Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution is a real-time strategy-tactical role-playing video game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ for Microsoft Windows based on the fictional Warhammer 40,000 universe. It is the sequel to the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War video game series.
- Space Marines
- Chaos Space Marines
- Imperial Guard
- Tau Empire
- Dark Eldar
- Sister of Battle
- Steel Legion
- Witch Hunter
- Deamon Hunter
- Chaos Deamon
- Adeptus Mechanicus
- Tau Legion
- Space Hulk
- Tau Mercenaries
- Roman Guard
- Toy Rebel
- Dance Macabre
- Pirates Alliance
- Element Emperor
- Lost and the Dammed
- Dark Mechanicus
- Exile Force
- Dark Hedoes
- Horden Taction
Playable armies at the initial release of the game include the Space Marines, Orks, Eldar, and Tyranids. The Chaos Space Marines and the Imperial Guard were later added to the game through its two expansion packs.
The gameplay of Dawn of War II is markedly different from that of Dawn of War and its expansions. Jonny Ebbert, the game's lead designer, describes the feel of the game by saying that it "takes everything that was great about the original and combines it with the best that Company of Heroes had to offer." There is a heavier focus on cover, which gives more substantial defensive bonuses. Accordingly, there is also new emphasis on methods of dealing with units in cover. Some weapons, such as grenades and other explosives, can destroy cover, while others, such as flamers, ignore cover bonuses completely. Other differences between Dawn of War II and its predecessors include improved unit AI (squads under fire seek cover, for example), more realistically sized vehicles, and an improved physics engine.
As a Games for Windows - Live game, the game uses the Achievements system from Xbox LIVE, and is the first widely released, PC-exclusive game to use it. Because of this, a player must be able to connect to the Windows Live servers in order to access the game's multiplayer features. The game also requires authentication via Steam. On June 17, an optional update was released that removes Games for Windows Live and the now defunct Gamespy multiplayer servers for Steam solutions, including Steam Cloud.
Dawn of War II features a non-linear interplanetary campaign, playable as the Space Marines. The campaign can be played either as single-player or cooperatively with another player through an online connection.
The game's campaign departs from those of its predecessors in several key features. One of the most notable departures is that there are no base-building elements, unlike in previous Dawn of War titles. Instead, the player chooses the units to be used prior to beginning a mission, cannot build new units once the mission begins, and has only limited reinforcement options.
A major part of the campaign lies in choosing which battles and even planets to fight in, and there are consequences regarding which missions are chosen. There may be multiple distress calls to answer, for example, each available for only a limited duration. Once a mission is chosen, the player may still have to choose between various objectives, having to decide between saving civilians or obtaining a powerful piece of wargear, for example.
Once a war zone and mission is selected, the player chooses only four squads to take part in the coming battle. Each squad is unique in its combat specialty, personality, and even the voice acting of its squad leader or sergeant. There is a strong narrative focus on the sergeants of these squads who can increase in experience and skills as the campaign progresses, and cannot ultimately be killed. Rather than dying in a mission, squad leaders are "knocked out" and can be revived either by a friendly unit in close proximity or upon completing the mission.
The campaign includes many elements traditionally associated with RPG-style games. Squad leaders and commander units can be equipped with the wargear which is gathered from battlefields and slain enemies and by accomplishing objectives during missions. Throughout the campaign, as a Space Marine kills enemies and achieves objectives, he gains experience, "levels up", learns new abilities, and gains bonuses.
Dawn of War II: Retribution takes place ten years after events of Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising. The sub-sector is now suffering from conflict between Ork pirates called the Freebootaz led by Kaptin Bluddflagg to pillage the sub-sector, the arrival of the Eldar of the Craftworld Alaitoc led by Autarch Kayleth to seek about a prophecy and recovering an ancient artifact, a Tyranid Hive Lord restoring the remnants of the Hive Fleet Leviathan and to the link of the Hive Mind, the Blood Ravens defending the sub-sector led by Captain Apollo Diomedes to hunt down Chaos as well as investigating their Chapter Master, Azariah Kyras, for being corrupted by Chaos, the return of Chaos Space Marines of the Black Legion led by Eliphas the Inheritor to fulfill his promise to Abaddon the Despoiler to annihilate the Blood Ravens, and the newly arriving Imperial Guard of the 8th Cadian Regiment led by Lord General Castor, performing an Exterminatus under Inquisitor Adrastia to investigate for corruption within Sub-sector Aurelia as well as the Blood Ravens' Chapter Master Azariah Kyras. These events may have been caused by Gabriel Angelos' actions (from the original Dawn of War game) when he destroyed a stone with the hammer "God-Splitter" which held within it a daemon of Khorne.
