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Video Game / Dawn of War III

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"Death comes for all..."

"In darkness, I shall be light. In times of doubt, I shall keep faith. In throes of rage, I shall hone my craft. In vengeance, I shall have no mercy. In the midst of battle, I shall have no fear. In the face of death, I shall have no remorse."
Narrator, Announcement Trailer

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III is a Real-Time Strategy and the third game of the Dawn of War series, based on Warhammer 40,000. The game is developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sega. Relic released a trailer on May 3rd, 2016 confirming the development of the game. The game was released on 27th April 2017 for PC.

The planet Acheron, the wandering world, will soon emerge from the Warp, and bring with it a catastrophic weapon known as the "Spear of Khaine". Three forces converge on the planet - the Blood Ravens Space Marines under legendary commander Gabriel Angelos, the Eldar of Biel-Tan led by Lord Kyre and accompanied by Farseer Macha (returning from the first game), and an Ork horde of the Bad Moons led by Warlord Gorgutz (his fourth appearance, after Winter Assault, Dark Crusade, and Soulstorm). The Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard also appear, though as a non-playable faction.

The game saw the return of base building from the first game series and large armies, whilst also retaining some elements from the second series such as Heroes, and expanded on the concept by also adding "Elite Units" and "Super Units". For Multiplayer, there was one mode available at launch that was called "Power Core". The game objective of the mode is to have players destroy their opponent's power generators and turrets defending their bases before finally destroying the opposition's power core and thus win the game. The developers stated that more multiplayer modes will be added post-launch.

As of 8th February 2018 however, Relic announced that they would no longer support the game and cancelled all planned content and expansions, citing lower-than-expected sales. This leaves the future of the Dawn of War series in question.

