382 reviews liked by bamdumtss


My jaw is a little slack at this, lol.

DMC1 is unrivaled. It’s clunky and cute. It’s goofiness is tame. It’s story lies in the realm of unreality and unspecification that so many great budget-narratives are. But I thought all of that would prepare me for what came after it.

Absolutely NOT, somehow. DMC3 is the Game That Never Stops. Every scene is either total goofball antics, wacky demon mystery, or a tonal whiplash-inducing cacophony of asshole humor and Real As Fuck moments. I think the most interesting advancement we can recognize by observing DMC3 is how the technical advancements and higher story ambitions add all sorts of new aesthetic flavor to this gameplay format. DMC1’s comedy was mostly contained to Dante being wacky. There weren’t as many characters actively ‘there’ in that damn castle, so we weren’t exposed to so many varied reactions to this. DMC3 has so many more humorous flavors to it because of the new situation.

To name an example or four: Dante being pissed off at that freak, The Jester, brings me so much glee. If there’s one thing you’ll recognize from talking to me about any stories at all, you’ll know I inherently love to see protagonists annoyed, pissed off, or uncomfortable. This is not an inherent distaste for the point of view we see the story through, but rather an intense enjoyment of seeing someone who’s emotionally incapable of dealing with minor annoyances be subject to them. Bonus points if this annoyance is necessary for their larger quest.

That’s just the most important one, for me. This hilarity informs so many other aspects. For example- when Lady, someone more capable and fit to be the protagonist of this story by virtue of their olacement, reveals her tragic backstory to Dante, he keeps acting like a total fucking dick throughout it. Dante she just said her mom is dead! Not cool! And then, after this dispute, it all escalates in Dante no questions asked agreeing to help her. It’s so characterizin! It’s so weird! It’s so playful!

Hey- let’s stop talking about funny haha jokes for a moment. DMCheads hear me out. Doesn’t Lady as Dante’s rival kind of make more sense to you? I feel like everything about the plot is pushing me to see Virgil as Dante’s opposite. Ah! They’re as similar as they are different, though! AND they were BROTHERS! Of course they’r be rivals, right!?

That idea is not as compelling to me, though, as Lady being the rival is. The two wildly different personalities clashing despite their situation necessitating their allyship- not to mention their disagreements being entirely gut reactions to the other’s surface-level personality. I think there’s something to that.

The dialogues in this game are a total marvel, they have some of the best dialogues I have ever seen in a video game, fascinating, the feeling it gave me is different, I have not cried, nor has it impacted me emotionally much, but it has impacted me in another way that I cannot explain, it is simply beautiful what Kojima wants to convey, this game is perfect in all its splendor, I thought that MGS3 was the pinnacle of all MGS , but in my opinion MGS2 is a little better, either because of the rhythm and consistency, the incredible dialogues and how everything is executed perfectly, there is no gap in the script, and the game explores themes that are wonderful, as such it can be existentialism, free will and the purpose of being, which in Raiden is present throughout the game and in the end it explodes perfectly, the ending is incredible. This is a message towards life, an emotional impact with a purpose beyond that, a life lesson.
I love you Kojima, FUCKKK.

A game that I have waited decades to play. Did it live up to the hype?

Yes.

This masterpiece of a game, which I only dreamed about playing while looking at the pages of the Strategy Guide I bought years ago, is a beautiful and quirky saga brought to us by Shoji Masuda, the same one who also impacted us with "Tengai Makyō II: Manjimaru", which is another solid jRPG.

Linda Cube goes against most of the odds and conventions of its time and presents a more mature, down-to-earth journey of broken characters, alongside AMAZING art and gaming design, with a focus on surviving the perilous wilderness while completing the given task than anything else.

If you like quirky, charming jRPGs from the 90s, you MUST play this one!

Puts you in a trance from the beginning, where you’ll be under its spell till the end. Lingering even after that, begging you to come back and take flight once again. Electrosophere may not be as mechanically sound as the previous entry in the franchise, which is why it speaks volumes that it’s able to grip you tightly regardless, where you’ll dance to its tunes and fly through its skies. It’s more than just a pretty aesthetic, it’s more than just anti-war.

