Hey everyone! Hope you're all as hyped as I am for this. It has been a long time.
So I want to run through some things that may or may not be agreed with by others here. All of what I'm about to say is up for critical discussion going forward. Some views will be more-or-less personal perspective.
So I wanted to start with...
Colour me somewhat impressed with the approach to tabletop painting over lore. Dawn of War 2 definitely injected more colour than was presented in Dawn of War 1, and I really enjoyed the visual style. Colour compliments Warhammer 40k in a great way - Many soldiers in 40k are much more about making their presence known over blending in with terrain, with obvious exceptions of Imperial Guard who wear camo and various individual units within other factions.
However, from the early screenshots I think it was taken just a little overboard - The contrast is nice, but the scenery as well as the units just burst out a little bit too much. The game seems to have had a full on style shift and looks a little more cartoony. I can't comment on this much further without seeing it in action (And my criticisms are completely dependant on our first view of gameplay), but treading through dusty war-wreaked landscapes would often cover armour and weapons in a fair amount of dirt. Dawn of War 2 found a nice balance, and while I do enjoy the screenshots, it doesn't fit the theme of the series. The landscapes especially feel like something out of Warcraft 3 or Diablo 3. Reserving judgement.
Base Building and Elite Troops
I'm all for this. I was a big fan of Dawn of War 1&2 and can't really pick a fault with either play style. In fact, this just seems like a best of both worlds situation. Hopefully people will be open minded enough not to be too scared by a Dota-inspired hero system, but I can't say I'm ever happy with MOBA influence in RTS games. Saying that, Dawn of War 2 did essentially have similar systems and I didn't dislike it.
The Knight's look glorious. Hopefully there's room to expand into even bigger territory, but I presume it's unlikely out of modding.
Factions/Races going forward
I am VERY sceptical about there only being 3 races. I can't imagine what will be the 4th if there is one, but I can't help that the chaotic theme of the trailer indicates Chaos to me personally. I'm somewhat disappointed to see 3 races repeated again for the opening launch however. It's hard to not include SM, Orks and Eldar as they're probably the most iconic races, but there is so much choice and there are so many underrepresented races in Warhammer 40k.
Tyranids got the short-end of the stick in Dawn of War 2 with a focus on small-scale battles, and it really makes me wish Relic held off on them until this games release, but this is a personal gripe. I feel like, as a Nid fan, there is room for expansion to include the race and make them how they should have been. It was likely poor planning, although the campaign was good fun. I eagerly await future faction announcements, but it's way too early to get into that.
Hopefully I'm not the only one hoping that Dawn of War doesn't lose itself in a competitive space. There were many attempts made to try and get Dawn of War 2 into a competitive spotlight and unfortunately, bar some smaller scale youtube channels and tournaments, it never entirely took off. For me, nerfing Tyranids to be pricey and less cannon fodder based as well as various other homogenisations of Dawn of War 2 factions spoiled a lot of what I loved about the games early days. Dawn of War at its core is a very fun, VERY chaotic multiplayer RTS and I'm hoping that the series will not lose this now. From what has been covered so far it sounds like there may be some work being put into making the game competitive and while I think it would be great if it did happen, I don't want Relic to shy from what makes DoW so great as a series. I have a lot of faith that they will pull it off.