User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 200 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 200

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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. 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
  5. 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).
    Expand
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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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  10. 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.
  11. 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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  12. 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
  13. 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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  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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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  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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!
  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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]