AC3’s view on war itself is that of a sick game played by sick old men and it treats it as such. What are you fighting for, really? Every mission feels like you’re nothing more than a pawn for powers greater than yourself, it's all a ploy. All of it. Every one wants a piece of the pie, a taste of power, a chance to reign supreme. Your actions are not your own, your decisions are not your own. It's all an illusion, a trick, and at the end of the day what are you fighting for, really? To maintain the status quo? The same one in which people live under corporations that only exist to suck them dry even further? What was it all for? Do you the connections you hold have any meaning?

The true ending which you unlock after having done all five routes is the ultimate showcase of this, showing why wars are really fought. Nothing noble, nothing special. Just a personal vendetta. Did it even matter? It's just a game at the end of the day.

𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗘𝗥𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗘𝗟𝗘𝗖𝗧𝗥𝗢𝗦𝗣𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗘

I was really having fun with this. It's set up like a TV show; broken into episodes complete with recaps and previews and credits for each chapter. It's a lot of fun, over the top nonsense, like a guy punching a guy so hard it breaks the entire planet in half. Even though it has a lot of QTE-laden cutscenes I was really enjoying the wild characters and art style.

Uuuuuuntil chapter 10. In this scene, apropos of nothing, our hero visits some sort of hot springs resort. There the player is treated to a first-person interactive scene in which he first spends time ogling the staff, then moves quickly on to exposing himself, before finally just straight up sexually assaulting a service worker. But don't worry, because it's all played for laughs! Technically it's only an attempted assault, because he's comically punched by his father figure as a "Denied!" achievement pops.

I just don't know. This is so normalized I couldn't even find mention of it in any reviews. The IGN review, written by a woman, specifically mentions the scene but carefully leaves out the attempted assault. Instead it's described as "the objective is to stop Asura from staring for too long at the generous assets of a hot-springs attendant" which is completely wrong; you cannot progress in the game until you've gone through the whole menu of sex pest behaviors.

Like I didn't just fall off the fucking redneck truck I know women have always had it bad. But the misogyny in some of these Japanese games in particular feels almost compulsory. It's like there's some regulatory body that comes through and is like, "You allowed the player to go 5 hours without being horrible in some fucked up regressive way to a woman. Back to the drawing board!" From my many minutes of googling about it I know everything about how shitty it is to be a woman in Japan. Obviously nothing I do is going to change any of that, I just wish we as gamers were, like, slightly less inured to it.

Anyway, in Chapter 9, you're a badass demigod going through a wild narrative. In Chapter 11, you're a badass demigod going through a wild narrative, and for no particular reason, a hilarious wannabe rapist! Somehow the experience lost its luster once I realized I was playing as Donald Trump's self-image.

Tell anyone what’s a fantastic gateway into the Warhammer series and you may receive a host of different answers. Since the 90’s until now in the 2020s there have been more than a haystack full of various types: FPS, 3rd person shooters, RTS, 4x grand strategy, XCOM-like, Turn-based, ARPG, sports, puzzle, MMOs, cards, auto-battler, VR, crossovers, heck there’s a new racing one coming out and I wouldn’t be surprised if a visual novel is located deep in the vast library already or will be in the future. Need I say more? Oh, wait, recently a CRPG came out. But where’s my Kojima-version?! Meh, I’ll take a Cavil one coming... oh wait- April Ahhh- what a cruel world.

Nevertheless, despite my low experience in the franchise I am here to tell you about an incredibly solid real-time strategy(RTS). Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Master Collection for the PC. Mouthful ain’t it? I’ll refer to it simply as the DoW master collection for short. A bundle containing the first dawn of war game. The first expansion, Winter Assault, contains two campaigns. And two others are called Dark Crusade and Soulstorm. I completed all the regular single-player ones with the two meta campaigns I'll play off and on since they barely have any plot. Primarily a conquer the whole system/planet type of gameplay. For now, I’ll dive into the first installment. Move onto my mixed feelings plus mods, then the final expanded content. In Dawn of War 1(DOW 1), The story begins as you control Gabriel Angelos. Captain of the Space Marines’ Blood Ravens 3rd Company among others to assist the planet Tartarus defenders from Ork invaders. Yup, you heard that right. ORK not orc or uruk-hai. Ork. Big scars, super ugly faces, and body. Hulking armors haphazardly glued together, massive sneers and frowns, sharp pointy weapons combined with menacing growls and teeth. Waaagh! Battle cries galore, but still deadly in wreaking havoc and mayhem wherever they tread. Ultimately giving off a decent main story narrative after the end credits rolled. For now, let's dive into the vast grimdark world that is Warhammer.

