon hundreds of hours of DoW II. The diverse game modes are all a lot of fun. Relic keeps patching and tweaking the game, actively involving the community. The only downside is that somewhere down the road they removed the performance indicators, so you have no way of telling beforehand wether your ally/opponent will slow the game to a crawl due to terrible hardware of internet connection. Also it seems habit for a lot of people to just quit a losing game, denying you experience points (in custom mode). Expand
  41. Aug 16, 2012
    10
    One of the best RTS games I have ever played, it's so good I even bought some of the DLCs, which are generally rip-offs that aren't worth the trouble. One of the best features is the game mode , "The Last Stand" which has great replayability and near endless character setups.
  42. Jan 27, 2013
    8
    This is about the Single campaign. It's still fun to run a squad and destroy hordes of orcs/eldars/chaos marines, collect loot and level up your characters. The storyline is pretty weak, but here it doesn't stop you from getting fun. By the middle of the campaign the tactics become an action RPG and you just kill your enemies by clicking. Still this is another piece of 40000 mayhem full of pathos, galactic massacre and so on. It's much easier than Chaos Rising campaign (which I prefer the best from DoW II) and I'd say it's equal to the original DoW II gameplay. Expand
  43. Apr 5, 2013
    10
    Although Relic use the same formula seen in the vanilla game, and Company of Heroes, it is a formula that works. Retribution is a fine addition to the Dawn of War series, and to the WH40K universe overall.

    Turning away from Games for Windows Live, Relic has given the players the opportunity for mods, by adopting the (far superior) Steam platform.

    Although it doesn't offer much in new
    game mechanics or engine etc, what it does offer is a good, sizeable story, new factions with a lot of work put into them (e.g Imperial Guard), and a good ending to the story of Dawn of War II. Fans will feel satisfied with their result, and the option to choose a different faction in the campaign was a good addition also. Expand
  44. Oct 26, 2012
    6
    Don't be fooled by the campaign claims! Yes each race has different campaigns, but they are also mostly the same missions with different dialogue and reasoning. Campaign itself is extremely repetitive, and once you get the hang of unit compositions and micromanagement, each mission is a trivial a-move victory (albeit sometimes with twisting paths! to further prolong the inevitable lack of challenge). Crazy W40K units also break the Company of Heroes tactical feel that relic tried to give the Dawn of War series, the whole thing handles like a mishmash of both - without the sweetness of either. Being a fan of Dark Crusade and Starcraft 2, the lack of any base management has taken out most of the challenge. Competitive play lacks depth and focuses on micromanagement and positional awareness. No tactics or overarching strategy required.

    The 'RPG element' was exciting for about 5 minutes, but quickly becomes not a big deal. It is deep enough to offer choices and you will have to think about who gets what, but considering that such choices are nice and have no impact on how easy missions are, it becomes a frivolous extra. You can literally do a 'one of everything' ability choice and item distribution and you will still a-move to victory.

