E3 06: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade

In addition to the two new races, Dark Crusade also revamps the single-player campaign. This time around you'll be fighting for control of the planet Kronus, but it's not a linear campaign in the traditional sense. Instead players will have to fight it out on the map territory by territory, and the order in which your forces advance is completely up to you. Capturing a specific territory yields strategic advantages (and earns you new units), but just because you've captured something doesn't mean it's yours forever. Relic promises aggressive enemy armies that won't have any problem attacking vulnerable territory.

Picking a race is an important component of the expansion, as the story unfolds differently depending on which of the seven you choose. Choice of race also determines your hero unit - for instance, the Tau Commander is armed with a fusion blaster, flamethrower, and missile launcher - and the applicable upgrades. As you advance through the story, you will be given the chance to upgrade your leader's weapons, armor and special abilities. It's a nice perk.

Though some developers treat expansion packs as nothing more than a quick buck, Relic has gone out of its way to ensure that Dark Crusade adds plenty of new content to Dawn of War. Someone unfamiliar with the series might just mistake Dark Crusade for a sequel.

May 12, 2006