To imagine how different the aforementioned universe is. Conceptualize both sci-fi and fantasy elements where inside the fictional universe of the sci-fi variant lies a technologically advanced human society in constant battle against both hostile aliens and the supernatural variant. Unaugmented and augmented humans, the latter of which are bigger than us average-sized individuals. Oversized armor platings and pauldrons, 4x-8x the size of regular guns, and a fierce facial expression capable of withstanding sheer terror. Combating hostiles, without shying away from blood, ashes, skulls, and death is the norm while slapping magical powers and thrusting all of these in the unforgiving nature that is war. Where deathstar-likes exist and exterminating countless billions is commonplace. Ork warbosses killing their comrades without remorse for disobedience exudes similar energies when the imperium of man, and chaos space marines do the same. Albeit in different methods. I’ll leave the disgusting imagery in your imagination. Amongst the other supernatural and alien forces. Epic stories are told harrowing tales of humanity in the imperium triumphing against the might of corruption and whoever stands against them. For the Emperor… While I live and breathe. All is not dandy. The universe delves far into the vastness of these ideas unflinchingly. Screw good and evil. Fighting is everywhere.

For a more comparable, but different example. Think Starcraft(SC) except far more grittier in tone and visceral in tackling the onslaught of armies with little remorse. Adding spectacle in the action without gorgeous cinematics. If you have that mental picture, good. Then add more races beyond the base three in SC. Replace basic gathering resources by sending off workers to collect crystals and vespene gas(resources in SC) with acquiring requisition and power. One has you gather specific points on the map. The other is increasing by making generators. For combat. We have to train units from buildings using any of the above resources. Thankfully starting we don’t need both, usually, power is enough. Once you gain enough upgrades to your headquarters and establish more structures then you can fashion better grunts to do the leg work. In general, the game operates in two different groups. One infantry where you can send scouts, marines, jetpack dudes, medics, builders, and more potent exterminator squads once you acquire enough necessary architecture and tiers. Vehicles are on the other side. Mighty mechanized entities. Tanks, transport trucks, mobile mortars. And my personal favorite is the impressive dreadnoughts. Big hulking mechas. Oh yesssssss…. As a mecha fan. You know which I picked already heh! Aside from troop recruitment, players can also construct research centers(to impart passive bonuses and possible tech trees on their army), defensive turrets/bunkers, and various others to unlock the capability to recruit the above-mentioned groups to use in battle.

Keep in mind there is a sort of light rock-paper-scissors(RPS) to produce certain battalions. Being effective against types or multiple and vice-versa is advisable. For instance, you can highlight a mouse cursor over a soldier icon to see what they're effective against. The tooltip will say. Blah blah blah this squad is effective against certain infantry. Light armored vehicles can be super weak to heavy infantry. Dynamic companies are formed later on once the headquarters is upgraded to the max. Allowing the player to summon robust dreadnoughts or elite squads to do your bidding. I’m sure you can imagine what their weaknesses are. Here’s a hint: none. Unless you like testing their mettle against a full regiment against one sole capable hero then the odds may not be in your favor. Although, you generally don’t have to conform to the RPS formula at all. Sending out a mix-matched corps of various molds can get the job done as well. And that’s a strategy I like a lot. The non-adherence to basic tenets of predestined unit composition, allowing anyone to conjure any manner of crowd combinations to win against your foes is an awesome dopamine rush that never gets old.

