Personally, I'm not a huge fan of base building strategies. I bought Dawn of War because, well, I'm a GW addict and it seemed like fun. Besides being able to field Space Marines and Baneblades, it really isn't all that different from Age of Empires. . .the first one. My preferences for strategies tend to go more along the lines of the Total War series, especially Rome: Total War. Seriously, if you like strategies and not having to rush and build faster than your opponents (in other words, taking time and planning crap out), seriously check the line out. I've been a fan since Rome, and while I'm not crazy about Medieval II or Empire (although the naval battles are fan-friggin-tastic!), there's LOTS of good stuff there.
Anyway, that's not what this post is about. Earlier today, I was out and about spending birthday giftcards, and on a stroll through Best Buy, my eyes beheld this:
I was a little low on the funds when Dawn of War II released, so I skipped this one at the time. But with a new, shiny gift card, I thought I'd give the sequel to the series a try, as I had heard it was vastly different from the original. I've only played it for a few hours, and I'm only on the second mission, but I can tell already that I much prefer this game to its predecessor. For starters, no more base building, so it's not a rush against your opponents, computer or otherwise. Through the first mission, I definitely took my time. I would send the scouts out ahead, snipe artillery spotters, and then set up my devastators and tac marines.
Again, not being that far into the game, I can't really speak with a great deal of knowledge on the XP and levelling systems, but what I've glimpsed so far is definitely interesting and seems decently well done. I also hear tell there's a corruption system, which I eagerly await to experience firsthand. It'll be a tough call, though. . .whether to stay true to the Emperor or fall into the blissful agony of Chaos. I tend to think going the evil route will always be fun. But then I start doing really bad things and feel guilty. Not sure what I mean? Well, play Fable or Knights of the Old Republic and you'll see what I mean. You can do some really mean spirited things. I used to think it was hilarious, but without my old college roommate egging me on, I just feel bad now. Then again, I don't think killing servants of the Corpse God would be too guilt-intensive. So more on this game as I play it further, but thus far I'd definitely say it's worth considering. You can buy Dawn of War II and the Chaos Rising expansion for about $30.