What Relic have managed to do with their rts is to change the way a core rts plays, it sets the bar for all the other rts games to follow and it sets it high in both multiplayer and singleplayer. Since Dawn of War and Company of Heroes there has never been an rts that eschewed the qualities of cooperation and teamwork as this one. Dawn of War II takes it to new heights and adds an accessibility rarely found in other games.
Do not be put off by the lack of building a base. You can construct defensive turrets as certain Heroes, the Eldar Webway is an awesome way to get around the map or provide a sneaky defence. The same as the Ravener Alpha's tunnelling ability. You can build power nodes on captured power points, call in generators and that's the extent of building in the game barring the other things previously mentioned and it doesn't hurt the game at all.
There are things I've seen online players do that just proves to me that I'm right in giving the game the score that I did, because it's providing a new level of tactics in terms of rts. No longer is it all about rushing to get that perfect base build.
The game comes with a smattering of maps, Relic has promised to add more via free DLC (Downloadable Content) via the Games for Windows Live service. Running also alongside Steam means that Relic is able to provide fixes for bugs with an unprecedented speed compared to the old system.
There's also a Ranked system and Multiplayer matches can be matched on Xbox Live's TruSkill. Add to this the special unlocks from playing multi-matches against people in Ranked contests and you have an idea that there's a lot to be gained from getting out there and getting your squads into the thick of it. Play 3v3 and you'll always earn something even if you are on the losing side.Graphics
Dawn of War II is a good looking game, scaled back in multiplayer to provide a better experience and less latency issues. In singleplayer it's a beautiful game to witness, the lush environments from jungle swamps, arid deserts and more are created with a superb attention to detail. You can see certain features that are animated, undergrowth and alien plant life sways in an invisible wind for instance. The map design is superb and when you're exploring you can tilt the camera to get a horizontal view of the surroundings.
Special effects are excellent; the weapons actually appear to function as I'd imagined 40K weapons would do. From the pure white glow of a Plasma Gun to the staccato hammer of Avitas' Heavy Bolter everything feels perfect. The explosive effects are meaty and the enemies can be blown into chunks by a well placed grenade, scattering bits across the battlefield.
Both in single player and multi (since there's a simple Army Painter) there are various metallic effects applied to certain surfaces. Space Marine armour looks particularly fine when you're dressed in the high level Terminator suits and so on. There are light/shadow effects and the whole gamut of effects that we've come to expect from a modern game.