And I have to say after engaging in countless skirmishes and laying waste to foolish mobs. I found the whole experience of combat to be enjoyable to the point I completed multiple campaigns after the first ended. Didn’t take a lot of hours to complete either. With the first taking nine hours and winter assault taking ten. Not much rigorous thinking is required. The mechanics are neither too complex nor too simple. Managing to hit the fine line to grasp newcomers and veterans in the RTS genre to pick up with ease. A tutorial is here as well, so newbies shouldn’t fear complex systems to learn. Different difficulty modifiers are present to shift the challenge from easy to more punishing for those in need of it. I played the game + expansions in vanilla form. And honestly, I was satisfied because the devs hit regular elements of what I was looking for in the genre. A fun loop of replacing dead soldiers with fresh blood, with non-complex mechanics to understand, without any major faults, defending my bases, completing my main and secondary objectives with challenging enemies to fight against, and the coup de grace of having every map with a hero analogous to the good old days in Warcraft III. Without any of these or tweaked in a more squad-based approach. The formula becomes different from the core formula. It is why I bounced off Company of Heroes and wasn’t too enthused by the shift in core mechanics in Dawn of War II(& chaos rising). Latter I finished, former is on hiatus. Not a negative at all for those games. I simply prefer training useful meatshields for my cause and creating defenses. Here I was able to build numerous armies, select them all, and order them to eliminate everyone in their path. Designing fortifications, and turrets, and queuing new grunts to throw into the fray. The loop became more enjoyable as new missions came in and new goals to take advantage of the war-torn battlefields littered with orbital bombardment, wire trenches, destroyed structures, and fleeing citizens. Creating an immediately grim reality than what reports would suggest.

Nevertheless, I am here to report that DoW 1 has a great mission structure. Often most mission targets will boil down to eliminating all hostiles with extreme prejudice, but when the game shakes things up with infiltration using stealth, eradicating new mob specimens, embracing guerilla warfare, investigating a new area, escorting your champion to the point far in the map deep within enemy territory. Starting with no bases and must use a limited supply of troops to establish a foothold, and defend against multiple waves. And I could go on into detail for a package totaling eleven missions. The difficulty was a natural progressive curve. Didn’t find it too challenging outside of learning my go-to formula for amassing squads and defenses quickly. Super cool going up against an uphill battle where my armies start small and I have to build fortifications, shield my dudes from enemy fire and grant a reprieve, soldiers, upgrade them then set forth in completing both my main and secondary quests. Maps for each mission are medium-sized and can take time to march your whole company, with a decent amount of variation. Tartarus is like Mars. Except filled with human colonies before the invasion. Terraformed so you will see lush forests, vegetation such as grass, and rivers with water and snow! But as the invasion occurs the atmosphere slowly bleeds out becoming harsher. A yellow-to-red tinge filter occurs. Explosions litter the once industrialized cities becoming desolate and broken beyond repair. Fires are commonplace and the once lively greenery we saw before has irrevocably become charred. Countless sandbags, barbed wire, and ruined roadways leave a haunting effect on those remaining alive to fight or flee. Try mustering morale while besotted by ash in your face, the dead comrades who tried to save you while still bogged down in enemy fire. It is harsh, unrelenting, and brutal to keep ongoing.

I'm treated to a gritty sci-fi human race struggling to defend their continent from alien hostiles. However, have faith for when all hope is lost Captain Angelos is here to help! He surprised me a great deal with how strong he exudes. Beyond his rough exterior lies a man who will do anything to protect Tartarus from imminent annihilation. And the lengths which he undergoes and struggles is a sight to witness. Stoic, grit, unbending on his ideals, and relentless fortitude to keep going in the face of overwhelming odds stacked against his combatants. Tough not to like him to be honest. The side-cast like the librarian, inquisitor, and villains are also brought up with a respectable screen time I appreciate without being another mustache twirly antics and handled relatively well. To the point, my suspension of disbelief wasn’t bombarded by an orbital strike.

Usually in RTS games, I adore how they implement commanders or leaders. Heroes as I like to call them such as Angelos, are far stronger than an average foot soldier. But he isn’t alone at all; sometimes others join his missions to combat against the armies of Orks like Isador, a librarian, a close friend to Gabriel, and has the power of psychics. Making him invaluable on the field. Casting smite. A force-like energy to push and damage enemies at a distance, weaken resolve to lower the morale of enemies and the word of the emperor. Making all allies in an area unkillable for a small amount of time. Good thing I never used that ability heh. Seems too overpowering. Inversely the enemy champions can utilize their abilities so being on the end of those isn’t pretty. So watch out, evade, and retaliate with overwhelming strength! Anyway, commanders make the constant tug-of-war between engagements with combatants interesting. Sure you can send waves of enemies en-masse by placing a rallypoint, but nothing beats attaching a dude in full space marine armor leading the charge while viscerally leaving nothing but broken morale, broken swords, guns, and more in their wake. Laying waste to all who oppose the Imperium(galactic empire of humanity). Activate their abilities to turn the tide in your favor and a cool benefit is they instantly respawn freely with no cost whatsoever should they die. So sending them feet first in the bloodiest of all skirmishes is the right way to go! Take that blood god!

