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Warhammer 40K

DoW II: Retribution review

Loyal fans of Dawn of War or Warhammer 40k in general, rejoice! Retribution has finally and with it, the Imperial Guards. That’s right folks, if you didn’t know already; the Imperial Guards are the latest race to be added in the repertoire of playable races in DoW II.

Well since I am on the topic of new stuff, every race is getting a playable campaign and like Chaos Rising, a new unit. That is, if you didn’t already know that. So what are the new units?

Space Marine – Land Raider Redeemer

Tyranids – Swarmlord

Orks – Battlewagon

Eldar – Autarch

Chaos Space Marine – Noise Marines

Imperial Guradsman – Everything

Finally go that out of the way, now back to the review proper. I’m only going to be covering the Single Player portion of Retribution as multiplayer is essentially the same as the original DoW II with new units thrown into the mix.

As Relic has promised, Retribution’s Campagin has gone back to its RTS roots, will kinda. Each race has access to 4 heroes, except for the Tyranids. Your main commander, aka the main character, is usually a melee oriented tank, or in the case of the Imperial Guards, a competent marksman. The rest of your hero rentinue will fill the roles of, sneaky git, range dps and crowd control.

Like DoW II, your heroes’ gain levels as they go through the missions, with ever level, you get a skill point as well. Skill points are used to purchase traits/abilities.

Instead of the long Skill Tree we are familiar with from the first DoW II game, we now have a simpler and more streamlined Skill Tree.T he Skill Tree is divided into 3 different branches, Stamina, Offense and Will. There are a total of 15 unlockable traits and abilities, 5 in each respective branch.

Every Skill Point in a branch will immediately unlock a new trait or ability, powerful abilities are of course are the furthest spectrum of the Skill Tree, requiring you to fully invest in a particular branch to gain access to these powerful abilities.

What is different from the traditional Dow II game is the fact that every trait you get, actually benefits your army. This of course requires the players to put the heroes in the side lines and pick up an Honor Guard.

So let’s talk about the Honor Guards, they are essentially powerful units, taken in place of the heroes. Honor Guards are the same units you have in your army except they are stronger and fully ungraded, choosing Honor Guards will also give you extra population count to increase your standing army during missions. As I mentioned before, choosing Honor Guards will also grant your army access to special buffs from the replaced hero, significantly increasing the effectiveness of your army.

As I have mentioned earlier, Relic going back to its RTS roots. This means that players can now capture Requisition points and Power Nodes; however these points only grant you a onetime bonus to your resource. This is the main difference between the Multiplayer mode and the campaign. Big huge army versus an elite smaller army lead by supped up heroes, choose your poison.

The missions within the Campaigns are essentially the same across the races; the only difference is the loot you get and the foes you might face which unfortunately don’t happen all too often. The mission can get repetitive but luckily, the distinctive style of each race helps somewhat negate this fact.

The other thing worth noting is the fact that units are unlocked every mission, well 2 new units and a wargear to be exact. At the end of every mission, players are given a choice between the choosing a new unit, a unit upgrade if you already have the unit or a piece of wargear.

Say, if you already unlocked Tactical Marines, you can now unlock Missile Launcher upgrades etc etc or you could unlock the Assault Marines you have been eyeing but then the new piece of armor would really make you hero more dakka. This is basically the conundrum you will be facing most of the time.

Having played through all the starting mission of each race, the one you should really play would have to be the Space Marines’ Campaign. They are after all, the canon storyline. As for the story, it is pretty straightforward.

When we last left Aurelia, the Greater Daemon of Nurgle, Ulkair was defeated but it was revealed that the Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens was in league with Chaos. Ten years later, we are still hunting the rouge Chapter Master Kyras but now an Ordo Malleus fleet approaches to destroy all the planets in Aurelia. Exterminatus.

I’m not gonna spoil if for you but let’s just say the end mission is the same and it is just a matter of which race you want to kill the big boss with, and of course watch said races’ ending cinematic.

So how did I find DoW II: Retribution? I actually rather enjoyed it, even though it is essentially the same game as before. Don’t fix it if it is not broken as they say.

