• Publisher: THQ
  • Release Date: Feb 18, 2009
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 67 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 67
  2. Negative: 0 out of 67
  1. Dawn of War II is an easy recommendation for me to make it is one of the best PC games in recent year.
  2. 100
    Some gamers will no doubt hate the new direction they've taken but the game is much improved and definitely deserves its fair share of love. While it still early, I wouldn't hesitate to nominate it for PC Game of the Year honors come December.
  3. Replay value is off the map. It's like two games in one with plenty to go back for.
  4. For a game that tosses so many RTS conventions out the window, Dawn of War II is a surprisingly solid real-time strategy title that pretty much lays down the gauntlet for any game that follows in its wake.
  5. There’s a reason this game is topping all the charts, even if you aren’t an RTS fan, there’s just enough varied gameplay to appeal to you at some level.
  6. The beta for Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II was such a tease for this game but did not prepare the average player for the phenomenal experience the final game turned out to be. While this is far from your standard real time strategy title in many ways and the addition of the role playing elements force this game to be classified in a league of its own, many gamers will find this to be a worthy addition to their gaming library.
  7. So, in short, Dawn of War II is not Dawn of War, nor is it like a traditional RTS game. What it is, though, is a fast-paced, tactics-focused game that's a lot of fun to play.
  8. Dawn of War II does not rebuild the real time strategy, but does a fantastic job extending the scope of the genre. The new Warhammer 40,000 is an addictive and violent effort with a campaign that achieves a true sense of progression. The game has also a great cooperative mode and a multiplayer experience that is, again, its main goal.
  9. A really fantastic game that will be able to fascinate old fans and also newcomers in the genre! Go on Relic!
  10. Dawn of War 2 presents itself as a fast-paced RTS that shines with brilliant grafics, a highly addicitve unit upgrade system and a multiplayer mode that grants weeks of entertainment. Unfortunately the story isn´t worth mentioning and the mission design could be better.
  11. 91
    The fact that it does something genuinely different than the rest of the genre earns it a lot of goodwill from me; if DOW2 really was just the expected "COH in space" or "DOW with spiffy graphics," then those flaws would be intolerable. So yes, I love it, flaws and all. Besides, watching Assault Marines or Stormboyz fly in the air and slam down onto some fools doesn't get old.
  12. A strong RTS/RPG outing into the rich Warhammer 40,000 universe. Real-time strategy purists might find a bit to grumble about, but those wanting some real-time tactical RPG-lite goodness are in for a treat.
  13. Real time strategy on a smallest scale or arcade RPG, Diablo style? New Dawn of War is both. And it's addictive. Continual battles with the enemy hordes reflect the epic WH40K spirit perfectly. [Mar/May 2009]
  14. A shining example of a solid, fun RTS that goes beyond its genre boundaries and boasts excellent multiplayer. [Issue#17, p.49]
  15. Solid backbone to a bright Warhammer future. [Mar 2009, p.50]
  16. Accessible but challenging at the same time, Dawn of War II can easily capture a large number of players ranging from the most hardcore to more casual. If you love a good real time strategy game and have much time available to spend playing, be assured that this game will not disappoint you.
  17. 90
    While the overall formula could still use some fine-tuning, the current product is one part hypercharged tactical combat, one part streamlined competitive RTS, and entirely worth playing.
  18. Dawn of War II is a risky RTS game, but the new RPG elements and streamlined missions are implemented in a way that is engaging for strategy fans and newcomers alike.
  19. Dawn of War II plays like the illegitimate love child of Company of Heroes and the original Dawn of War. The cover system is an excellent addition to the series, while the ability to destroy cover is even better. The RPG elements and open-ended campaign add a lot of depth to the single player game, while co-op works wonderfully to allow you to share your game experience with a friend over Live.
  20. Dawn of War 2 is a brand new, well-made experience that's worth more than a look.
  21. From the exhilarating single player campaign to the frantic multiplayer offerings, Relic has again achieved greatness, and it came from blending the ideals of traditionalist real-time strategy with the rapidly changing shooter market.