Now time for my mixed feelings. Not a positive or a negative. The following text is a set of observations I had, perhaps a critique or two. A recommendation and some other tidbits I think are important to know beyond all the praise I’ve been sprouting up above.

First, when diving feet-first in any RTS game one needs to remember what pathfinding is. For those unaware, I understand this as how a unit will move across the map when instructed. Hopefully without being obstructed by comrades or by terrain obstacles. DoW1 pathfinding I think could be better. I had uncommon moments like this one in my playthrough. Sorry about the low quality. When the group pathfinding is supposed to be smooth. The gif is from Dru Erridge from game developer. He has an informative breakdown of how to approach pathfinding issues. Relative to our current topic. Should be noted, that this has been a regular occurrence since the 90s with Starcraft with the remaster being faithful to the original as you can see. Nevertheless not a big issue. Very minor actually

Second, I think the troop limit is awfully strict initially at twenty for both infantry and vehicles . For the unaware. In real-time strategy games, you cannot build infinitely to send your lackeys in mass. There’s generally a maximum to what you can build. For DoW 1. Each one can take a certain amount like two to four. Again not a big deal since they can be upgraded to have eight or more. So essentially if you have say a squad of jetpack bros taking up a three-unit cap. And you built six of them. Then you have 18/20. A unit isn’t always singular by the way. Sometimes they’ll be accompanied by two to four plus. You can also upgrade the group to give them more personnel thereby giving substantial health, new weapons, etc. In the end, after playing through the main story, I think I'm on board with the hard restriction. At first, I was a bit disgruntled since I'm used to 100 or 200 as the cap. But twenty feels balanced. Heck, there’s a faction that allows you to hold way more than twenty! So look forward to controlling a swarm of ugly creatures to send over the trenches.

Third, before starting the game. It’s important to remember the developers of Relic Entertainment haven’t updated the game in a long while since the original release back in 2004. Therefore, quality of life improvements I frequently see in modern RTS games are missing here. As a result I’m gently recommending everyone to check out the pcgamingwiki article on the aforementioned game before starting. For essential mods to install enhancing the vanilla content. Only a small list. For me I only needed skip intro videos, higher resolution models, enabling 1080p. Forcing AA by graphics drivers, V-sync. Contains bug fixes and recommended mods too! I didn’t have any bugs throughout my time in the collection and the latter I'll talk about later. Before I forget please install the camera mod to allow zooming out during gameplay. Vanilla you can’t zoom out and get a general overview of the battle. Picture your face closer to the screen. And extend your pinky touching the monitor and putting your chin on the thumb. That’s how close my experience was without camera zoom.

Fourth. I think maps could use more variation in tile design within the campaigns. Kinda got old seeing the red palette terrain in the first game. Could’ve used more interesting mission purposes like defend for ‘x’ amount of time. Tower defense, more stealth, rescue missions, time limits, etc. While the vanilla content is satisfactory, the inclusion of these suggestions would’ve changed the great mission structure into a fantastic, excellent one. Fifth, a great majority of missions. Were truly easy in my opinion. Turns out the normal difficulty is easy while the hard mode felt normal.… I didn’t know until I checked what parameters from which each tier changes. Sighs cue facepalm upon learning… A gentle reminder for veterans looking for a challenge in the genre. Enable hard difficulty. Newcomers try either mode to see which you fall in.

Hope this helps those interested in the game. Not trying to deter any folks. Most of my observations shouldn’t be taken as a negative and more as a point to know coming in.

Now onto Winter Assault(WA). The first expansion and one hell of a follow-up I like probably equal to Brood War from starcraft. A separate story from what Captain Angelos endures on Tartarus. We run through familiar, but different missions in reclaiming a winter planet called Lorn V. Shorter than DoW 1. WA has two campaigns. Order where you control the guardsman and Eldar. And Disorder where you command the horde of Ork and Chaos. Both have 6 missions with a branching split mission before the last one changing the final faction you oversee and perspective. Motives for each of the races are somewhat near the same wavelength. The guardsman's underlying purpose is to recover a powerful weapon called the Titan Dominatus. Eldar’s agenda is a bit mysterious. Halt an old enemy while secretly assisting the guardsman and who knows what else is in our sights? Both forces have an uneasy alliance to conquer the globe and direct the titan. All the races have changed since their introduction in 1. A more extensive list of changes can be read at the wikipedia page.

