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Dawn of War II Announced

THQ and Relic Entertainment Set to Wage War of Epic Scale in Warhammer: 40,000 Dawn of War II finally officially announces Relic's plans for a sequel to their futuristic Warhammer real-time strategy game. The PC exclusive is slated for a spring 2009 release, and purchasers of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm will have the chance to participate in an invite-only beta test set to begin "at a future date." The announcement mentions the game's official website, which currently features a spiffy 403 "forbidden" error (on the bright side, it loads really quickly). Word is:

AGOURA HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI - News) today announced that Warhammer® 40,000™: Dawn of War® II, the highly anticipated sequel from one of the industry’s premiere Real-Time Strategy (RTS) developers, Relic Entertainment, is scheduled to bring the 41st Millennium’s savage warfare to life like never before in spring 2009. Powered by an enhanced version of Relic’s proprietary Essence Engine 2.0™, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II will take players to the brutal frontlines of war where they’ll experience intense action and visceral combat through a non-linear single player experience and a fully co-operative multiplayer campaign. Set in Games Workshop’s (LSE: GAW - News) highly popular Warhammer 40,000 science fiction universe, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is being developed exclusively for Windows PC.

In addition, THQ is pleased to announce that gamers purchasing copies of the recently released Warhammer® 40,000™: Dawn of War® - Soulstorm™ will be able to participate in an invitation-only multiplayer beta program for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II set to take place at a future date.

“The original Dawn of War and its subsequent standalone expansions have established the series as one of the industry’s leading RTS franchises,” said Brad Carraway, vice president, global brand management, THQ. “Dawn of War II will re-define RTS gaming to gamers worldwide, delivering brutal frontline action and tactics, and allowing players to get straight to the action with unprecedented fast-paced RTS gameplay and a full co-op campaign, all in stunning cinematic detail.”

“We started with everything fans loved about the original Dawn of War and then added more than they ever could have hoped for in the sequel into Dawn of War II,” said Tarrnie Williams, general manager, Relic Entertainment. “Leveraging our critically acclaimed Essence Engine 2.0, gamers will develop and lead an elite strike force through Games Workshop’s war-torn universe, engage in devastating combat among the ruins of fully destructible battlefields, and be immersed in an ever-changing single-player and co-op multiplayer campaign.”

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24. Dawn of War II Announced Apr 3, 2008, 13:59 manic half
 
i found this while searching (sorry for the size)

The intel (gathered from the preview and an interview with Producer Mark Noseworthy in the same Belgian magazine, PC Gameplay):

- Uses the Essence 2.0 engine with Havok physics, all optimised for DX10 and multicore support.
- It looks great, think of the DoW intro but with a bit less polygons here and there (in terms of lighting and all that it looks almost exactly the same).
- Units also use CoH-like unit AI for awareness and pathfinding to find cover and such.
- While DoW 2 shares the same (upgraded probably) engine as CoH it won't be "CoH in space", while soldiers in CoH will ask themselves if flanking the enemy is the right option, in DoW2 it will be more like Space Marines asking themselves if they should use their jetpacks to jump over an Ork squad to attack them in the back. Different settings, different kinds of warfare.
- Preview only showed a destroyed city landscape, akin to DoW (but more detailed), other tilesets will offer deserts, jungles, mountains and other cities.
- Only the Orkz and Space Marines were revealed, more races on the way obviously and to be to revealed later this year (though how many isn't known).
- Co-op campaign for both the Orkz and Space Marines, apparently not for the other to-be-revealed races.
- More focus on making units and squads unique; every unit has got a name (at least in the campaign it seems), more details and more animations.
- Relic wants to give players rewards at the end of a mission like wargear (armor, weapons, rare objects); "Let's pimp out squads with cool stuff!", you will see these items in-game as well of course.
- You'll fight your way through the campaign with the same squads.
- You can't control more than six squads! I am not sure if this is campaign-only but the preview made it sound like it wasn't.
- The squads are going to be a lot more interesting than before though.
- A squad leader (one or several?) will need to survive if you want to complete a mission; you really have to look out for your squads and don't treat them like cannon fodder.
- There is a lot more interesting commentary from the units as well; if your SM commander is holding a Thunder Hammer f.e. then the opponent will specifically comment on that, Ork Warchief saying something like "Ooh, nice hammer, but mine is bigger!". The warchief will say something else if the commander doesn't have the hammer.
- The campaign lets Space Marines operate from a spaceship, you'll get a view of an underlying planet and you'll be able to choose from different missions (which are tagged with difficulty colours, green, blue and red).
- Certain reward items won't be useable at once in the campaign, so they'll be taken back to the SM spaceship for research.
- Dreadnought can now also trample Orkz.
- No sea or air units (though jetpacks are still in of course).
- Development team of 55 people has been working on it since September 2005.
- Release in early 2009 or later.

This is just a summary, the preview also describes the battles that were shown but that wasn't really revealing. Also remember that this is a translation based on the impressions of a Belgian gamesjournalist and on a translated-to-Dutch interview, some of the info might be incorrect or poorly worded in the preview/interview itself to start with, you never know with these first-revelation articles.

 
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