Suffer not the Alien!
Itís hard to imagine that Relic could have made significant improvements to their Dawn of War 2 game, but they have. Thatís right, the bottom line (or top) of this review is that the stand alone expansion to the highly successful Dawn of War 2 is well worth the money and adds a massive chunk of improvements along with a large single player campaign that continues the story of events in Subsector Aurelia and beyond. Story
Set one year after the events of Dawn of War 2, the Space Marines are still battling against the remnants of the alien invaders that they protected the sub-sector from in the first instalment. Now, the warp storms at the edge of the sector have receded and the planet of Aurelia, once thought lost for good...has returned and with it a deadly new threat one that is steeped in the ancient tides of chaos.Gameplay
Those of you familiar with Dawn of War 2 will be able to immediately get to grips with the game. Gameplay remains fundamentally unchanged and it would be a waste to re-iterate the same-old, same-old commentary on that subject, so hereís the review of Dawn of War 2 for anyone new to the series. http://www.gamesxtreme.net/pc/game/warhammer-40000-dawn-of-war-ii/review.html
There is a brand new campaign for Chaos Rising, a campaign that is much better in terms of design and structure, with new objectives and a less repetitive feel to it. The campaign allows you to import a previously completed squad from DoW 2 into the new game and bring with them all the experience and some of the Wargear from their previous adventures. The new campaign is also significantly more epic, the feel to it is bigger and the overall plot arc is pure 40K theme with the return of the Space Marines most deadly arch-enemy Ė Chaos. You once again control the Blood Ravens and must do all in your power to stop the spread of darkness.
If you donít have a previous save, then you can start a brand new character at a higher level complete with some rather nice gear and abilities already. After all, you are aboard a new Strike Cruiser. New to Chaos Rising is the Corruption system brought about by the advent of Chaos into the core story. If you complete the first few missions youíll see a new meter appear on the squad screen, this tracks your corruption and works like this. Every time you equip Wargear tainted by the dark powers of Chaos, youíll gain corruption, if you do actions that are not in theme with a Space Marine, youíll gain corruption and the more you gain corruption, the more you become tainted and gain access to new abilities and more powerful Wargear. Youíll miss out on Wargear that requires an uncorrupted soul to use it, and some of your Space Marines might become your enemy.
Thereís also the Purity trait, a special trait that Space Marine squads have, you are fine as long as the Corruption score isnít 4 or more. Once that happens, you lose the Purity trait and gain the first of 6 potential Corruption traits. Traits unlock and become available every 4 Corruption levels, the max for this is 24 and once you hit that particular max your Space Marineís soul is forever lost to the Dark Powers of Chaos and he cannot be redeemed. There are ways to reduce Corruption of course, some missions will have objectives that do so and there are other ways, youíll have to discover for yourself.
The Space Marines also gain a new unit, the Librarian. Librarians are powerful psychic masters in the 40K Universe, they are extremely adept at changing their power set on the fly by using various tomes and relics, they can be made into an extremely potent ally on the battlefield.