Honestly, I like Winter Assault's mission design the most. By improving on one of my earlier points from my mixed feelings regarding uniquely challenging assignments. I am thrilled to say Relic must’ve wanted to go wild here and holy moly they go the full nine yards. Ya know when you engage in tug of war, and you have enough strength to win in several pulls? That’s how it was playing DoW 1 on normal. Winning in three tugs. WA says no. We're in for the full ride. Blisters, warts, and full-on tugging and warring. I had repeated wins and losses in most of the main missions. And again on the same difficulty I had previously. And I can’t imagine continuing beyond the 4th mission on higher difficulties with how arduous it can be…

Anyways, objectives have expanded. One to three main assignments are gone in favor of secure areas, assault enemy bases, switch to your ally, and accomplish subsidiary goals like flanking the enemy to unlock a path for your comrade. More secondary objectives to complete, reinforce allies defending a critical position, luring an army, repairing a vital machine, and I could just go on man. It’s incredible and super gratifying witnessing the devs flex their creative muscles with better encounter design. Back then there was a predestined path you could move towards. The expansion also operates the same. Except we may need protection. Manually go brave through gunfire in the trenches. Eliminate various waves of enemies blocking a key position all while supporting our main bases. Or transport bombarded people in armored APCs to mitigate enemy fire. Take advantage of bunkers to burrow beneath the surface and re-emerge like a gopher near another bunker. Ah to be a human Diglett except harshly conducting guerilla tactics.

Narratively I don’t consider either campaign the strongest suit to offer. The last missions in the endgame are flipped with different objectives based on the faction. With the earlier ones being different and offering a unique experience. Governing the Eldar, Guardsman, Chaos, and Ork was extraordinarily entertaining and I still recommend it. Each race has unique characteristics I found to be distinct enough to tinker around. Guards don’t have a superhero, instead, they're kinda of a weaker sect of humanity with stronger-than-usual vehicles and defense capabilities and a nice tunnel network for stealth purposes. Helps a bunch transporting a group of dudes to the frontline. Eldar is sublime. They’re like Protoss from Starcraft, but are more mystical and deal in energy weaponry. They differ from humans in one crucial ability. All of their buildings can teleport to another location. For example, you can participate in hide-and-seek against an overwhelming force bearing down on your location as long as you produce a node to act as a waypoint for them to travel. Chaos is well, from my understanding. More of a darker form of humanity and their sworn enemies. Think of these guys like fanatic dudes embracing the dark side of the warp instead of the glory of the emperor and well for the blood god. Summoning demons, consorting with imps and all manner of monstrous beings to do their bidding. Their aesthetic design reeks of evil and forging any superstructure feels wretched. Builders can speed up the construction of structures at the cost of health, and most of their capabilities usually have a drawback in their skills to activate. Summoning a badass daemon for instance requires sacrificing people or guardsmen. Ork is a breath of fresh air. They massacre the 20-limit cap to oblivion and can reach over 90. Activating the Wagghhh ability strengthens others when near a warboss and while they can be a bit stiff, gaining resources in the beginning. I’ve likened them similar in some respects to Zerg rushes. Due to the sheer amount, I can train at my disposal.

Dark Crusade(DC)/Soulstorm(SS) offer different but almost the same meta-campaign. The former is reminiscent of how Total War operates intending to conquer all provinces on the sphere. Depending on the aliens you choose, you’ll be placed on certain points on the map. Tau, Chaos, Necron, Ork, Guard, and Eldar are possible choices to pick. Each has a different detachment of soldiers, structures, heroes, and advantages/disadvantages that come with utilizing them. You cannot attack and move all the time on the world map. Only one specified action. Either moving to another area or attacking. Once you finish your commands. You can end your turn and see what the other side will do on the map. Enemies can attack other foes and conquer the opposing lands. Careful though, they may attack you! If you’re nearby. Battles take place on a separate map. Tasking the player and opposing force to start from the beginning to establish a foothold and train infantry. The ultimate intent is always to defeat the enemy by eliminating every squad alive and architecture they have or at the very least destroy their headquarters and any builder. DC offers a cool incentive for replayability. As you achieve victory in battles/new territories you can gain passive bonuses like a reduction in costs for buildings/units and even wargear. Wargear makes your commander in battle stronger by strengthening their capabilities. Choose a helmet to grant true sight and reveal cloaked assassins, boots to prevent knockdown, body armor for increased HP regen, etc. I found this aspect rewarding and a nice incentive to keep going. While I didn’t finish the Total War-like mode, I think it could be profoundly addicting for those hungry for more content.

