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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising is a real-time strategy video game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ, and the sequel expansion of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II. The game was released on March 11, 2010 for Games for Windows.
The game predominantly takes place on the ice-covered home-world of the Blood Ravens, Aurelia. Gabriel Angelos explains Aurelia was lost to the Warp for thousands of years, but has now reappeared along with an active Blood Ravens' beacon.
Chaos Rising is set one year after the events of Dawn of War II and the defeat of the Tyranid invasion (as well as the Eldar and Ork forces) of sub-sector Aurelia. The campaign marks the return of the Blood Raven heroes from the previous game, the Chaos Lord Eliphas from Dark Crusade, Derosa as the new governor of Meridian, and the heretical Vandis.
New to Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising is the Corruption System. In the campaign there are often multiple objectives which will complete a mission; depending on which one a player chooses to complete, they will become more or less corrupted. Corruption describes how close the player's Marines (i.e.: the Force Commander, Jonah and the rest of the Squads under the player's command except for Davian Thule, who is the only member unaffected by corruption) are to turning to Chaos and betraying the Imperium of man. This is a conscious choice in the gameplay and will affect the ending of the game as well as what missions are available throughout the campaign for the player.
Two new environments will be available in Chaos Rising to complement the three already available (the jungle/swamp terrain of Typhon, the deserts and canyons of Calderis, and the towering Gothic city-scape of Meridian). The new environments are:
- Aurelia - Once a verdant world, home to billions of humans and the jewel of the sector. Thousands of years ago the planet was engulfed in a warp-storm (a stellar disturbance where the Chaotic dimension known as the Warp meets real space), causing the fertile world to become a frigid wasteland. After this, the planet disappeared into the warp entirely. After millennia, Aurelia has re-emerged with the forces of Chaos. This planet is the playground of the Dark Gods: Khorne, Tzeentch, Slaanesh and Nurgle.
- The Space Hulk, Judgment Of Carrion - A Space Hulk is a giant derelict ghost ship (in some cases they are made up of many different ships or even parts of small asteroids and space stations) which floats randomly in and out of the Warp. Often hundreds or thousands of years old, Space Hulks can contain any sort of horrors and treasures. In Chaos Rising, the Judgment of Carrion has emerged from the Warp along with Aurelia and is inhabited by a splinter of a Tyranid Hive Fleet and within this ship lies many secrets.
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</noinclude> The Force-Commander and his strike-force arrive on Planet Aurelia, along with the newly requisitioned Strike Cruiser "Retribution", after receiving a Blood Ravens encoded distress signal. The distress signal turns out to be a trap, and the Blood Ravens are ambushed by traitor Guardsmen of House Vandis. After escaping the trap and leaving the area, the Force-Commander along with the Dreadnought Davian Thule move to rescue the Librarian Jonah Orion, who is under attack by Eldar forces that have unearthed ancient ruins and revived Wraithguards.
After receiving a distress call from Governor Derosa, the Blood Ravens proceed to Meridian's Angel Gate where bands of Orks driven there by House Vandis forces are looting the area. They later encounter Chaos Space Marines of the Black Legion who are attempting to take over Angel Forge. Despite the presence of Eliphas the Inheritor, a former Dark Apostle from the Word Bearers Legion thought long dead on Kronus, the forces of Chaos are repelled. After halting the Chaos raid, a combined Imperial Guard-Blood Ravens strike-force returns to Aurelia to attack Legion forces in the area. Resisting intense artillery barrages from House Vandis forces and wave upon wave of cultists, the Blood Ravens discover a Chaos Temple and after a gruesome battle with Daemons, destroy it completely. Taunting them throughout their struggles is the champion of the Black Legion, Araghast the Pillager.
After the Chaos Temple falls, the warp begins to tear the planet asunder forcing them to immediately evacuate. Araghast let the Force-Commander and his strike-force to escape since it will waste the value of the traitor in the Blood Ravens and tells Eliphas that his vengeance can wait. On board the Retribution, a recording was found that implicates a traitor within the Chapter who gave Chaos the transmitting codes that were used to ambush the Blood Ravens when they first arrived on Aurelia. The Blood Ravens move to save Spire Legis on Meridian from impending Chaos assault with Sergeant Thaddeus, they also destroy an Eldar strike force that was uncovering ancient ruins on Typhon with Sergeant Tarkus. After dispatching numerous problems, Space Marine Scouts on Calderis send out a distress call that they have been engaged by a substantial number of Chaos forces with Sergeant Cyrus. After saving the initiates from certain death and killing a Chaos Sorcerer operating in the area, a contingent of the Blood Ravens Honor Guard led by Apollo Diomodes arrives. Diomedes, acting on behalf of the Blood-Ravens' Chapter Master and Chief Librarian, Azariah Kyras, orders all Blood Ravens to cease all engagements with the Black Legion forces and return to their ships until further ordered.