I finished the game with Imperial Guards first and I went along the lines of quantity over quality. Worked pretty well but it made the game a micromanagement hell, for me anyway. It kinda became a game of attrition as you get resource refunds whenever you lose a unit. Eventually, it became a game where I just keep sending Imperial Guardsmen to their deaths at the frontline. Hey wait a minute! That is exactly what they do with Imperial Guardsmen in all the 40k lore! I approve!

Right now, I’m finishing up the campaign as an Ork Freebooter. In contrast, I went for a quality over quantity and even then I’m still making decent progress on the hardest difficulty.

All in all, it was pretty fun playing all the races, refreshing to play something else other than biologically enhanced super soldiers. So here are the scores.

Graphics: 8

Gameplay: 9

Story: 7

Overall: 8


My Retribution

I know it has been awhile since I’ve written anything substantial. This is probably the part where I tell you how busy with some big project I’m working on and the whole elaborate details. The truth is, I’ve been loafing around playing King’s Bounty. Steam tells me I’ve spent an ungodly 84 hours on it and I’m only 3/4 to finishing it. I really should be doing something more constructive shouldn’t I?

Oh yes people, I just got my copy of Dawn of War II: Retribution, Collector’s Edition of course. Yes I know, I’ve manage to grab my copy 4 days earlier, I didn’t know that till I tried installing it on Steam though… Talk about Retribution, but hey watch out for my review/reviews.

Gaming 2011

Yes folks! It is time once again to take a look at the movers and shakers of the gaming world in 2011, these are games I can’t wait to get my hands on, so lets get the ball rolling!

  1. DC Universe: Online – 11th Jan 2011
  2. Dead Space 2 – 25th Jan 2011
  3. Two Worlds 2 – 25th Jan 2011
  4. Dragon Age 2 – 8th March 2011
  5. Dungeon Siege III – 22nd March 2011
  6. Crysis 2 – 22nd March 2011
  7. Darkspore – 29th March 2011
  8. Dawn of War II: Retribution – March 2011
  9. Alice: Madness Returns – 1st Quarter 2011
  10. Fable 3 – 1st Quarter 2011
  11. Portal 2 – 18th April 2011
  12. The Witcher 2 – 17th May 2011
  13. Star Wars: The Old Republic – 2nd Quarter 2011
  14. Deus Ex: Human Revolution – 2nd Quarter 2011
  15. Jumpgate: Evolution – 1st September 2011
  16. Warhammer 40k: Space Marines – 3rd Quarter 2011
  17. Batman: Arkham City – 3rd Quarter 2011
  18. Guild Wars II – 2nd November 2011
  19. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 11th November 2011
  20. Mass Effect 3 – 4th Quarter 2011
  21. Postal III – TBA 2011

As you can clearly tell, lots of awesome games will be hitting the stores in March, a time of financial woe and geeky bliss. 2011 looks like a good year to be a gamer!

Power From Pain

The tantalizing taste of fear lingered in the air as blood dripped from the wicked blades of the warrior. The warrior leaned in close to the dying man. “Your suffering is most exquisite Mon-keigh“, with a throaty laugh, the lithe warrior garbed in armor of midnight black, drove his serrated blade into the man’s chest.

With a snort, the warrior drew in the escaping soul essence, enriched with pain and despair, it was most potent in its powers. Shivering with pleasure, the lithe warrior traced the blood trail he had made, into a hall. With eyes sharpened by the intoxicating pain of the man, he surveyed the room with nerves afire.

Come out little one, I know you are here“. The soft inhalation of breath caught his heighten senses. “Yesssss” The warrior uttered in a low sibilant voice. “Yesss, little one, hide… Your terror will be all the more sweeter when I find you. I shall flense the flesh from your bones, and your screams shall invigorate me. There is much power from pain, and your pain will be most delightful to me

Pain, suffering, anger. They are all emotions and feelings one would consider negative, destructive even. To me, they are a source of power, a source of inspiration, there is no language more universal then pain and suffering. The aching within your breast, the impotent rage that fills your lungs, the debilitating despair that drive grown men and women to their knees, such is the power of pain.