Soulstorm operates in almost the same manner as the above, except the dev’s added new factions; the Sisters of Battle to use, Blood Ravens, & Dark Eldar. Expands the meta-campaign to be system-wide. So no longer, are you essentially subjugating the planet. Instead, you need to control the whole star system. What’s stunning in both these expansions is facing off the commander in their stronghold shifts the battlefield to assume a special scenario. These come with voice text on the loading screen detailing the enemy commander’s background along with special orders of main and secondary targets. I kid you not. This single-handedly blew my freaking mind. In SS I faced off what I initially thought would be a puny guardsman, only to run between the tails behind my head in having to win every single engagement and defend my base against constant waves of enemies that would progressively become stronger as time passed. Must stop a convoy at regular ‘x’ intervals to stop them from manifesting a baneblade. Yeah, think ultra badass tank with a s%^& ton of health and massive firepower. So yeah for sure I’m gonna take great pains to stop the convoys. And if that’s not enough I have to contend with stealth punches against my troops, a biga@@ artillery that can wipe my army off the face of the map. Contend against sneaky nuclear assaults and if that’s not enough I have to deal with air types. Introduced in this standalone is the addition of air attackers for every alien. I won in the end, but I felt it was a hollow victory since It took me hours to brutally drill a win on normal difficulty. I should’ve stayed and cornered the guy while assembling enough power/requisition to reinforce my territories and establish a garrison. Instead, I Lee-roy Jenkins myself into battle without support… I didn’t finish SS’s campaign either, only taking one globe for the taking, but spent a large amount of time longer than DC’s. Nevertheless, I had to stop or else I would never see the light of day. Therefore I recommend them only if you hunger for more gameplay using different races. Offering a show, don’t tell approach without a major story to follow. Callum McCole wrote a fascinating article why meta-campaigns are fun and I largely agree with all their points.

In the end, I am here to tell y'all. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Master Collection is a brutally awesome gateway into the franchise for a real-time strategy game. Sure I had some mixed feelings but they feel largely minor and didn’t impact my overall enjoyment of the multiple plot missions on Tartarus and beyond. Gabriel’s story is only one piece, though a vital one to watch out for. His steadfast defense of the planet Tartarus is admirable against the onslaught of Orks, and unveils an incredible discipline to do what needs to be done. Let me share one quote from him later on. “Innocents die so that humanity may live. I ended their suffering, as I will end yours.” Chills man. I don’t think I will ever forget those words. And soon enough if you dive into the operations on Lorn V, be warned they aren’t for the faint of heart, mercy is thrown out the window in favor of carnage, bloodshed and cunning tactics exhibiting a grim spectacle of sci-fi war up close and personal. Yes, it doesn’t reach my favorites in the genre, but I swear its close. Perhaps, once I finish the meta campaigns here and there. I have a good feeling they will sooner or later join their ranks. Anyway, If you can buy the master collection below 7 bucks or 10. You’re in for a wealth of content to dive into with dozens of hours to devour. Besides, there's a wonderful community filled with amazing content mods you can add. Ultimate apocalypse, Unification, Strongholds, custom sets of missions, new races, new modes, and so much more. By the emperor, I am glad to be back in the series once again. Though I wonder why I have a pages upon pages of 40k reasons why you should join the Imperium of Man. At least they’re far better than those chaos dudes who preach about blood all day everyday. I mean come on “Blood for the blood god?”

I prefer Angelos’s words.

“While the enemies of the Emperor still draw breath, there can be no peace.”

