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Description

The second expansion to 2004's Game of the Year Dawn of War is set in Game Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe and adds two new playable races, the Tau and the Necrons:
  • The Tau Empire - a younger race that has recently conquered Kronus, they fight for what they call the Greater Good. They excel at long range combat, however alongside them fight two allied races which are effective in close combat: the Kroot and the Vespid.
  • Necrons - having laid dormant underground for the last 60 million years, the Necrons have awoken at the sound of battle above. Their ultimate goal is to obliterate all living beings so that their master gods can feast on the souls of the slain. This faction is special because they don't rely on requisition to acquire troops or to build structures. Being made of living metal their units are capable of regeneration and can reassemble themselves after death.
Besides that each of the existing races have received an additional unit: the daemon prince (Chaos Space Marines), harlequin (Eldar), heavy weapons team (Imperial Guard), flash gitz (Orks) and the grey knights (Space Marines). Dark Crusade also features a new campaign mode where you choose one of the five past races, or two new ones and compete with the other six for domination of a planet called Kronus. Each race has its own story and reason for being on Kronus adding motivation for players to play the campaign with each race at least once. Along with the campaign Dark Crusade adds some new maps for skirmish, and online play.

The main campaign introduces a novelty for the franchise--a global map depicting the planet Kronus divided into 25 provinces. Every one of the seven races controls a number of these provinces at the beginning and the gameplay follows mechanics similar to a game of Risk, albeit without any dice rolls. During their turn, the factions can attack a bordering enemy province, move to a friendly region or do nothing. It's also possible for them to reinforce any of the territories already under their control or recruit Honor Guards, but this doesn't waste their turn. The army moves around the global map as a single entity represented by the force commander and it cannot be divided. To defeat a faction you must conquer their stronghold province and the ultimate goal is to crush all enemies. From time to time you will be forced to defend a region against attacks during the opponents' turn. If your army is in a nearby province when this happens then you will start the battle with the force commander and the Honor Guards already present.

Every province held generates planetary requisition at the end of your turn. This can be used to either train available Honor Guards or reinforce a province of your choice. Honor Guards are unlocked as a bonus when conquering a specific region. By reinforcing a province during your turn you make sure that it already has the trained unit or the selected building at the very start of a defensive battle. Another innovation for the series is the force commander's wargear. It is a sort of achievement system that rewards additional pieces to the commander's suit for reaching different milestones, such as conquering your first province or getting 2000 kills. The pieces you choose will add specific bonuses or abilities for the force commander on the battlefield.

After attacking a province or when defending one the game switches to the usual Dawn of War battle map where you control different units and structures directly. The gameplay here is identical to the original. The main focus is on tactical combat, base-building, capturing strategic points and researching. Every strategic point under your control, along with your HQ, relics and critical points generate requisition, which is the main resource in the game, allowing you to build new structures and train more units. Another type of resource is power, produced using generators. It's used to create or upgrade units and buildings that rely heavily on technology. The order in which you research the tech tree and construct the necessary structures can help you decide on a strategy for the combat part of the game. Attacking is done by simply clicking on an enemy, the challenge lies in choosing the right units to exploit the adversary's weaknesses. Infantry squads have health bars for every member, so it's possible to replace fallen soldiers during the battle, thus saving the squad from total annihilation. Vehicles are organized as single units and are destroyed once their health reaches zero, however they can be repaired during combat by the faction's builder unit. Some combat units and structures, such as listening posts have different upgrades available that increase their firepower. For example the space marines can receive flamethrowers and grenade launchers in addition to their regular weapons. Upgrading the HQ unlocks new technology and units.

Unlike the original and Winter Assault, most of the battle maps in this campaign are simple skirmish maps, as they have no story element except an introduction or an entry about the province in the archive, and victory is decided by completing the main objective, usually annihilating the enemy or another one of the Skirmish mode victory conditions. The factions' stronghold provinces are the exceptions, since conquering them involves multiple main and secondary objectives driven by a central narrative much like all the campaign missions in the original Dawn of War.

Dark Crusade is a stand alone expansion meaning that it does not require the original Dawn of War, or its first expansion Winter Assault to play. Both Dawn of War and Winter Assault are required to be installed if you want to use all of the other races besides the Tau and Necrons online.

Screenshots

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade Windows and after his ascension to a demon lord.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade Windows Drone squad in close combat
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade Windows Fighting some Necrons
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade Windows The Chaos general. Right after the start of the Dark Crusade...

Promo Images

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade Screenshot
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade Screenshot
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade Screenshot
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade Screenshot

Trailer


Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

WITNESS YOUR DOOM! Curlymcdom (47) 4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars

Critic Reviews

games xtreme Nov 22, 2006 9 out of 10 90
Games Master Dec, 2006 89 out of 100 89
PC Action Oct 30, 2006 88 out of 100 88
PC Zone Nov 13, 2006 8.8 out of 10 88
Game Informer Magazine Dec, 2006 8.75 out of 10 88
Gameplay (Benelux) Oct 27, 2006 85 out of 100 85
GameStar (Germany) Nov, 2006 84 out of 100 84
Game Revolution Nov 07, 2006 B+ 83
Eurogamer.de Oct 23, 2006 8 out of 10 80
Bit-Tech Nov 26, 2006 7 out of 10 70

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Trivia

References

After winning a campaign and watching the credits, there is another outro, in which several planets are passed and heavy explosions are shown. There is a fade-out, and the number 2007 is displayed.

It's the first sign of the next Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War game - Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm, which was planned for 2007 but released in 2008.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2006 – #2 Best Add-On of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2006 – #7 PC Game of the Year
    • 2006 – PC Expansion of the Year

Related Web Sites

Talonfire (37) added Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (Windows) on Oct 14, 2006