Most of my poetry are written in states of heightened emotions, negative emotions, and into my works I channel them. I thread a fine line however, as it is so easy to be consumed by such emotions, I channel the destructive potential of such feelings into something constructive, a message, a plea perhaps and maybe even a warning. Such is the power of pain that even the best of us will still fall prey to its influence. As Yoda once said “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering ”

Thread lightly my friends, though suffering can be a powerful creative force, it is all too easy to be consumed by it.

Ultramarines: The Movie

I have finally been able to catch Ultramarines, a Warhammer 40k movie that had been in the works for some time. All I can really say is, I’m disappointed. The storyline was weak, the dialogue was weak and the action did not invoke the “O-M-F-G EPIC!” reaction that it should have. Perhaps I’m too harsh but I’m left with this feeling, it is like an unsatisfying meal, you know it wasn’t filling but you don’t really feel like eating more.

Whereas the movie itself lacked good storyline, the Ultramarines lacked common sense. Sending 12 Ultramarines into an area where a hundred Imperial Fist Space Marines could not be contacted is just plain dumb, it is only logical to think that something happened to the garrison and that something must be substantial to even dream of taking on 100 Space Marines.

That is not the end of it, oh no, the movie even go as far as having a Chaplain Psyker, by the Golden Throne! How does that even work? I know of Psykers, especially those from the Ordos Hereticus, who can channel the powers of the Emperor to smite heretics but a Chaplain Psyker is unheard of! It is heresy!

Well, the graphics for Ultramarines is passable, nothing special, was rather cartoon y at times. Would have worked for a video game but as a movie, expected more. Here are the scores.

Storyline: 3

Graphics: 6

Audio: 6

Overall: 5

The MMO Tsunami

Staring at the sunrise, I realized that this might be the last sunrise I will see for ages. Something is coming, I can feel it. The ground trembles as MMOs upon MMOs sweep across the world subsuming it with geekdom.  Stock your larder, buy a comfy chair, get the your energy bars and your trusty computer. We stand at the threshold of an age, an age of MMOs.

Jokes, aside. A pantheon of awesome looking MMOs are coming our way. From this 2010-2012, we will get a line up of new and totally sweet MMOs. So brace yourself, initiating jump drives!


Black Prophecy AUGUST 2010—

Gameplay Trailer


Jumpgate Evolution SEPTEMBER 2010—

Gameplay Trailer


Battlestar Galactica OCTOBER 2010


LEGO Universe 26th OCTOBER 2010

Gameplay Trailer


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm —NOVEMBER 2010


DC Universe Online —NOVEMBER 2010

Gameplay Trailer


The Secret World DECEMBER 2010


Blade and Soul 2011


Star Wars: The Old Republic 2011

Gameplay Trailer


Guild Wars 2 — 2011

Gameplay Trailer


Dungeon Keeper Online2011


Dark Millennium 2012

Mercy for the Weak

The taste of hot metal was all I think about… I sputtered something but I choked…

The smell of ash and… something burning? Smells like meat… Charred meat…. Oh god… no…

The darkness was suffocating, I tried to move my arm but it hurts so much… It is like the world was pressing on me…

The sound of crunching rocks? I hear heavy footsteps and garbled voices…

Oh god oh god oh god… I can hear roar of large-bore weapons and the clink of expanded shells contacting the rock… They are so close… so close…

I cannot forget the sounds. The sounds of flesh popping with a muted explosion… The sickly wet explosion… What terrifies me most was my rampant imagination… My friends are dying over and over again in hails of explosive bullets. Their bodies torn asunder by mass reactive shells as it penetrates their skin and explodes inside…

Oh god please save me…

The sound of digging roused me from my torpor… I’m too weak to even cry for help… How long has it been? Days? Weeks? I don’t know anything anymore…

They found me! My friends! I did not know them but they were friends… They wore the same uniform… bore the same scars… They were my friends…

Two days since I was dug out of the collapsed bunker. They fed and clothed me, I was pushed once more into active service… I had a chance to look at my home… what was my home… Ashes, everything was ash… tangled metal jutted out from the ground. The only reminder that there was once a home there, once a life. The ground was craters and glass… ash and ruin… That is all there is left ash and ruin…

Forth day since my rescue, we were dug in and ready for a fight… and then they were there… terrible monsters they were… taller than a man and as large as two men side to side… Their midnight black armor glittered with gore… Their terrible pair of emerald eyes see everything. Scanning for perceived threats…

