Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade review

Expansion packs get redefined with this brilliant add-on

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Veterans of the Dawn of War series will benefit by receiving a new unit or two to the five previously existing armies, but the Dark Crusade expansion focuses on two entirely new factions: the gunslinging Tau and the monstrous Necron. These two long-anticipated additions are favorites of the tabletop version of Warhammer 40K.

The first of the new armies, the Tau, are commonly known as "glass cannons" - sporting powerful rifles, and little armor, they depend on killing their enemies at a distance. The Tau are joined by two allied races called the Kroot and the Vespid. These two insectoid allies are the Tau's answer to close quarters fighting, and offer a sharp one-two combo for commanders of a balanced army.

Expensive and fragile, the Tau gunners require a great degree of tactical management - sending them headlong into close combat against burly opponents will leave you reeling. In fact, everyone is tough compared to the quick-but-flimsy Tau riflemen, and the finesse required while commanding these powerful shooters underscores the extremely divergent gameplay of each faction.

Given careful spotting, the Tau forces are capable of extremely long-distance attacks. Due to the close-in view of Dawn of War, this typically means that the Tau will frequently engage off-screen enemies. Taking the lid off of the claustrophobic battleground view would have been nice, although widescreen resolution support was welcome.

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DescriptionThou Shalt Kill: the incredibly faithful and detailed Warhammer real-time strategy sensation gets an expansion treatment fit for a sequel.
Franchise nameWarhammer
UK franchise nameWarhammer
US censor rating"Mature"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)