By jclane 0 Comments
I can generally count the number of genres I have no real interest in on a single hand: RTS/TBS, JRPG and Puzzle games. It comes with a mixture of disinterest and being dog-awful (dogs are not awful, just putting that out there) at these types of games. I am working to fix this and find a way to enjoy all the genres that our medium offers. However, over the past few months, I have become enamored with the rich universe of Warhammer 40,000, or just 40K for short. More specifically, a friend of mine got me interested in checking out the original Dawn of War and its various expansion packs. It was a bold new world I was entering, in more ways than one, and in retrospect I am damn well glad that I decided to dive deep down the proverbial rabbit hole.
To get to the heart of the matter at hand, after a few weeks of playing against the AI in various situations as well as the occasional proper PVP match, I longed for more out of these games. I thoroughly enjoyed what I was experiencing, but I wanted the scale to be far grander. So I took to a little site known as moddb. There, I came across what was known as the Ultimate Apocalypse mod and I had most certainly found what I had been searching for.
In short, this mod added a ton of new buildings and units for each race that already existed within DoW, as well as the mod races that can be found online. There were also options to increase the infantry/vehicle caps and power/requisition resources, which I found to be criminally low in the base game(s). The scale had been increased to the point where playing with as few armies as possible was the recommended route, since there could be way too much going on at one time. In fact, even a 1v1 match can turn to shit if you decide to turn on all the options that increase the caps to their maximum output. We're talking <10 FPS kinds of shit here, with the game turning into some kind of rigid slideshow. It's all about finding the right balance with the settings. Hell, for the minimalists out there, you can restrict as many of the cool, late game structures and units as you want, leaving it to the bare minimum tools for a minuscule slugfest.
There's a variety of factions to play as here that cannot be found anywhere else. 9 unique races are playable if you have the base game and all the expansion packs, but that number can be brought up to 12 with an additional 3 races available to download as mods online that work with the UA mod. Some factions do feel a bit copy+paste like how the Space Marines, Imperial Guard and Daemon Hunters all share a lot of common units, but still come with their own unique arsenal. The real Chaos (literally) however, comes when you start picking factions like the Chaos Daemons, who have a superweapon of which is an instant win (it even has it written on the thumbnail for the thing!) ability, though the drawback is that it's the most resource costly item in the entire game, so any competent player can keep you from building it and firing it.
As the last passage of the previous paragraph suggests, this isn't the type of game/mod to play in a truly competitive sense, as it doesn't have much of a balance to speak of, especially when compared to the likes of say, StarCraft II. This is purely something to be played for fun and a good laugh with friends (for the most part, we've actually had some saltiness between friends concerning matches in UA). Frantically building up your bases before your opponents can amass their stronger units is a real rush. My playstyle tends to lean towards 'hurry the fuck up and build your superweapon and use it against the others before they even know what hit em', though unsurprisingly that hasn't really ever worked out for me. Also, aerial units are the biggest pile of BS imaginable, A.K.A OP as all hell.
So there you have it. I could've rambled on much further and probably added a good few paragraphs explained my deep-seeded loathing for barracudas (seen above) and the Tau Empire, but I only wanted to do a quick write-up on how I've been ignoring the initial growing pains of the start of a new console generation. Basically, the answer is to find a game that has an ability labeled as WIN and just descend into madness.