Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II

Common Sense Media says

Highly enjoyable but violent action-heavy strategy epic.

Age

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

While very much rooted in fantasy, soldier units can be seen shot at, blown up, and even dismembered. Blood is visible on some units after the kill, but the view is somewhat elevated ("eagle's eye" angle) which can diminish its visual impact.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This is game in the Warhammer series. You must register for a LIVE ID if you don't already have an account, which seems like a shameless way of forcing players to sign up for direct marketing.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game is violent and shows blood and gore (namely, body parts flying off some enemy units). While graphic, the view is normally from above (as opposed to a more realistic first-person perspective) and the Warhammer 40,000 universe is very much a sci-fi fantasy universe.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Once the most popular PC genre, real-time strategy games (RTS) -- which fuse fast-paced action with strategic war-based decisions -- are few and far between these days. But celebrated Canadian developer Relic has launched an epic fantasy sci-fi sequel worth considering for those who miss the RTS craze from yesteryear. THQ's WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR II is once again set in the 41st millennium and lets gamers assume the role of a Space Marine commander and take on vicious races in the galaxy.

You don't have to be familiar with Games Workshop's popular Warhammer 40,000 table-top war game franchise, nor must you play the first game to understand this sequel, but unit and vehicle deployment knowledge is handy as you'll face enemies on planet battlefields, use weapons of mass destruction, take cover behind objects, and traipse your way through destructible environments. That said, units stay with you for the course of the game, with role-playing game-like personalization and upgrades. Players can also unlock special abilities for each race. Along with the non-linear single-player campaign, gamers can partake in a fully cooperative multiplayer mode -- via Microsoft's free Games for Windows LIVE online service -- and defend the galaxy by choosing one of four unique playable races: Space Marines, Orks, Eldars, and Tyranids.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

While there's a heavy focus on action rather than strategy, the game will certainly satiate RTS fans and Warhammer: 40,000 players alike, but one beef is that you must register for a LIVE ID if you don't already have an account -- before playing even the single-player game. This doesn't make much sense and seems like a shameless way of signing up for direct marketing.

But it's hard to ignore Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II's charm, great graphics, and deep game-play. If you don't mind a little more action than strategy and the mandatory Live ID registration, THQ's hot little fantasy RTS won't let you down.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the violence in a fantasy getaway like this seems less offensive than the violence and gore found in a game rooted in reality, such as the Grand Theft Auto games set in a New York-like city? And does the perspective help to make a difference -- namely, a top-down strategic view of the battlefield as opposed to a first-person perspective a la the Call of Duty games?

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:THQ
Release date:February 19, 2009
Genre:Real Time Strategy (RTS)
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Violence (Windows)

This review of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byFreedomFromCens... November 1, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

For the Chapter! Excellent, but not perfect RTS game.

If you enjoyed RTS games like Company of Heroes, and are a huge fan of the Warhammer 40K games, you will probably love this game. My only real complaints are that the campaign is a bit shorter than expected, and that online play can be a hassle with Microsoft's nearly broken "Live" system for the PC. Blood is average, some gore, but its not very overwhelming, nothing most parents should really be worried about. Oh, and you have to install this with a Steam account, so be sure to make one before you install it (this allows you to download and play the game from any computer with Steam installed).
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 March 13, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

I so love Warhammer.

Yeah,this is awesome.Ive got this game and downloaded the two expansions after completing it which gives more to do.Its very,very fun so even if you let your kids play this everyday,they'll be more absorbed in the gameplay than the gushing rainfall of blood.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byJuggernaut93 September 23, 2011
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Brilliant strategy game

This game is pretty sweet stuff. It and its two expansions are an excellent edition to one of the best strategy game series ever made. For parents, however, here are some possible concerns, and as always, is is for you to decide if your child is mature enough for this. Violence: A step up from the original dawn of war. Lots o' blood. When units fight in melee, there is a random chance that the victor in a fight may finish the loser in a spectacular (but bloody beyond all reason) finishing move. Units unfortunate enough to be in the path of explosives will be splattered all over the place. In the Chaos faction, there is a huge, bloated, decaying beast with its organs hanging out through tears in its body. This monster (which is fully controllable if you choose Chaos as your faction) has a plethora of unpleasant ways to kill people. Aside from violence and some rather gruesome monsters, there really is nothing wrong with game, in my humble opinion. No sex, language, or anything of the sort whatsoever. Judge for yourself whether your child can handle this.
What other families should know
Too much violence

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