  22. A great game. Even with the few bugs it released with DoW2 is a recommended purchase for any PC gamer. It will run on archaic computers fine and still look fantastic, it plays well in both MP and SP - even if the two are very different - and the core decision to switch things up from the previous Dawn of War is a brilliant way to keep the series from becoming stale.
  23. 90
    The overall "feel" of the multiplayer game is terrific and the basic gameplay paradigm works to create a game that's deep, rich and thoroughly satisfying. Combined with a fun and very different-playing single-player component, this is a game that's well worth a look by any strategy fan looking for something fun that breaks the RTS genre's straitjacket.
  24. Dawn of War II is a highly innovative twist on the usual RTS formula that dares to think outside the box while staying true to the WH40k source material. Campaign co-op play is a great addition to the already superb single player game but the head-to-head multiplayer skirmish is a bit of a disappointment.
  25. The way the story is told (and the story itself) could have been better. But despite that and some minor problems concerning the multiplayer we can definitely name DoW2 the first big RTS-Highlight in 2009 and a must-have for RTS-Fans.
  26. It seems like we will have to wait some time to see more armies, as it happened in the first game. Even though, this is one of the most recommended acquisitions of this year, and one of those titles that no strategy devotee should let escape.
  27. Relic has done a wonderful job with this original and innovative RTS, cleaning away the strategy archetypes we're used to playing with. But sadly there are several deficiencies, starting with the repetitive missions and a difficult to master multiplayer. A must buy for strategic fans but not the perfect title we were looking for.
  28. This is an amazingly visceral title with a second-to-none presentation that delivers some of the best tactical action we’ve seen to date. I applaud the developers for moving the staid RTS genre in a new direction, even if I feel that Dawn of War II stumbles a little bit along the way.
  29. The campaign is surprisingly lengthy, and the unit balance is quite well-tuned. Since most of the changes are beneficial, in my view, I can adamantly recommend Dawn of War 2 to fans of RTS games or Warhammer 40K.
  30. At this point however, it’s just a good title, an interesting experiment in the real-time strategies genre for which Relic should be congratulated, having the boldness to execute it, but it’s really not for everyone. Hardcore classic strategy fans will probably shove it aside and get back to their favorite titles, while rookies or people bored of said RTS games will appreciate it for having the guts to do things “differently”.
  31. This game really blew us away. From the tons of missions to the fantastic story, the game doesn’t disappoint. One might say that fighting over and over again feels a little bit boring, but we can’t get enough of it. The fights are intense and will challenge you to think about your actions. One wrong decision and you might lose the war.
  32. In conclusion, this is not your father’s real-time strategy but provides an interesting twist to the genre without the complexities of micromanagement.
  33. Although it lacks in mission variety, Dawn of War II skips the pleasantries of base-building and gets right to the point: action-packed, bloody warfare (with loot!) [Mar 2009, p.62]
  34. Extraordinary online play makes it easy to overlook this strategy sequel's less-impressive single-player campaign.
  35. 85
    The single-player mash-up of RTS and RPG elements works really well, and the multiplayer is fast and exciting. Relic's reinvention of the Dawn of War brand is a breath of fresh (or possibly fetid, Tyranid infested) air.
  36. By incorporating gameplay mechanics not because they’re new, but because they work, they have created a game that is different enough to warrant taking notice, and familiar enough that anyone who’s played an RTS in the past 5 years can jump in and play without worrying about the learning curve.
  37. A very innovative blend of RTS and RPG that is a ton of fun to play, Dawn of War II is easy enough for almost anyone to pick up without being intimidated, yet deep enough to still be challenging for the more hardcore players. It has the strategic depth of Company of Heroes as well as the "just one more mission" mentality of a good RPG like Diablo.
  38. Relic tries to renew the genre with the sequel of the well known Dawn of War universe. This new iteration features deeper gameplay, focused on the action. Dawn of War II does not include the classic base management, and replaces it with a direct control on the evolution and level progress of your units. A good title packed with a poor multiplayer map array, being one of their problems. A great game that achieves to represent the perpetual war on the 40th millennium.