This game provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A Commander Is You:
    • Space Marines are an Elitist Generalist faction. Their units are more expensive than the Eldar and Ork equivalents and they have units to suit most situations, but they lack the mobility of the Eldar and the cheapness of the Orks.
    • Eldar are a Balanced Guerrilla/Ranger faction. Their units cost less than Space Marines and can actually put out more DPS, but lack staying power once their shields are broken, encouraging hit-and-run tactics. They also have the most access to stealth and mobility options of the three factions.
    • Orks are a Spammer Generalist faction, with an aspect of Gimmick. They have cheap units which can easily outnumber and swamp the Marines and Eldar, and their units can be upgraded with Scrap to gain various bonuses, and Scrap can also be used to build cheap vehicles in the field.
  • Airborne Mook: The Shadow Spectres, elite Eldar units who hover above the ground through anti-gravity jetpacks and wield prism rifles.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • Even in a universe that flips the bird to physics, it should not to be possible for Gabriel Angelos to leap several feet up in the air in Terminator Armor. His augmentic legs must be pretty powerful.
    • And the Ground-Shattering Landing of the Imperial Knight would be more detrimental since the Square-Cube Law and the Knight's sheer size would have shattered both its external and internal components. In addition, Imperial Knights are canonically usually deployed on planet by ship rather than Dynamic Entry from the sky, as in the seen here.
    • Acheron is so massive that its gravity should be wreaking havoc on the entire system, especially Cyprus, given that it appears to be the size of Jupiter and is as close to Cyprus as the Earth to its moon when it appears out of the warp.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Spear of Khaine, a powerful weapon which is sought by all three races. Though in the case of the Blood Ravens, Gabriel has no interest obtaining the Spear and seeks to prevent the other two from using its power, as according to him it can corrupt anyone who wields it.
    • As it turns it was all a trick. The spear was set as a trap by Chaos to lure anybody who sought it to fight each other, and eventually one when enough blood was spilled and somebody actually tried to use the spear, it would spill their blood and use it as a sacrifice to release a giant daemon.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • A lot of fan art for Farseer Macha had her depicted as a redhead (despite her hair color in the original game being orange) and having three red lines on both her cheeks. Come this game, where she is without a helmet, her depiction is almost the same way as the fan artwork (almost in that her hair is tied rather than loose).
    • Crashing a spaceship into a huge daemon? The Angry Marines did it first.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Ork Waaagh! towers are equipped with huge audio amps that can be triggered to play doof-style music, while some Ork yells over the speakers, "Orks iz made for rokkin!" This buffs the speed and offense of all Ork units near the Waaagh! tower. The main drawbacks are that the towers are loud enough to be heard from very far away, take extra damage while playing, and also show up on the mini-map of the enemy players.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Gorgutz and Kyre represent the main threat for most of the game with their focus on the Spear of Khaine. Both turned to be playing into the hands of the Chaos daemon who orchestrated the prophecy of the spear in the first place to gain its freedom.
  • BFS: One BFS wielded by the Wraithlords, and an even bigger BFS wielded by Wraithknight Taldeer.
  • Call-Back: Multiple units have quotes lifted verbatim from previous entries in the series:
    • Tactical Marines: "Show me what passes for fury among your misbegotten kind!" (Dawn of War II)
    • Jonah Orion: "An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded." (Dawn of War I Librarian)
    • Diomedes: "I am the Emperor's will made manifest!" (Dawn of War I Chaplain)
    • Deathstorm Drop Pod: "Steel Rain protocol engaged!" ((a reference to Boreale's strategy in Soulstorm)
  • Charge Attack: As the Imperial Knight attacks with its twin gatling cannons, its heat level rises. Eventually, it Turns Red and fires superheated bullets.
  • Civil Warcraft: Happens with the Orks as Gorgutz fights to bring the rest of the Orks in the sector under his rule, and later multiple missions with the Eldar. First with Macha and Ronahn trying to take to Taldeer's Soulstone. The player can avoid engage the Eldar guarding it for most of the mission, but once it is stolen they will attack the player's forces. Another occurs after as Kyre wants it back and offers them a chance to rejoin him, and he responds with violence as they refuse.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • During the last cinematic in Retribution's Space Marine campaign, Apollo Diomedes stated that he could not serve the chapter in the same manner as before. Sure enough, he's now a Chaplain rather than a Captain.
    • During Macha's conversation with Jain Zar, Macha mentions her feud and temporary alliance with Gabriel Angelos during the Tartarus campaign and how he failed her and allowed darkness to prevail. note 
      • While preparing to face the Storm Prince, Gabriel mentions the above, and how his actions almost destroyed his chapter.
    • Gorgutz mentions to his underlings that he came to Cyprus Ultima because of information detailing Acheron that he obtained from the Eldar during the Kaurava campaign. Jonah also mentions Kaurava, and how Gorgutz is responsible for the deaths of several of their battle-brothers. Furthermore, loading screens reveal that Gorgutz is actually the canonical winner of Soulstorm.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: Accompanying the Blood Ravens are an Inquisitor from the Ordo Xenos (A main branch of the Inquisition dedicated to fighting aliens) and members of the Deathwatch (The chamber militant of the former composed of Space Marines from various chapters).
