Warhammer 40K – Dawn of War II

I picked up the masterful 2009 THQ title Dawn of War II (along with expansions Chaos Rising and Retribution) on a Steam sale for about $15 USD last weekend, and have been having a wonderful time with its tactical real-time Ork-blasting goodness. You don’t need to take my word for it — the critics agreed that Dawn of War II was not just a worthy successor to the original game, but a brilliant RTS in its own right.

My Blood Ravens fire on an Ork squad in the Dawn of War II campaign.

What’s depressing about the whole experience is that it underlines how clearly Bliz- zard’s Starcraft is a complete design ripoff of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, which came to fame in Games Workshop’s still-popular (well, among grognards) tabletop miniatures-and-dice game. Each faction in Starcraft’s universe is virtually a cosmetic carbon-copy of a Warhammer 40,000 faction — Starcraft’s “Terrans” look suspiciously like the Space Marines, the Protoss are similar to the Eldar, and — perhaps most damningly — the Zerg are Tyrannids with new paint jobs.

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