I was really excited to check out the Dawn of War 2 single player campaign, so that is the first thing that I was going to do once I got it out of the box. I was a little nervous about ripping open the packaging because the store clerk made a point that I should make sure my computer meets the system requirements for the game; the won't take back an opened game.
I had played the beta, so I was pretty sure that it was going to work on my Dell laptop, but I just wanted to make extra sure so I wouldn't be down $50.
Once I got the disk into my DVD player the game loaded relatively quickly, except that the loading screen was extremely unhelpful. I felt like I had to wait F.O.R.E.V.E.R to get past this screen that told me I was waiting for the system to install necessary components. It was taking so long that I thought the install had gotten stuck and was about to do some dangerous ctrl+alt+delete to quit the process when it suddenly jumped to the next screen.
After the game was loaded and all the business with Steam and Windows Live was sorted out (which wasn't very much business because I already had a Steam and Windows Live account from playing the DOW 2 beta), the never ending (it felt that way) patch process began. Granted that it was the first day that the game was released for play, it still took a long time for me to download the patch that I had known and forgot about.
By the time I started playing it was already well past 10 PM and very near 11PM. I played for a total of 2 hours. During this time I mostly played the single player campaign, but I did dabble in some 3v3 action before the evening ended.
Here are some of the things that I learned from my single evening of play:
- I needed to turn my graphic settings all the way down to be able to enjoy the thrill of multiplayer. For me, this isn't a big deal because I care more about the competition, strategy and tactics of games than I do about the graphics. But I did not expect that I would have to turn down my graphics for single player as well. I had the quit the very first mission because my machine was lagging so horribly. I guess I just barely meet the requirements for Dawn of War 2.
- Other people need to turn their graphics setting down all the way. There is nothing worse than lagging like the dickens because others haven't turned down their graphic settings. Sometimes this is an internet provider problem, but 9 times out of 10 it is going to be a settings issue.
- I really like multiplayer better than single player. But is not to say that I don't like the single player. I found the story interesting and the action lively. Its just that no amount of computer stomping can compare to matching wits and skills against a real human opponent.
I want to do some in depth walk-throughs of the various missions in the single player campaign and I want to give some of my strategy and build order for multiplayer.
Now I am by no means a tactics or strategy expert, but I do like thinking about these things and I do decently enough in multiplayer games without resorting to cheap exploits or abusing overpowered units. So you will probably have to take all that I have to say about Dawn of War 2 strategies with a grain of salt.
In the end, I hope I provide something useful and entertaining to the Dawn of War 2 playing public!