Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III – Review
Follow Genre: RTS
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Publisher: SEGA
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III – Review

Site Score
Good: Explosive, never ending action.
Bad: Combat doesn't feel very strategic.
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)

In the latest addition to Warhammer 40K, the juggernaut IP that has created thousands of fans in hundreds of mediums across the globe, comes Dawn of War III. This latest title gets things moving in a new direction with a blend of Moba inspired, RTS action gameplay. So prepare your Space Marines, start your WAAAGH, and open your Webway gates as you prepare to battle it out over a weapon of catastrophic power.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III


The story is told entirely by the single-player campaign and follows significant characters from each of the three playable races. These are the Ork warlord Gorgutz, Space Marine commander Gabriel Angelos, and Eldar seer Macha. Each of their forces are desperately trying to claim a legendary ancient weapon that has been uncovered on Acheron, no matter the cost.

The single player campaign forces you to play all three factions in turn, as each struggles to defeat the others and come out victorious. This is actually a great way to introduce new players to each faction and works to break players in gently to the game’s units and mechanics.Dawn of War 3 (17)Whilst the story has some epic and hilarious moments, its actually quite bland overall and lacks some of the re-playability that is associated with earlier Dawn of War games. Likewise some players have complained that the ending is somewhat unsatisfying and makes the story feel a little rushed towards the end. You can definitely tell that this title’s focus is on multiplayer as the campaign functions as little more than an exceptionally in-depth tutorial, that’s designed to acclimatize players and prepare them for online play.


The backgrounds look fantastic, especially the Ork themed areas, and the carnage caused by large scale battles is awesome to behold. The graphics are actually very good all round and the elites and large units all look very impressive, but the new cartoony art style is quite different from what 40K and earlier DoW titles traditionally offer and may offend some fans of the series.Dawn of War 3 (6)Sound

On the audio side; the sound effects are good and the voice acting is generally on point. The voices of the Ork leaders in particular are very well done. The music is also decent but is often forgettable and in some ways it fails to stand up to some of the much loved soundtracks from earlier DoW titles.


The new RTS, Moba-inspired mix, has completely changed up the gameplay and injected much more action and carnage into the game. The combat does feel very dumbed down (especially compared to previous DoW titles) but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun. Controlling huge armies, smashing drop pods into your enemies lines, and unleashing terrifying elite units, giant war machines and their abilities across the battlefield was always going to be a winner.Dawn of War 3 (8)The marked difference between the previous Dawn of War titles and this, is sure to polarize fans. In the past, the Dawn of War games have always been about using strategy to overcome the enemy. With incredible cover, flanking and morale systems to give the player creative free rein to run the battlefield. All of this has been removed and replaced with something like a League of legends meets Starcraft hybrid.

Now whilst this new direction is actually quite a lot of fun and is sure to draw in a new audience, it just doesn’t feel like the Warhammer 40K that we all know and love. If you’re a fan of the series, you’re likely the type of player that loved the fact that Dawn of War has always been quite different to other RTS games, and adored the unique elements that set this series apart from its competitors.Dawn of War 3 (9)Yet all of it has gone. The new cover system? You get a magic bubble that protects you from weapons fire if you stand in a special spot and “capture” it for several seconds. Gone are the days were you could use craters, tanks and battlefield wreckage to shield your approach from the enemy, and flanking them actually seemed to mean something. These types of mechanics were awesome and it can’t help but feel like a huge loss that this title doesn’t include them.

Instead, combat is a massive arena of explosions, melee and bad pathing. Where you slam your huge blob of soldiers against the enemies blob of soldiers and the biggest blob usually wins. In online-play, infantry sometimes gets abandoned altogether and the game becomes more like a destruction derby than a typical RTS. Whilst all this is great to watch, and results in unending action, it doesn’t quite feel as strategic as you might like for a Dawn of War game.Dawn of War 3 (26)The amount of skills that units can access is very generous, but it also makes micromanagement insane. Each unit type has 1 or 2 abilities and your elite units can have 3 or 4. Its nice to explore each new unit and their abilities, which are admittedly often very cool, but trying to get value by activating all of their abilities in the heat of battle is a logistical nightmare. Imagine playing league of legends but all your creeps have abilities too and you have to control them all at once, as well as your hero.

As a multiplayer focused game, Dawn of War III requires a constant, stable internet connection to play, even if you are only playing the single-player campaign. Thankfully the developers have included the ability to enter offline mode, which will allow you to play single-player without a connection, but will also result in you losing out on all of the unlockable rewards that you would normally get for completing missions.

If your connection drops while online, even if playing single-player, you are given 90 seconds to either re-connect, save your game, or go into offline mode. But as we discovered while play-testing, this isn’t foolproof (We got kicked to the main menu without a chance to save and lost quite a lot of progress.)Dawn of War 3 (10)Conclusion

Trying to make games innovative should always be applauded, and Relic have definitely tried to do that. The giant elite units they have created are incredible and it feels amazing to storm through swathes of enemy soldiers and watch them crumble before you, but Dawn of War III has too many other areas that let it down.

If you’ve never really played any of the DoW series and like the idea of a multiplayer focused RTS-meets-Moba style game, then you will probably have a great time with this title. The graphics are great and the action is unstoppable. If however, you are already a fan of the series, you might want to give this one a miss.Dawn of War 3 (19)

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Rating: 5.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III - Review, 5.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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