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This is the final expansion pack in a series made by THQ called Dawn of war. They then made a new series with Dawn of war 2, but apparently this is not as good (have never played it). I have previous reviews on the previous installments, and this review will focus solo on the expansion.
What this expansion brings to the game are 2 new races, and a new aerial unit for all the races. The two new races are the sisters of battle, and the dark eldar:
The sisters of battle are very similar to the space marines. But they have better "spells" called acts of faith. The sisters grab their resource for these acts of faith by placing relgion symbols on their listen posts, to gain a "reservoir" or faith points, and by building faithful units (such as the commander, leaders in squads and so on) to generate the faith points. These acts of faiths cost faith points, and includes things such as making all your squad heal rather than take damage, and so on. This makes the sisters very strong in fights, but need some time to recharge their faith points.
The units are very similar to the space marines, but their vehicles are not as strong. Furthermore their units are not as expensive, and they do not have a base army unit other than the sisters of battle (the only combat unit to be built at the base is a squad leader style unit, not a squad like the scouts of the space marines, or so on). The space marines have an ultimate vehicle like others, but here the vehicle is nowhere near as strong, but can be "reborn". In total, the sisters of battle are very strong infantry, with cool acts of faith, but begin to become undone later on due to their weak vehicles compared with most other races.
The other race, the dark eldar, are supposed to be eldar "gone wrong". They have another special resource, souls. the worker units, and one or two of the combat units can harvest souls from dead warriors (or from slave torture pits) and use them to bring about devastating spells on the enemy (the best being "soulstorm"). However I must say it takes a heck of a lot of souls to get that sorta skills out. By this time, the game has been won/lost.
The Dark Eldar are pretty similar in gameplay to the eldar, being relatively fragile units with heavy firepower and good mobility, but the dark eldar are even more mobile, even more damaging... and even more fragile. Furthermore they cannot make any defensive buildings (which is why i dont like playing them very much). one thing that is cool about them though is that to build a building, all a worker has to do is "plant" a seed, and then walk away, so you can easily plant around 5-6 seeds with one worker, and then get him harvesting souls whilst the buildings "grow". But overall, I am not the biggest fan of the dark eldar, even though they are quite strong.
The final addition is aerial units. The imperial guard get a bomber, as do the orks. The space marines get a sort of space fighter style thing, the Tau get a missile gunship, etc etc. These have different engagement patterns to land units, only certain units can shoot at them (infantry shots are very weak against them), and they cannot be damaged by melee, and can fly over mountains etc. These add sort of fast attack units to every race. The necrons however get the short straw here by only getting attack scarabs, which are a bit naff. But then again, see my previous review to see that the necrons are more about full on assaults (flying units not much good here), and not about ambushes.
Overall, this is a great final addition to the series. The sisters of battle at first feel like some sort of scam, as they are very similar to the space marines, but as you play them a little, you realise that they are a bit different. It adds new races, but updates older ones so they do not feel so outnumbered/overpowered.
Bring in the bombers! The Dawn of War saga continues (and ends) with this, the final expansion for the original Dawn of War. Soulstorm takes the series out with a bang though, giving you not just 2 new races to play around with, but it also gives you aircraft for all of the existing races. It also gives you a 4-planet map to conquer in the campaign mode.
I'll cover the new races first. First up, the Sisters of Battle. Basically, the Sisters are like a female version of Space Marines. However, they have a secondary role as witch hunters, so the majority of their special weaponry is taken up with flamethrowers, meltaguns, and other things that lob very hot flames over long distances.
Secondly, you have the Dark Eldar, a race that thrives on the souls of the freshly butchered, and are not averse to taking slaves to kill later on. Personally, I like the look of the Dark Eldar. Unlike some 40k armies which hide their intentions behind subtlety and deceptively ornate armour, the Dark Eldar seem to have given everything in their possession sharp, pointy bits. Even the wings on their jetbikes look like they're sharp enough to cut a space marine in half without slowing the bike down.