  39. Dawn of War 2 is relentless, grindy, beautiful, but never less than an utterly compulsive real-time strategy game.
  40. An interesting attempt to re-invent RTS genre. It does many things right, like reward system, and is generally fun to play. As a game it feels like a prequel to Dawn of War -series: Bit too simplistic combat without any real threat of defeat and too many generic missions with, my God, end bosses! Those are yesterdays news even on Japan. Hopefully 0-day patch reakly makes things better and more varied. [Feb 2009]
  41. 84
    This is recommended for fans of the series, or RTS nuts looking for the latest fix, but for more casual, curious folk, I reckon it could be worth waiting for the first expansion pack.
  42. A lack of maps and repetition mar the single-player, but the multiplayer is brilliantly brutal. [Mar 2009, p.81]
  43. An interesting, but ultimately weak, single-player experience is a bit of a disappointment to be sure. But the excellent and innovative multiplayer makes Dawn of War II worth the price for real-time strategy fans.
  44. Dawn of War was a finely tuned game with huge battles and many disposable troops. Dawn of War II is faster, lighter, smaller, in some ways more interesting and in other ways somewhat lacking in its execution. But taken as a whole it’s impossible to not recommend the game to 40K fans and to those who are willing to accept that this is not a linear sequel to an aging franchise.
  45. We don't give marks for effort, so the game they've ended up with is all that matters. It's a great and truly new one, just not varied or exciting enough to live up to this particular name. [Feb 2009, p.54]
  46. An extremely addictive strategy game that, honestly, could've blossomed if extra work was poured into the single-player component.
  47. It doesn't, however, fulfill the task of being absurdly entertaining. The failings in the campaign mean that for all its incredible fireworks and visual splendour, its not interesting enough.
  48. I really enjoyed playing Dawn of War II and If you're considering taking the plunge into realtime strategy this is a good place to start.. It is very accessible and Relic has obviously worked hard to release a very polished product that’s immense fun and has a multiplayer side that is entertaining to play and varies enough from the main game to give great value.
  49. DoWII is so unique that it could just as well co-exist with the other traditional RTS games, as it has a focus in places that the others don’t. That said, there still needs to be some new additions and fixes to the multiplayer, as sooner or later the same 6 or so maps will get boring and stale.
  50. Dawn of War 2's greatest accolade is something that it actually does share in common with its predecessor; it's a game that once again takes the Warhammer 40,000 license and does something truly great with it. As for the rest, time will tell if Relic's gamble pays off or not.
  51. On one hand it's addictive, polished, satisfying and action-packed. On the other hand the campaign lacks variety and the meta-game has no real bearing on anything. But through it all a tinge of disappointment can't help but be felt - one that nags as you play the game.
  52. Despite not being the long-awaited revolution in the RTS genre, the game still offers tons of gameplay. Multiplayer is a very solid addition to the genre and same goes for the single player. Despite the fierce competition, the game will probably attract its share of followers.
  53. Top quality of previous part has been retained. If you aren't looking for any new surprises then, you won’t be disappointed. Dawn of War II is a solid and classic strategy game – nothing less, nothing more. [Mar 2009]
  54. The most innovative real-time strategy for years, even if the story mode isn't as good as multiplayer.
  55. Not all of Dawn of War II's bold changes pay off and fans of traditional RTS games might feel left out. But we're glad it made them because at the single-player game's peaks, its a highly strategic and very satisfying experience.
  56. Awesomely detailed graphics.
  57. The brute battles, the use of role-playing elements and the fast multi-play mode are exciting, but as far as mission design, story and balance are concerned, Dawn of War 2 doesn't live up to its potential. Relic created a novel strategy game, but the discrepancy between the more technical parts of the game and its mission design and story is obvious. Still, it's not a bad game at all.
  58. A grand achievement that gives the player a new take on how conventional RTS games play.
  59. Warhammer 40.000 Dawn of War II is an interesting hybrid between strategy and action in its single player campaign, but shows a completely different face on the multiplayer side, strategically deep and less frantic. Several flaws, like the repetitive gameplay and missing modes and maps from the multiplayer don't allow a full marks promotion. Strategy newbies and casual gamers will love it, but RTS hardcore fans should try before buying.
