Built squarely upon the expectation that players probably want to see something different emerging within the RTS genre, Dawn of War 2 is as much hack-and-slash as it is tactical management. Squad sizes have been cut down and troop numbers diminished. There is no base-building anymore. You can almost hear Relic straining to force this Space-Marine-shaped peg into a Diablo-Rogue hole. It doesn’t fit. Not quite.
Although the idea behind this new direction is sound, no part of the game is furnished to the degree of excellence that we come to expect from Relic post-Company of Heroes. Promises of deeper relationships with the units, a tighter focus on combat, loot and character-levelling seem to have come up empty because there are so many ideas here that there seems to have been a sacrifice of substance.
The battles, all wonderful in their crimson-gore splendour, tend to play out in much the same way. Aside from the fact that you must repeatedly play on the same maps - with laborious boss fights marking the end of each one - the game supplies neither the terrain nor the variety of units to support deep strategic play. You’ll find yourself relying on the same few moves time after time and on top of this the levelling system has an emptiness to it that I just can’t put my finger on.
VERDICT: Fun in short bursts, but it’s not the RTS revolution we were hoping for.