Both of these races have a new resource to accrue, along with collecting Power and Requistion in the same way as the previous games. The Sisters of Battle have a Faith resource, generated by having holier troops and sanctifying ground (by upgrading your listening posts). The Dark Eldar collect the souls of the fallen. This is easier to increase, just kill enemy troops and harvest the souls with your vehicles. You can also create a building which sacrifices innocents on a regular basis.
Filling these new resource bars will give you some very powerful units, such as the Sisters of Battle's Living Saint, which is basically an angel which fights for you.
New air units:
Chaos: Hell Talon
Imperial Guard: Marauder bomber
Necrons: Attack Scarabs can fly. They also get the Deceiver god add-on for the Necron Lord.
Orks: Fighta Bomba
Space Marines: Land Speeder Tempest
The Dark Eldar: Raven
Sisters of Battle: Lightning figher
It has to be said though, that while Dawn of War: Soulstorm undoutably adds a few things to the Dawn of War series, it's only really worth getting for the new armies. The aircraft don't really work that well (often getting stuck on scenery during bombing runs, for example, which means the timer has to recharge again despite not actually doing anything) and are pretty useless at killing... well, anything, and the campaign just feels tacked on.
Dawn of War: Soulstorm is everything I was hoping for in an expansion pack for an already superb series.
Once you have chosen your race, you are given your main base on one of the four planets in the system and told to conquer all. Initially, the task is simple (depending upon your race), and your foothold is quickly established. The campaign can become quite difficult from there, however, as every turn your enemies build up their defenses and create more troops for you to fight.
Each race has a specific ability, which aids you in defeating your enemies. Defeating another race (by wiping out its' headquarters) allows you their ability, furthering your powers in the solar system. As you progress and do certain deeds, your commanding unit is given certain upgrades which turn them into even more of a killing machine.
The campaign can feel quite slow at times, with having to defend your territories from multiple attackers requiring you to play maps multiple times, but this adds to the feeling of true warfare - if you haven't bothered to set up defences in your territories, expect them to be taken swiftly!
To go into further detail may spoil the game for some of you, but I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. The two new races are especially well done, each with their own styles of playing. Some may say that the new flying units are silly or unbalanced, but perhaps they simply aren't tactically using them correctly.
Happy gaming, and WAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!
In Dawn of War Soulstorm, the third and final expansion for dawn of war, you may play as any of the nine available factions competing for control of the Kaurava system. The nine factions are the masses of the imperial guard, the holy Maidens of the sisters of battle, the resolute defenders of man the Space Marines, the greenskin Ork hordes, the pillaging forces of chaos, the Eldar of Craftworld Uthwé, the unstoppable death dealing Necrons, the young race of the Tau and last but not least the twisted and corrupt Dark Eldar.
Dawn of War Soulstorm is the second game in the dawn of war series to feature a nonlinear campaign which allows you to permanently equip your forces commander with Wargear which will allow him (or her) two crush Entire armies with little or no support.
This game also features a single player and online multiplayer skirmish mode you simply login and can play with competitors all across the globe.
An absolutely superb game however I believe that the introduction of air units was detrimental to the realism which game designers strive to perfect.
I have been a large fan of the Dawn Of War series since it first came about years ago, and one thing that always got me was the amount of detail that had gone into the story line, aswell as the command and conquer style gameplay that made it great, admittedly there were some downfalls, but it was early days, and winter assault and Dark Crusade added upon that greatly, and now Soulstorm has arrived to grace our computers, but is it all that its cracked up to be?
As stated in the Advantages/Disadvantages part of this review i believe that the Advantages for this game are that; the armies generally feel balanced and varied, Story mode is detailed and allows you an amount of free rein to decide where you attack, army painter section is good for multiplayer matches online, and the gameplay mechanic feels quick and responsive to when you play, the background given to all the races is very detailed, well what do you expect from a game that is speaking not only to gamers, but also to fans of the tabletop game, and as such, all the races feel very balanced because they have been written from around at least 4 years worth of background histort.
And now for the Disadvantages, the 'New' races, aka sisters of battle and dark eldar feel weak and slightly broken, hence why i said generally before, flying vehicles feel unneeded if you have played previous Dawn of War installments and feel weak as they can be easily killed by gun turrets, if it is the 41st millenium and there is only war, then why cant they afford some decent armour?!
