Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3 returns us to the real-time, tactical world of warring Space Marines, Orks and Eldar. This time around, the big push is for big, big units.
Here's what we know so far about Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3.
Just the facts
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Platforms: Windows PC
Release date: 2017
The Space Marines of the Blood Ravens, the Orks and the Eldar converge on the planet Acheron after the discovery of a massive weapon.
Asked and answered
What is Dawn of War 3?
More than anything, Dawn of War 3 is a Warhammer 40,000 real-time strategy game. Warhammer 40,000 is a tabletop wargame that takes place in a dystopian science fiction universe and is played with minutely detailed miniatures. The original wargame first hit in 1987, and there have been seven editions since.
Elite Points for heroes
In 2004, THQ published the first Relic-developed computer real-time strategy version of the game. It was a smash hit. In 2009, THQ published Dawn of War 2, also developed by Relic. Dawn of War 3 will remain a Relic-developed game, but this time it will be published by Sega.
This time around, the game will focus on expensive and highly powerful units. Players will need to decide carefully how to spend their money and be much more careful with these high-dollar investments in battle.
What will you be doing in the game?
Dawn of War 3 is a real-time strategy game that has you accruing resources automatically, using those resources to purchase units and then using those units to capture more territory, increasing how quickly you accrue resources.
The game will include both a single-player campaign and a multiplayer component.
What sort of multiplayer does the game have?
Relic hasn't said anything about the multiplayer, but it's safe to assume that this is where you'll dig into online player-versus-player gaming.
OK, what about single-player?
The single-player campaign has players take on the role of Space Marines, Orks or Eldar. In the demo being shown at E3, players step into the boots of Space Marines.
Gabriel Angelos' giant hammer
The game has some interesting concepts, like capturable 360-degree cover areas that will deteriorate over time, and a unit that wields a bolters that can fire in a 90-degree arc and hit six targets at once with missiles.
The game also has those much bigger hero units. But you can't typically deploy those when the game starts.
Instead of using your regular resources to purchase hero units, you need to use something called Elite Points, which build up over time. Some of those units only cost a few and can be deployed pretty quickly after you get going; others take 10 to 15 minutes to accrue the points.
What's so special about heroes?
First off, they can take out multiple regular units fairly quickly. But just as importantly, they each have their own special weapons and personalities.
Can you give me an example?
Sure! The Space Marines' Gabriel Angelos wields a giant hammer that can push enemies back and create a temporary shield. These big units are what help breathe so much life into the strategy game.
What about the non-hero units?
We saw scouts that can sneak up close to enemy encampments and call in drop squads and elite weapons attacks; snipers with long-range weapons; jump pack-wearing assault marines armed with chainswords and pistols; devastator squads that use bolters and lasers; and dreadnought walkers.
The Blood Ravens
You mentioned that this is based on an established franchise. Is there any backstory I need to know?
You don't need to know the history of the tabletop game or franchise coming in, but it can't hurt. This particular game follows the Blood Ravens, a chapter of the Space Marines led by the hero unit Gabriel Angelos.
Who is Angelos?
He's a badass who feels guilty about ordering the destruction of his home planet. He's also responsible for the most notable battles in his chapter of Space Marines.
Angelos will face threats that will be "unlike anything he's seen before."
The other factions are playable. What can you tell me about how they'll play in this game?