  60. 80
    It’s been a long time coming, but Dawn of War finally has a proper successor. It’s not perfect, as anyone who enjoys the resource management side of strategy gaming will be turned off by the gung-ho style here, but it’s no different than most of the earlier Warhammer 40,000 titles out there.
  61. Overall, the only major problem with recommending Dawn of War II is its minor identity crisis. If you normally don't like RTS games but are a fan of light role-playing that focuses more on the combat than the story, you'll likely find much to love in this game's campaign, and that should be enough to satisfy. However, if you're a fan of traditional strategy games like StarCraft or even the original Dawn of War, you might be underwhelmed by the simplified gameplay of the sequel's campaign, and may want to jump straight to the deeper online experience.
  62. Relic have made an admirable stab at redefining the single-player action-RTS experience, but they haven't managed to nail it just yet. [Apr 2009, p.56]
  63. Dawn of War 2 was thisclose to perfection, but strength failed the developers right on the homestretch.
  64. With shallower gameplay, a dearth of content, and some very distinct repetition, the game feels more like a jumping off point than a complete release.
  65. Relic’s last few titles have been a triumph, and there were high hopes for Dawn of War II. At the end of the day, it just doesn’t quite measure up to the previous iterations of the series or Company of Heroes. Relic are capable as ever at implementing some thoughtful and well-designed game mechanics, but the campaign design and multiplayer balance are both severely lacking.
  66. Relic seems afraid to let any of its ideas meaningfully vary your experience, in case the result isn’t as satisfying as the scenario it has clearly tested so well. [Apr 2009, p.119]
  67. It’s in desperate need of some more variation, but Dawn of War II is luscious, visceral and fast-paced.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1393 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 64 out of 290
  1. Jul 28, 2012
    9
    Okay, I'll be honest with you. At first, having tried the demo and a taste of what DoW2 has to offer, I was sorely disappointed by the drastic change from the gameplay of the original game. HOWEVER, I still decided to give it a shot and I'm so glad that I did. The game plays differently, (there's no building, and more about squad abilities and tactics) but this is by no means bad. The campaign is quite engaging and you're given a number of varied squads to improve and upgrade throughout the game, and that is by far my favourite part. There is choice involved in missions, outfitting and strategy, making an overall flamboyant single player campaign. The co-op is just as sweet. But wait there's more. The cream of the crop is the multiplayer and The Last Stand where you take on hordes of monsters with 2 other heroes. Great additions all way round. Long story short, yes it is a massive departure from DoW1's style but it is fortunately just as good in its own right. I certainly have respect for the devs for changing things up and trying out something new, and I'm glad that they've still kept the strength of this series and its ability to constantly impress me. Full Review »
  2. Mar 11, 2011
    6
    I think the best thing (in my eyes) of this game is the graphics. The graphics are a huge improvement over DOW I and any other RTS I've ever played (and I've played most of the major ones, SC2, Company of Heroes, Supreme Commander I and II, etc etc).
    That's the main good thing I liked. That and how the gameplay revolves more around combat rather than resource gathering. And, of course, the fact that it features the Imperium.

    The thing that I didn't like about this game was that it had very small army sizes, and VERY small battles. This is a step down from DOW I, where you could actually command armies. In DOW II, you get a few squads, and that's it, you're stuck with them. No building squads, no calling in reinforcement squads, nothing. You choose four for each mission and you're stuck with them. This needs a serious fix in the next game.
    Second, the campaign is more of an RTS/RPG hybrid rather than a true RTS. You choose equipment for each character, and decide what each character brings. In regular RTS's, you don't get to do that, each squad has a specialty, and you know their abilities. So it's not a true RTS, but rather an RTS/RPG hybrid.

    Hopefully the next game will be better.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 4, 2010
    10
    Dawn of War II is an excellent game in its own right. However, it is easy to understand how fans of the first game feel slightly wronged after having played it. It is very different compared to the first game, perhaps too much so for it to be called a direct sequel. But if you only look at it as a game it is still quite a great one.

    The visuals are very nice and the gameplay is fluid and fun. Dawn of War keeps setting the standard for visceral combat in the RTS genre.
    Full Review »