Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm Review

The Warhammer Dawn of War series continues to spawn expansions, the latest being Soulstorm, and why shouldn't it? It has a great license, fast-paced and exciting gameplay, and some wonderfully diverse factions. Like several of the expansions before it, you do not need the original game to play Soulstorm, but you'll need to pick up the other games in the series if you'd like the opportunity to play as all of the available factions. In this review I'll focus on what Soulstorm brings to the party rather than rehashing the gameplay basics. If you're new to the series check out our review of Dawn of War to get an idea of what the game is like.

The first thing Soulstorm gives you is two new factions: the Sisters of Battle and Dark Eldar. The Sisters are warrior nuns awash in fanatical devotion to the emperor and collectors of a special resource to power their fight, faith. The Dark Eldar are, as their name implies, a dark version of the game's Eldar race. These Eldar are dark and sadistic and they derive their power from consuming the souls of their slain enemies. Both factions are fun to play, more so because they are full of personality than because they offer a unique style of play. In fact, picking up and playing as one of these new factions will not require a long learning period at all and similar strategies to those of the Space Marines and Eldar will serve you just fine.

The next thing new in the expansion is the addition of new aerial units to all of the factions. These give you the ability to extend your reach out farther on the map faster, but they don't seem to have an effect on the fundamental strategies for the game. The AI doesn't tend to try and exploit the advantages of the aerial units, but you won't be able to ignore them in multiplayer online play where they have a tendency to make the games play out faster.

Soulstorm has a campaign game, but it's less a traditional story-based campaign than it is a Risk-style conquer the map mode. There are some story elements, but they're more there to provide a reason for conquering the map than to form a compelling narrative. Basically you've got a number of connected territories that you need to takeover one by one by winning the battles on the skirmish maps. You can play as any faction you'd like, and the remaining factions move in turn on the strategic map. If one tries to move into one of your territories, then you'll have to fight to defend it. It's a good thing that the game is fun to play, otherwise the process of conquering the 30 odd territories on the map could quickly become tedious.

Now for the real question, is Soulstorm worth buying? I would say so. The new factions are enjoyable to play and if you've got all of the other Dawn of War games then you may as well complete your collection. If you're new to Dawn of War, you could certainly start your experience with Soulstorm, although I'd recommend starting with the first game as you'll be eased into the gameplay and will get a lot more story with your game.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 80%. Soulstrorm delivers two new factions that are great additions to the Dawn of War conflict.


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