8.5/10

References & Additional Material:
Long list of Warhamer games from the beginning
Example from my playthrough on pathfinding.
Example from game dev on group pathfinding
Dru Erridge article on group pathfinding
Callum McCole on RTS meta campaigns and why they’re fun.
Helpful Links for DoW: MC - Essential Improvements/Fixes/Difficulty Overview - pcgaming wiki on Dawn of War 1 + expansions -
Widescreen fix - Difficulty overview - WA changes - Player guide
Before I play DoW1 - Odd there was no section for the first game prior to this review, so I sent some tips. Hope this helps!

Cavil Warhammer Cinematic Universe - Slight tangent to above. But plugging the news since I'm so happy for Cavill for landing his dream job producing and starring in his favorite series with none other than Warhammer.

Though Uncharted 3 didn’t quite reach the same heights as the 2nd game for me, it still managed to pack a sharply developed punch and an effortless amount of charm.

I don’t think the narrative tops that of its predecessor. But when it works, it works. Especially the first half hour of the game. Once it starts, it has your attention. It often seamlessly blended its cutscenes with its gameplay- and man the combat feels good here! Better than ever.

The hand to hand stuff finally feels polished enough to be enjoyable. There’s also a handful of gameplay elements that have been fine tuned to feel more organic. They’ve consistently topped themselves in that department.

The level of detail is also an improvement. From its level design to its character models. For a game that’s roughly 12 years old, it looks great! It really shines throughout certain sequences. Much of the first hour is breathtakingly good to look at. The desert sequence still looks fantastic also. When you enter the lost city for the first time, the scope is truly felt.

The set pieces are as grand as ever. While I don’t think they’re quite as varied as the second game, there’s not a single one that’s less than good. Every set piece was awesome in its own right, and the way they blend together feels organic.

The story is better than that of the first uncharted, but not quite on par with Uncharted 2. Sully and Drake’s relationship to one another is really the thing that shines about the story. I wish they would have even given us a bit more of young Sully and Nathan throughout.

I think the stuff with Elena is always nice. Though they did just rehash the same story-beats for their relationship. Regardless, I think the execution of the storytelling is what really sold the entire thing. The antagonist could have been stronger. At least her motivations. I actually liked her as a character quite a bit.

Overall the game is pretty amazing. I’m really loving this series so far. I hope that the final entry manages to tighten up both the storytelling and gameplay. Not like it’s bad or anything- cause it’s far from it. I just see room for growth, and I know that this series has the potential to have a truly masterful entry. Regardless, it’s a fantastic one as is.

First wolfenstein game and damn, it's good

The negative points I read on steam, most of them talk about the port to pc, that crashes a lot, it won't work on AMD stuff, but I didn't have any issues with performance. The only thing I'd say I don't like about this game is looting. I think it would be more immersive if I didn't have to run around looking to the ground looking for some 20+ medkit.

To me, this game has a bunch of positive stuff. Shooting is great, I'm in love with its story, MAX HASS, the stupid humor even to log out of the game, the replayability because of 2 timelines, and the collectibles...

I'm not much of a 100% guy, cause in some games, I feel like It's more of a "it was made to be hard and time spender" than a "it was made to be challenging and fun". But, in wolfenstein, I felt pleasure collecting stuff.

I felt rewarded with the records, gold things, enigma codes, letters, etc. The records had stories about the past of the game or songs. The gold things had nazi references in it. Enigma codes, when you get all of them, you unlock new stuff. Also, some of it, make you explore parts of the map you would never get to know if you weren't searching for it. In short: not a far cry.

I can see why some people think It's more of the same, a generic shooter, but I liked this one so much, It's pretty good.

a surprisingly faithful modern reinterpretation of silent hill, canonised by a hauntingly beautiful original score from the master yamaoka and the return of masahiro ito and his nightmarish monster and otherworld designs. this is the first legit piece of silent hill media since the room (pt not withstanding) and that's worthy of some recognition.

heavy handedness and corny dialogue aside, as a proof of concept this showed immense potential- there's some really striking horror imagery and a building sense of dread that is elevated dramatically by yamaoka's sound design and score.
with a proper budget and a more nuanced approach to the storytelling, these guys could genuinely make something worthy of the series legacy.

gotta say, i'm really disappointed in the fanbases reaction to this. it's a lot better than the reviews on here would lead you to believe and signifies a step in the right direction for the franchise. i can only imagine these reviews are from people who went in to it actively wanting to dislike it for some weird reason or another.