From their grilled mouth orders were given, their guns were raised… Some held macabre instruments of death… Swords made of whirling teeth… they were as loud as they were brutal. Cutting through flesh and bone as rows upon rows of razors eat into you… Others had fist the size of heads and it was wreathed in lightning… what manner of demons are they to command such powers…

They advanced, and we respond… we fired out weapons… out slugs bounced off their skin of metal as they advanced… they were relentless… they are unstoppable… we are doomed… our world is doomed…

They are upon us… I’m hid amongst the bodies of my comrades… I don’t want to die… Oh god please I don’t want to die…

I can hear their whirling blades of teeth and muted explosions… I dared open my eyes and the horror I saw… Man died in the scores as this… this ornate monster descended from the sky… A golden eagle emblazoned upon its chest and it wore the mask of death itself, it wore the skull of man…

There was another… he wielded a blade that cackled with lightning and with each swing, limbs and weapons flew. The flesh was butter and his blade a heated knife…

Over sized fists blew holes through man while flame throwers scorched the earth of survivors… i don’t want to drive…

Sergent! We have a survivor

A gauntleted fist grabbed me by my arm and wrenched me from the bodies.

Hiding with the bodies, it disgust me.

Stay your hand Battle Brother, I shall inspect this one myself

Do you understand me, nativee?”

Yes… Who are you? What are you?

I am the Emperor’s angels of death and I am here to meet out his judgment

Why! Who is this emperor? Why? WHY? We have done nothing! NOTHING!

Your lords have rejected the light of the Emperor, you are collateral, I am sorry

You are monsters! Clad in your ebony skin your wage war upon a world who wish nothing of you but to be left alone!

Monster? Perhaps we are… But we are all that stands between the darkness that would consume humanity and if humanity cannot stand united under the Emperor’s guidance then we are destined for extinction

We are already dead! Look around you! My world is gone, we are already extinct…

Moisture streaked down my cheeks as it sunk in, my people, my family, my sons… They were no more. And in the Angle of Death’s emerald eyes I saw myself. Two streaks of skin, exposed by my tears against dried blood and soot… My face was a mask of serenity, never had I seen such dignity and poise. And it was then I understood…

I shame myself by hiding. But I’ll hide no more! You come to our world and burn it but know this! We will not be so easily quashed our spirits are eternal! You may smash our monuments and grind our bones but we will forever defy you! We are humanity! Proud and free of oppressors!! We will not bow down to anyone!

I am… Surprised… Such fire… Such spirit… Such naivety. If only your world would have complied, we could make a battle brother out of you. But alas, to leave your world unchecked is to leave the door to corruption wide open

Before I am tossed into the pyre what are you really?

I am a Space Marine, human. Farewell, may the Emperor guard your soul

Pain lanced through my chest as I convulsed in pain. My senses dimmed and my strength left me… The cackling of energy was all that is left as war wages on.

There is only war. And war, war never changes… But the spirit endures…

The spirit endures…

Dark Millennium Online

When the God-Emperor gives you lemons... You find a Warhound Titan

Oh my God-Emperor. Oh my God-Emperor. Oh my God-Emperor. Oh my God-Emperor. Oh my God-Emperor. The first definitive trailer is finally out.

For those of you not in the know, a Warhammer 40k MMO in the works has been churning in the rumor mill for some time. Debates over how it would play and what you can play have been a topic for many 40k junkies.

Orks Orks Orks Orks Orks

3rd Person shooter, Vehicular  Action Bars? These are but glimpses of gameplay one can catch. Excited? Of course I am, I’m one of the 40k junkies aforementioned. I’m on my knees praying to the Golden Throne they don’t screw this up.

Here is the trailer to sate your curiosity… FOR NOW!!!

Ultramarines Movie

If you are not a 40k fan that you might not have heard, but the Warhammer 40k universe is getting a movie in the form of Ultramarines. There have been several attempts to make a 40k movie, namely the fan-made Inquisitorial based Damnatus. Ultramarines looks extremely promising and it is being produced by an actual film production firm Codex Pictures. Check out the teaser.