You don't have to know the Warhammer universe to love "Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War 2 - Retribution." You do have to be a PC gamer, but provided you fulfill that requirement, there is an excellent real-time strategy game waiting to be played. The game came out last month, and Relic Entertainment has concocted an nifty way of generating additional interest in the game, with the standalone release of one of its multiplayer modes, The Last Stand.
"Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War 2 - Retribution - The Last Standalone" -- that's the full title -- is a co-op mode for up to three players, though you can solo it as well. As you might have already guessed from the name, The Last Stand is a survival mode in which players face off against multiple waves of enemies. There are six heroes to choose from and experience points to earn, which lead to ability and gear unlocks as you level up.
The Last Stand is one of the multiplayer modes in "Retribution" proper, and it is now also available independently on Steam for $9.99. The Relic press release also reveals that those who pick up "The Last Standalone" will be able to buy all of "Retribution" at "a reduced price."
"Retribution" producer Jeff Lydell had this to say in a statement: "We saw this as a unique opportunity to introduce new players to the 'Dawn of War' franchise as well as expanding the player base for the already popular Last Stand mode."
This is a cool thing, much more than a demo and well worth the $10 if you're into the game's more RPG-styled RTS action. There's almost a "Diablo" vibe going on in the "Dawn of War" games, though there's much more of a focus on tactical combat than on exploration. If you've been curious about the fuss that's made over "Dawn of War," this is a great place to start.