Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising - Mediafire

Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising

# Published by: THQ
# Developed by: Relic
# Genre: Real-Time Strategy
# Release Date: US: March 11, 2010
# Release Date: Europe: March 12, 2010
# Release Date: Australia: TBA 2010
# M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Violence
# pass:
# unrar:

After the victory on Typhon, you might expect things to settle down a bit for the Blood Ravens. But if you did, you obviously don't know how things work in the world of Warhammer 40k. Before the dust has even settled on the last game, Relic's offering up a new chapter that brings them into direct conflict with the dreaded Chaos Marines. This time around the Chaos Marines have burst back onto the scene in grand, Warhammer style. The sudden appearance of a new planet from the Warp, the slow corruption of the forces of good and the ubiquitous giant demons are all on hand for this grand chapter in the history of the Blood Ravens.

The single player portion of Chaos Rising is extremely satisfying. It offers up only a little over a dozen missions but they're fairly long, packed with variety and scripted payoffs, and more than enough to get your heroes up to level 30. It also comes with a very surprising and unexpected twist that we won't spoil for you here. Just suffice it to say that it draws the player in and gets them even more invested in how things play out than in previous strategy games. The characters are just as interesting this time around, and I particularly like the way the Librarian is inserted into the story.

On the surface, Warhammer seems to be all about the battles, but once you dig into the lore, you'll find loads of details and interesting stories in every corner. Chaos Rising, like Relic's other Warhammer games, really runs with this idea and gives players plenty of interesting characters and situations. I mean, it's not Mass Effect 2 or anything, but presentation and the interesting conversations between missions really help you get involved in the story.

Some might complain that the campaign is a bit short, but you won't find any boring or repetitive missions here so there's really no filler. One mission you'll be slogging your way across the surface of an ice planet, and the next mission will have you skulking through the narrow corridors of a darkened space station. You might find yourself assaulting Chaos gates to keep the reinforcements down as you make your way to the mission's final boss battle, or you might be rescuing soldiers and fighting a last ditch defense alongside dozens of AI allies. Each mission offers something new, and a few of them even give you alternate objectives and even a few choices as to how you want to accomplish your main goal. When you add in the handful of purely optional missions, the campaign really comes to life and feels like it's responding to your choices as much as it's responding based on the designers' intentions.

The only real downsides to the missions are those rare moments, particularly towards the end of the game, where you're facing off against outrageously powerful bosses. It's not so much that I mind the challenge, but the whole affair really comes down to maximizing the damage you're doing and minimizing the damage you're taking. With no unique interaction with the setting and no clear way to exploit the bosses' weaknesses, these battles are really more about patient micromanagement than spontaneous strategies, which leave the player watching the numbers instead of the action.

The game packs a lot of tactical action into a very tight package.
The difficultly of some of these battles exposes a frustrating problem with the game's save system. Rather than letting players save and load directly from the mission itself, saving is only possible if you're willing to quit the mission altogether. I'm grateful for the chance to save, of course, but it's just silly to have to bounce back and forth like that just to ensure that you don't have to replay sections of the game. On the plus side, Chaos Rising lets you retain all the gear and XP you've accumulated up to the point that you fail a mission, so the next time you try it, you'll be a bit better equipped.

In terms of equipment, you'll need to be mindful of the new corruption system. Depending on the choices you make during the mission, and the gear you're using, you may find that your heroes become more and more corrupt as the game moves on. It has an influence on the overall direction of the story, even if the context for the changes is a little thin within the missions themselves, but the real practical concern is how corruption changes your access to certain pieces of equipment and certain abilities. If managed properly, it can be an interesting way to shift a hero from one type of role to another. The Librarian, for instance, can trade his healing abilities for more direct damage attacks.

Minimum System Requirements:
Processor : Intel Pentium IV at 3.2 GHz (single core) or any Dual Core processor
Video Card : 128 MB VRAM – with Shader Model 3.0 support (nVidia GeForce 6600 GT / ATI Radeon X1600)
Memory : 1 GB RAM (XP) / 1.5 GB RAM (Vista)
Hard Disk : 6.5 GB of free Hard Drive space
Operating System : Microsoft Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista SP1
Sound Card : DirectX Compatible
Direct X : 9.0
Controls : Mouse and Keyboard
Installation : DVD-ROM Drive

Recommended System Requirements:
Processor : Any Intel Core 2 Duo / AMD Athlon 64×2 4400+
Video Card : 256 MB VRAM – with Shader Model 3.0 support (nVidia GeForce 7800 GT / ATI Radeon X1900)
Memory : 2 GB RAM
Hard Disk : 6.5 GB of free Hard Drive space
Operating System : Microsoft Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista SP1
Sound Card : DirectX Compatible
Direct X : 9.0
Controls : Mouse and Keyboard
Installation : DVD-ROM Drive



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