Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Dawn of War Anthology: Box Collection Review

This is my review of the boxed game collection Dawn of War Anthology

I paid $50 for this and its hefty as it contains all the individual cases of all the games and the manuals.
This includes:
  • Dawn of War Game of the Year Edition (3 CDs) -> It mentions the collector's art book on the back but unfortunately was left out. :-(
  • Dawn of War Winter Assault (2 CDs)
  • Dark Crusade - 1 DVD
  • All the CD-keys work
Fairly weighty, Dark Crusade Anthology is a good buy but aside from from being able to to physical hold the discs and physical manuals, there's nothing here a digital download doesn't already have.
There's actually probably enough space for one extra DVD casing but it's just an extra cardboard support which is a pity :-(. They could have easily fit in another collector's disc. music CD or some sort of exclusive artbook in there.

I consider a bit of a lazy collection as a result. I suspect they had an over production of games and decided to just repackage them.

This has been superceded by the Dawn of War: The Complete Edition with the final expansion Soul Storm so you may as well just get that as a digital download which is now probably cheaper than what I paid for it.

My overall impression is that all of them are very fun games. That being said, here are a couple of things I didn't quite like about the games in particular a number of interface quirks:
  • You can't build in places that are covered by the fog of war even if they are well within safe zones like right next to your starting base.
  • You can't 'mass activate' an ability for same squad types so you actually have to flick through all of them one by one individually activating them.
  • Fleet of foot for the Eldar has to be manually activated. 95% of the time when moving, you'll want Fleet of foot on and you'll want it off when you've stopped. There's no real cool down period so why not have it so you can choose between several different behaviours. 1) Always off. 2) Always on 3) On when moving, off when you stop moving. Instead you have to keep flicking it on and off individually for each squad which is unnecessary micromanagement.
  • Eldar Web way gate travel and Imperial Guard underground travel needs to be automated. Troops should automatically use these points if its faster to travel rather than having to manually load them in. Also, the icons at the bottom telling you what sort of building an imperial guard is in don't tell you where they are coming from so you might accidentally ask an Imperial Guard squad from builidng A to travel to building C leaving building A empty even though you actualy wanted the squad from building B to building C. It probably doesn't matter because you could just send them back but the limited size of the barracks etc. mean more unnecessary micromanagement.
  • You pay immediately for buildings even if they aren't built regardless how far away your builder unit is. For example, if you ask a builder unit near your base to build a turret in the middle of the map, the turret will be placed there and your builder unit will automatically travel to the place and build it. During this time, it is vulnerable to being destroyed and has very low life. I think a building should only be built when your builder actually reaches the targeted area.
  • The Dawn of War Game of the Year Edition Needs to have some sort of ingame help or on-disc PDF so you can check out the tech trees and upgrades before entering battle. I guess you can learn from experience but it would be good to be able to consult some sort of documentation. Winter Assault and Dark Crusade offer manuals so its a little better in that respect.
  • Campaigns are a bit short in both Dawn of War and Winter Assault. I consider the Winter Assault campaign very fun more so than Dawn of War.
  • Dark Crusade's core gameplay with 7 sides is pretty awesome however the campaign is a bit bland. There are certainly flashes of brilliance with some of the missions like the enemy stronghold but most of the missions pretty much involve different maps but the same objectives. There isn't any alternate stories to experience and there's no real replay value after you finished it aside from replaying it to see your first-choice faction's stronghold event.

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