|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Relic||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 11, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (Multiple Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The gameplay changes with each and every new piece of loot that you snag, and there are tons of items for the taking. Armor, weapons, spells, health, and tactics can all be upgraded if not completely replaced with the next big find. It's addictive not only to see what you unlock next but how you can apply it to your next mission.
Casting magic spells and summoning demons is all in a day's work for the Chaos Marines. Who wouldn't want to play as the Plague Champion or the Chaos Sorcerer? There can be no doubt these classes are a lot of fun, so it's tempting to take the bait. But, the developers aren't totally sadistic. You can satiate your penchant for supernatural abilities and still retain your sainthood by playing as the new Librarian class for the Space Marines. Jonah is capable of casting spells to unlock a variety of abilities; a good blend of defensive and offensive. Jonah will also warn you, continually, when he thinks you're corrupting your soul to the dark side. He could stand to lighten up a little.
RTS games aren't known for their storylines. Chaos Rising addresses some deep philosophical issues without bogging you down with indulgent digital soliloquies. The story could have been presented better, as it's just revealed in scant cutscenes and radio communication with other characters. But at the same time, they don't hit you over the head with it, so you can just get on with the action if you're attention span is being taxed.
Excellent detail comes through in terms of the characters, items, and environments. Sure, there aren't a lot of different locations, but everything looks great with lots of depth and dimension. Locations such as the ice planet and the Tyrannid's ghost ship are interactive and destructible. The sound effects and music are perfectly suited for each situation. Multiplayer modes such as co-op, head-to-head and 2v2v2 will certainly give you more than your money's worth. Only players with the Chaos Rising version will be able to play as the Chaos Marines, and, for some gamers, that's reason enough to get your hands on this expansion pack.
CCC Senior Writer