Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm is certainly not a bad expansion pack, but time has certainly conspired against it.

It may almost be impossible to name another game other than Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War to have received as much continued support from its developers.

Released all the way back in 2004, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War has just received its third expansion pack, entitled Soulstorm. Like Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade released two years ago, this is a fairly beefy expansion by any meaning of the word, adding two entirely new sides, new air units for every faction, and an expansive Risk-style campaign.

The real selling point for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm, much like Dark Crusade is the inclusion of two new factions - the Sisters of Battle and the Dark Eldar.

The former are what you might call the Imperium of Man's inquisitional arm, an all female force composed of what might remind you of an army of drug-addled, flame-thrower wielding Joan d'Arcs. Overall they very much resemble the Space Marines, with capable infantry units and some interesting vehicles. Their special feature is the ability to use a "faith" resource, collected over the span of a match it can be used to power the Sister's unique abilities.

The second side is the Dark Eldar - basically the psychotic blood-thirsty relatives of the Eldar. Much like the Eldar they are a micromanagement heavy side, with specialized infantry and other units that if used properly can really pack a punch. Again, like the Sisters of Battle they have their own specialised resource as they gain access to their own special abilities after harvesting the souls of the dead enemies they've managed to slay.

On the whole both sides are well done, despite the fact that both are very much like others that have already been included - the Sisters of Battle really resemble the Space Marines, and the Dark Eldar play much the same as the Eldar.

Fans of the factions already included in the game, such as the aforementioned Space Marines or Tau may be pleased to know that new air units have been included, but on the whole these are a disappointment. Unlike other RTSs that have debuted lately the air units in Soulstorm in essence act as mere hovercraft or helicopters and are really no different that one new light vehicle per side - a definite disappointment.

NEXT PAGE: the risk-style campaign and our expert verdict > >

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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm is certainly not a bad expansion pack, but time has certainly conspired against it.

The final big draw then is the included risk-style campaign. For those that have played Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade, it shouldn't be too unfamiliar for asides from the larger scale - an entire solar system instead of one planet - almost everything is about the same.

Each side attempts to eliminate the others, each turn moving their army taking new provinces, defending ones they already have, or engaging in scripted fortress missions which in some cases should still pose a challenge to veterans of the series. While its disappointing that not many new steps were taken with this campaign, its not unexpected, and is still far more than one might expect from any normal expansion pack.

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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm: Specs

  • Windows 2000/XP, 2.0GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, 3.5GB HDD, 64MB DirectX 9.0c Video Card, 8x DVD-ROM
  • Windows 2000/XP, 2.0GHz Processor, 512MB RAM, 3.5GB HDD, 64MB DirectX 9.0c Video Card, 8x DVD-ROM

OUR VERDICT

On the whole then Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm is certainly not a bad expansion pack, but time has certainly conspired against it. Being released almost four years after the base game much of the game is showing its legs, especially in the graphics department. Fans of the series and the universe may find more of what they are looking for with Soulstorm, but as its retailing at nearly double the price of a typical expansion at the time of its release its appeal has certainly been limited.

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