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Gabriel Angelos' presence confirms that Retribution's Space Marine ending is canon.
    • Though the presence of Taldeer as a Wraithknight suggests that some of the other factions endings are also canon to an extent (as her Soulstone is only retrieved in the Eldar ending by her brother, who is her pilot).
    • On Mission 7's loading screen for the Orks, the small info text reveals that Gorgutz had conquered Kaurava and thus making him the canonical victor of Soulstorm's campaign.
  • Death from Above: Practically the Space Marine faction MO. From their Drop Pod mechanic to Assault Marines delivering a Goomba Stomp, and several of their Elites also descend from above, as does the Chapter Standard.
  • Drop Pod: The Space Marine faction mechanic allows them to deploy units into battle from an orbiting Strike Cruiser in one of these (or being dropped by a Thunderhawk Gunship in the case of vehicles). They can also deploy Deathstorm Drop Pods filled with Assault Cannons.
  • Dual Wielding: The Wraithblades wield a pair of Ghost Swords.
  • Due to the Dead: Anyone familiar with Eldar lore will know that normally they will do anything to recover the soulstones of their fallen kin as plugging them into the infinity circuit of their Craftworld is their only hope of a peaceful afterlife. So when Lord Kyre leaves the soulstones of his subordinates behind, you know immediately he's a wrongun.
  • Enemy Mine: The daemon released from Acheron is such a menace that Macha actually goes to Gabriel and Gorgutz to ask for their aid.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Ronahn and Macha attempt to pit Gorgutz against Kyre so the latter's forces are drawn away from guarding Taldeer's soul stone. This ends up working a bit too well as the Orks end up crushing the Eldar forces guarding the vault, then start to attack the base Macha and her insurgents intended to rob. It ultimately works in their favor, providing an ample distraction that allows them to escape but many Eldar are killed in the process, which Macha was hoping to avoid.
  • Faction Calculus:
    • Space Marines are Powerhouse, with expensive but strong units.
    • Eldar are Subversive, relying on hit-and-run tactics and special abilities to overwhelm their enemies.
    • Orks are the Horde, with lots of cheap units and a focus on the Zerg Rush.
  • Flight: Flying vehicles such as Space Marine Landspeeders and Eldar Vypers are capable of crossing through impassable gaps/canyons.
  • Full-Potential Upgrade: Ork units can upgrade themselves using scrap (generated from WAAAGH! towers or salvaged after battles) that not only increase their effectiveness, but will also grant them additional abilities. For instance: A Tankbusta squad upgraded using scrap gain the ability to call on a squig strapped with explosives.
  • Gatling Good: Solaria's Imperial Knight is equipped with two Avenger Gatling cannons, and their damage can be increased once they heat up.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The daemon manages to be a bad case of this even by Warhammer's standards. It has no speaking role making it more akin to a monster than an actual character.
  • Geo Effects: The Space Marine Chapter Standard allows them to lay claim to an area, with the Standard granting stacking bonuses to nearby allies (a shield in tier 1, periodic orbital strikes on enemy units in tier 2 and constant healing in tier 3). Fittingly, though, if the Standard is captured by the enemy, the effects end.
  • Go Out with a Smile: The Blood Raven in the intro cutscene smiles serenely as a Wraithguard is about to fall on him. When his corpse is next seen, he's still smiling.
  • Hero Unit: Each faction has several Elite Units (Heroes, Elite and Super Units) with unique abilities to choose from. Though each requires a varied number of elite points to be spent on in order to summon them.
    • Space Marines
      • Gabriel Angelos
      • Jonah Orion
      • Chaplain Apollo Diomedes
      • Solaria
      • Imperial Knight Paladin
      • Venerable Dreadnaught
      • Kill Team Ironmaw
      • Terminators
      • Assault Terminator
      • Ironclad Dreadnaught
    • Eldar
      • Macha
      • Ronahn
      • Jain Zar
      • Kyre
      • Wraithknight Taldeer
      • Wraithknight with Wraithcannons
      • Wraithlord
      • Striking Scorpions
      • Warp Spiders
      • Wraithseer Kayduin
    • Orks
      • Gorgutz
      • Zappnoggin
      • Wazzmakka
      • Da Kommando
      • Beauty the Morkanaut
      • Gorkanaut
      • Deff Dread
      • Mega Nobz
      • Stormboyz
      • Lifta-Droppa Wagon
  • He's Back!:
    • Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos (now wearing Terminator Armor), Farseer Macha and Warboss Gorgutz return as the commanders of the factions.
    • Jonah Orion, whose fate was left uncertain after the battle against the chaos corrupted Chapter Master Kyras, is revealed to have not only survived, but has been made Chief Librarian by Angelos.
    • Taldeer returns as a Wraithknight, with her brother Rohnan as her pilot.
    • Diomedes returns but has apparently stepped down as First Company Captain and has taken the role of a Chaplain (and wearing Terminator Armor).
  • Humongous Mecha: New to the game's roster of humongous mecha are Imperial Knights and Eldar Wraithknights—both miniature versions of their respective factions' Scout Titans (introduced in Epic and finally canonized in 6E), making them roughly the size of an office building. The Ork have the Gorkanauts.