Dawn of War II includes a skirmish game as well, playable either as single-player or multiplayer, and uses the Games for Windows - Live online gaming service for multiplayer games and matchmaking.
Prior to a match, a player chooses a faction and one of the chosen faction's three commanders. The various commanders are used to complement different strategies. For example, a player who chooses the Space Marine army can choose among the offense-oriented Force Commander, the support-oriented Apothecary, and the defense-oriented Techmarine.
Unlike most contemporary real-time strategy games, including Dawn of War, most of the unit and research production in Dawn of War II is done from an army's headquarters building, and unit upgrades are performed on the field of battle itself. The focus in the game is on frontline combat and unit-based tactics rather than the more traditional base-building style popularized in titles like Command & Conquer and the Age of Empires series.
There are only two game modes in the skirmish game thus far. There is the standard Victory Point Control mode where the key to winning is controlling the critical victory points on the map until your opponent's victory points run down to zero, and in unranked custom matches there is also the annihilation mode where players attempt to completely destroy their opponents' units and structures. In both modes, players fight to control requisition and power nodes which supply factions with required resources. In online ranked play, players compete in 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 matches. Annihilation games are not supported for ranked play.
The Last Stand
The Imperial Lord General will be added to the current selection of The Last Stand heroes as well as new environment and new waves of enemies. It can also update all the previous heroes from Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising by importing the Games for Windows account to the Steam Account.
The Last Standalone is a stand-alone version of the Retribution version of The Last Stand. The Last Standalone was released on April 20, 2011 as a separate Steam purchase for $9.99 (€6.99). Owners of The Last Standalone receive a discount on the full version of -Dawn of War II: Retribution.
New units and/or upgrades
Multiplayer will introduce base building to a small degree, as well as every race getting a Global Ability Advance Unit. Retribution is a stand-alone title and does not require ownership of earlier games in the series to use any of the factions in multiplayer.
Specific race packs were released for each of the six races within the campaign, containing special items for that race in the campaign of Retribution, such as armour, weapons and accessories. The Ork race pack is a Steam exclusive and Tyranid pack a THQ online store exclusive, although all were made available as DLC after release, and all come in the Dawn of War II: Retribution Collector's Edition retail box.
Wargear packs were also released for The Last Stand multiplayer mode. Each pack added new wargear to a specific hero class.
There were also two DLC packs released adding new sub-races to use in multiplayer game with unique models and color schemes for units: Dark Angels Space Marine chapter and Eldar Craftworld Ulthwe. Similar DLC pack adding the Ultramarines Space Marine chapter was released on August 16, 2011.
The Tau Crisis Suit Commander is another hero for Last Stand mode available by download.
The Last Stand
Relic released a new game mode (as part of their 1.8.0 patch) for Dawn of War II, called The Last Stand. Players take control of either a Space Marine Captain, an Eldar Farseer or an Ork Mekboy, and co-operate with two other players in order to take on waves of AI controlled units. With the release of Chaos Rising, the Tyranid Hive Tyrant and Chaos Space Marine Sorcerer were also made playable. As the players play, they gain experience points which unlocks 'wargear' for their character. This was further improved with the release of Retribution which added an Imperial Lord General to the fray.
Act 1: New Begining
Act 2: Chaos Rising
Act 3: Retribution
Act 4: Conquer Unleashed
Act 5: Vengeance Fist Glory
Act 6: Greater Primarch
Act 7: Firestorm Overloard
Relic had revealed that work had begun on a sequel, but with THQ having shut down, it is unknown if development has continued. As SEGA has not arranged a licensing agreement with Games Workshop (owner of the Warhammer 40,000 IP), unless this situation changes in future, it is likely that development has halted on any further Dawn of War titles.