Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm

Developers Relic - this time with help from Titan Quest chaps Iron Lore - have been showing off some of Soulstorm’s units, and they’re all the proof you need that the new factions aren’t marginal bets. For instance, the Sisters’ ultra-warrior, the Living Saint, is a flaming, sword-wielding avenging angel. She wouldn’t be possible without Soulstorm introducing flying units to DoW, and she’s the fastest thing on the battlefield, able to bear down on any foe.

The Sisters have religious fervour (‘Faith’, officially) as a unique resource, which can call down massive buffs - raising the dead as ghosts to fight for you, or temporarily blinding the entire opposing force, for instance.

The Dark Eldar don’t really go in for the higher power stuff, but they do like a soul or two. Their leader, the Archon, can devour the spiritual energy of his foes, becoming stronger with each feast. How? By swaddling them in barbed wire and sucking the life out of them. Ouch. Sounds more Clive Barker than Jericho.

Even if the new factions are too much like outsiders for you, Soulstorm’s bringing the finest DoW singleplayer game yet. The map of the last expansion, Dark Crusade, now covers a galaxy rather than a single planet - seven space-rocks split into 31 territories. Each zone chucks out different buffs and larger ones if you can claim an entire planet.

The long game it is then, and, clearly, the biggest Dawn of War expansion yet. Tyranids? Pah. Who needs ’em?

Feb 11, 2008