  • Living Structure Monster: While not really living monsters, the Ork buildings give a sense of this trope. They appear incredibly unstable and almost about to explode, but the way they are animated makes them look like they are alive.
  • Mass Teleportation: The Eldar can teleport their buildings to different parts of the map.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The Space Marines, Eldar, and Orks are all fighting over the fabled Spear of Khaine.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: Subverted. Loading screens reveal that the Kaurava campaign in Soulstorm was canonically won by the Orks under Warboss Gorgutz.
  • Noodle Incident: Ronahn mentions that after the defeat of Azariah Kyras from Retribution he was on his way to Ulthwé to lay his sister's soulstone to rest, but complications occurred. The exact details are unknown, but Taldeer's soulstone then somehow fell into the hands of Lord Kyre.
  • Portal Network: Like in the previous games, the Eldar can use their webway gates to swiftly move across the battlefield.
  • The Power of Rock: Waaagh Towers can pop open and blare rock music over the battlefield. It buffs all nearby Ork units.
  • Rocket Punch: Gorgutz' power klaw is also attached with a chain, allowing him to grapple himself towards enemy units and temporarily stun them, or use it as a flail and block enemy fire.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The announcement trailer shows us a rain of countless bodies falling from the sky and landing on an enormous pit of corpses. This is likely to symbolize the state of the 41st millennium in general: endless wars are waged, countless battles fought and nothing but mountains of corpses are left by the end of the day.
  • Rule of Three: The game's playable races are the Space Marines, the Eldar and the Orks. Compared to the first and second game, this is the first time that the starting races are three rather than four, although it is hinted that a fourth race would also be featured... prior to future updates being canceled.
    • The Astra Militarum will be making an appearance, but as a non-playable race.
  • Scavenged Punk: Ork's aesthetics and mechanics play up this theme. Virtually all Ork infantry is capable of upgrading themselves by sorting through piles of loose scrap and Macgyvering together additional arms and armour. Further, Gretchin can quickly turn such scrap piles into new buildings and functional vehicles at a resource discount and without having to go through base buildings.
  • The Stinger: After the credits, it is shown that the Necrons have taken into attention Gabriel, Gorgutz and Macha's victory over the Daemon of Acheron, and are implied to be the next threat they will face.
  • Skull for a Head: Diomedes' helmet is designed to look like a skull, which is a common design for a space marine chaplain.
  • Strategic Asset Capture Mechanic: Income is based on ownership of strategic points capped with listening posts, some of which have sandbag nests (or rarely, a Void Shield) around them as well.
  • Third-Person Person: A Servitor refers to itself as "this one".
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the previous game, the Wraithguard could not move swiftly without the aid of a Warlock or Farseer (as, in canon, they rely on a Warlock or Farseer to see properly). In this game, they function just fine without them and are just as deadly.
  • Twin Tropes: It was established in Retribution that Taldeer and Ronahn were siblings. In this game, its revealed that they are twins.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Flamers are no longer treated as a weapon, instead they're considered a type of special ability that requires cool-down and directional deployment. Should you manage to take the time to do all that and survive, then the Space Marine will hose a target area with flame (normally Marines with flamers just use their bolters). This leads to players greatly favouring the plasma gun as the weapon option.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: What has drawn the three races to the planet of Acheron is Spear of Khaine, a weapon of tremendous power.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Acheron is violently destroyed at the end of the game, implicitly wiping out almost all of the forces that were still fighting on the planet and likely destroying any ships still in orbit. While Macha handwaves it by saying that "some escaped", only herself, Gabriel and Gorgutz are present in the final mission, leaving virtually every other character in the game completely unaccounted for by the time the credits roll.
  • Worker Unit: A returning feature from the original series. Servitors for the Space Marines, Bonesingers for the Eldar and Gretchin for the Orks.
  • World of Ham: This is Warhammer 40000 after all. Stand examples are Gabriel, Diomedes, Gorgutz and Kyre.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: As in the previous games, resources are requisition and power along with elite points that are used to summon Elite Units and Heroes. Strategic points are located around the map, and upon capturing them players can build nodes for requisition and power and can purchase add-ons that allow an increase in resource gathering.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Unlike the previous games, certain basic skills are not bought as upgrades (so no more plunking down 'X' resources to have your Space Marine throw frag grenades). Instead a number of previously basic skills can only be gained if you have the correct Elite unit present, or if you experience grinded enough to have purchased it as a buyable doctrine (maximum of 3 doctrines at once).
  • Zerg Rush: The Ork trailer shows them to fit the trope perfectly. It fits them mechanically too, as not only can they build inexpensive units quickly, but the "scrap" mechanics allow them to rapidly raise new units in the aftermath of any major battle.