    Protip: F1 selects closest building structure, rally to hero, learn the hotkeys of your favorite units, win the game.
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  45. Dec 13, 2012
    4
    Was really hyped to hear about every faction having their own campaign until I started another playthrough with a friend and it turns out each race is just C&P'd into this mostly-boring campaign. There are a few really good missions but most are tedious and/or too easy. Uneven difficulty and a short campaign makes it hard to justify playing on higher difficulties. Besides that, you basically have Chaos Rising's MP modes and units. Unless you are a big IG fan I would recommend getting the original and/or Chaos Rising (which I loved but I'm a huge Chaos fan) instead. Expand
  46. Nov 30, 2012
    8
    Having played all DOW1 and DOW2 plus DLCs in sequence, Retribution started to get old and downhill. All six race campaigns shared same main story and it gets boring and repetitive. I finished and enjoyed the Space Marine and Chaos Marine campaigns, but I will not be doing third play-through any time soon, let's say a year or two. I hope Relic Entertainment by now realized it was brilliant to add six races, but what good are they when I am reluctant to go through same map again on third and more play-throughs. Expand
  47. Apr 6, 2014
    9
    Really entertaining, good visuals, complex but accessible gameplay... and cheap if you catch a nice deal on Steam. Even paying full price it's totally enjoyable!
    Totally recommended!
  48. Feb 9, 2013
    9
    A great game. I got this game by random via Steam when it was on sale (25 euros If I remember right). It is unique in a lot of ways. First off, you don't build a giant base and spam units and just blindly charge to your opponents base. You need to gather resources by tactically capturing resource points (power and requisition). You need to think how you'll train your units, and what units you'll train. If you train only one unit and spam them, then you will meet your demise quickly. The campaign is spectacular and has great storytelling. You can play as all the races of the game in the campaign, which is really cool(8 in total). The upgrades and game-play for each race is unique, and you'll find yourself using different strategies often. The cover system is a great tool to add a more strategic feel to the game. This game involves strategy over "massing" and it does a great job executing all the unique features it has in store.
    The multiplayer is great too, although it's a bit repetitive. The Last Stand mode is great, and it brings a new aspect to the game as you control only one hero and try to survive against multiple waves of attackers. Excellent strategy game.
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  49. Nov 9, 2013
    8
    A great stand-alone expansion with plenty to do. You can play as all six factions, both in single player and online, although many missions are repeated in the campaign by the different factions. The gameplay is good, with more emphasis on tactics and controlling resource points rather than building units at bases from many buildings. The multiplayer is also good. You can play traditional skirmish type games where you capture points and attempt to deplete the enemy's tickets to zero. The Last Stand game mode is also interesting where you use heroes to survive waves of enemies and unlock stronger war gear as you progress. No Games for Windows Live is also good! Expand
  50. Oct 17, 2013
    10
    OK what can I say about this game ->
    First I love all Dawn of War series most DC and SS, really was quite fun RTS, many races, all of races was uniq and individual, much skills and many strategic moves, but here all of this was dissapeared it starts from DoW II, no uniq races, no much skill, uniq units, nothing what was making DoW one of great RTS game, but now it's more looks like SC2.

    But here are some things why I give this game 10pts ->
    1. Co-op champagn, wery good idea for RTS game such is DoW II.
    2. More powerfull heros and good your gameplay freedom in Hero choise items for heros that made them better and some kind uniq.
    3. Last stand, for me wery good idea and wery fun mode, but one bad thing just 2 maps and wery monotonously game type, I mean they can do it much better.
    This 3 thing make this game worst then DoW I or SC I, but much better then DoW II and SC II, so game as DoW II 7pts for Last stand 10pts.
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  51. Mar 5, 2014
    7
    You still can't build "normal" buildings in this version and the campaign and the normal battles aren't much better, but six civilizations are playable (fortunately as well the Imperial Army and the Chaos Space Marines) and there's a "last resistance", which I really like to play (unfortunately there are only two maps for it).
  52. Feb 14, 2014
    10
    I'm a person who is very picky with my gaming. I for one, absolutely adore this game it's possibly my favourite game of all time, it's set in the fantastic, brutal universe of Warhammer 40k and looks gorgeous despite it being years old now.

    It is completely different from Dawn of war 1 which I also adored but for me the intense battling keeps you too preoccupied to worry about base
    building anyway. The battling is brutal, the balance is pretty good and there is little more satisfying than seeing some Chaos filth turn into a red paste.

    I admit that this isn't the most innovative campaign mode that we've ever seen in Dawn of War but the multiplayer is amazingly fun even though the community has dwindled :( Also the last stand is great fun

    Please buy and support this game especially now it's cheaper than ever due to it's age! here's to hoping that they make a Dawn of War 3
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Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 52 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 52
  2. Negative: 0 out of 52
  1. Jun 6, 2011
    80
    Beyond that though there isn't much to say about Retribution. It builds on and enhances many aspects of the previous games while still using the same game engine. The graphics and sound quality are the same as they've ever been so it's really all about the gameplay changeups. The game unequivocally succeeds in giving people more of what they love but there is the real danger of stagnation here. The next games are going to have to do something impressive if they want to continue wowing gamers with each release.
  2. Jun 6, 2011
    80
    Developer Relic also seems to be having a lot more fun with the loot this time around, as players can even equip some of their heroes with rare items that sound ridiculous but in practise turn out to be quite awesome. Like a machine gun that has a chance to call in an artillery strike.
  3. 60
    It is surprising how fun it can be just dull mouse clicking, lots of violence, blood and death mingle in shadowy battles with soundtrack of stunning explosions and endless exchanges of energetic projectiles. [Issue#203]