I had a great deal of fun with this game and i am positive that anyone who enjoys strategy games will at least gain some enjoyment out of this game, if not for the story line then for the gameplay mechanics and the general feel of enourmity from fighting a 3 on 3 fight on blood shed alley when all squad and vehicle caps have been used up and a massive battle ensues in the middle of the map, also the story campaign is set in a similar ilk to Dark Crusade, in that it is very good and is highly replayable, the start to the campaigin is the army select screen, where you can choose from a number of races, Space Marines, Orks, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Chaos Space Marines (think Space Marines with more spikes and the ability to summon the massive pink demons from id softwares original 2 Doom games), Imperial Guard (like our modern day army, with laser guns, the Ogres from the hobbit, and large, and i do mean large tanks), The Tau and last but not least, The Necrons.
After picking your poison, or army in this case, you are dumped in a pre determined location and told to conquer everything, simple really, but what is good about the story is the amount of detail that seems to come through while you are playing, for example, i played as Imperial Guard (Surprise Surprise, from the missus) and the amount of back detail that has been put into the fictional army and also the colonel that you are playing as is surprisingly quite large for an expansion, also, the sheer magnitude of the story mode, in that you have to conquer 3 planets and a moon and also wipe out all other races, will leave you wanting more, well it did for me at any rate, though that maybe my urge to see all bow down to the Imperial Guard....
All in all, i enjoyed Dawn of War Soulstorm greatly, not just as a Warhammer 40,000 fan, but also as an objective gamer who has played enough RTS games in his time to understand a good and a bad one, and i can safely say that Dawn of War Soulstorm is a good game, if not great, and definitely worth its cost.
I hope that this review has been helpful and reviews, both good and baaad are welcome :D thank you
Oh an by the way, if you do buy the game and play as Imperial Guard, one small bit of knowledge, the guns they are using are not that good, hence why you can make each squad around 15 men large, i play as them for the sheer fact that i love the back ground and i collect them for the table top game.
The Dawn of War series is unique in my experience in that the later two add-ons (Dark Crusade and Soulstorm) do not require the original game to play.
However, the single player campaign in these add-ons is very different from the original game, and to experience the full benefit of the multi-player game you'd be best to have the original games as well.
Soulstorm adds two new races to the campaign (Sisters of Battle and Dark Eldar) a new unit type (flying units) and a new resource (Faith/Souls). The new resource is only available for the new races, much like Waaargh! is only available for Orks.
The single player campaign lets you choose any of the 9 races (I believe you have access to all of them in single player mode even if you only purchase this game) to play, and gives you a Risk-like map to conquer, territory at a time. Each territory unlocks more resources, and conquering an enemy capitol (start location) gives you that race's special ability.
This is different from the previous Dark Crusade, where the special abilities were gained from different territories to the capitols.
Game play in the battles is pretty much unchanged from previous add-ons - the addition of flight doesn't make a huge difference due to the unit cap on these units.
This expansion pack adds many features to the Dawn of War saga. It has included two new armies the Witch Hunters and the Dark Eldar. Air units, like the marauder bomber. This game had a very specific feel for me before soul storm and in my opinion strategy has gone out the window with the new air units. This game seems to be made as an afterthought. Personally I did not enjoy this game. I did not like the new campaign map which did not let you zoom in unless you were about to attack and I specially did not like the feel of the two new races. The game is unbalanced unfair and boring now so the only thing for me to do and others is not to buy the game and pray and beg that the next DOW2 will make up for this game. There are however a few interesting things in the game such as the new maps which actually have livings things and vegetation which can be walked through so providing a more realistic environment for the 40k scene.
Soulstorm is the third & final expansion to the genre defining & critically acclaimed RTS, Dawn of War. In Soulstorm, two new armies are introduced, raising the total number of playable armies in DoW to an unprecedented count of nine while also adding additional units to all existing factions. The revolutionary meta-game that was introduced in Dark Crusade is further expanded to an interplanetary scale, allowing players to battle across a star system. Combined with its sister products, Soulstorm makes Dawn of War the largest and most detailed RTS ever released.