Disgruntled by the orders but still loyal, the Blood Ravens return to the Retribution. Several highly encrypted transmissions are intercepted. However, despite their best efforts they are unable to fully dissipate the message's masking. Techmarine Martellus, having survived the Tyranid invasion, accesses the Astronomic Array on Typhon. He reports to the Force-Commander that he has recovered data about the arrival of a giant Space Hulk, The Judgment of Carrion. Meanwhile, investigating how heretic forces had duplicated a Blood Ravens signal, Cyrus learns that there is a traitor on board the Retribution. The Space Hulk contains a logic engine system that is powerful enough to remove the masking on the intercepted messages.
When the Space Hulk arrives as Martellus predicted, the Blood Ravens find the ship infested by a splinter of the Tyranid Hive fleet. The foul taint of the Warp also permeates the vessel, cutting their stay aboard extremely short. Not far into the Space Hulk, they discover the body of a fallen Blood Raven of the Fifth Company; mysteriously his gene-seed has been not collected and stored by an Apothecary. Raising even more questions, the fallen Marine's name is still marked as on-duty within the Chapter Honor Guard. Progressing throughout the ship and slaughtering innumerable amounts of Tyranids with Librarian Jonah Orion, the Blood Ravens finally gain access into a large sealed vault that contains the logic engine system. Inside, numerous Space Marine corpses strew the floor, each puzzlingly with their gene-seeds prepared but not collected. While accessing the logic engine, they find a dataslate written by Apothecary Galan that details the expedition he and fellow Marines made onto the Space Hulk.
Galan was part of a group led by the then-Librarian Azariah Kyras. The message contains references to a Daemon named Ulkair that was stalking them within the ship. The Daemon is seeking their gene-seed forcing Apothecary Galan to hide them. Galan worries however that eventually the subtle whisperings of the Daemon might overcome them, he also worries for Kyras whom has exerted much of his psychic strength in fending off the Daemon and his minions. Kyras seems apathetic about the death of his Battle Brothers and slight hints are made from Galan's description of events that point at slight corruption on his part.
Leaving the Space Hulk and allowing Martellus to analyze the newly unmasked messages, the Blood Ravens answer to yet another distress signal from Governor Derosa. Chaos Forces have besieged the Capital City of Meridian, and are assaulting the Governor's palace itself. The Force-Commander goes to the defense of the Governor and beats back a titanic wave of Chaos forces on the palace's doorstep. Shaken but still faithful to the Emperor, the Blood Ravens receive a transmission on their private voice channels from Araghast the Pillager, mocking them and challenging the Force-Commander and his squad along with Sergeant Avitus to a duel. Pursuing the champion of Chaos with the utmost zeal in defense of the Emperor's holy name, the Blood Ravens, despite orders from Diomedes, assault Planet Aurelia and answer to Araghast's challenge. Araghast uses the powers of the warp to teleport himself away from the Blood Ravens when they finally located him, Araghast left them to fend off waves of Daemons and fallen Space Marines. Unwilling to simply allow Araghast to escape, the Blood Ravens located and cornered him. Araghast attempts to fall back on yet another teleportation to escape, however Eliphas, who is overseeing the teleportation ritual betrays Araghast and refuses to transport him away. Enraged, Araghast violently fights back the Blood Ravens, ultimately ending in his defeat and death, leaving Eliphas as the new field commander of the Black Legion. Enthralled by the silencing of Araghast, the Blood Ravens remark the fitting end that a leader of traitors was ironically, destroyed thanks to a traitor. Martellus, analyzing copious amounts of Data, reports to the Force-Commander that Apothecary Galan is still alive and also within the Honor Guard of the Blood-Ravens, they also find yet another coded transmission from the traitor to Galan.
Despite the threat posed by Chaos, Captain Diomodes orders all the Blood Ravens to leave the sub-sector immediately. Gabriel Angelos, unwilling to simply leave the Blood Ravens recruiting worlds to fester, orders the Force-Commander and his squads disregard Diomedes's orders. Angelos travels to Calderis where Diomedes is operating out of, and confronts him regarding the retreat order. Diomedes, acting in the name of Kyras, declares Angelos and his men Traitors to the Chapter, and sends out a notice to all Blood Ravens to kill him on sight. Knowing that Gabriel Angelos can be no true traitor, the Force-Commander and his men infiltrate Captain Diomedes's fire-base on Calderis. Within, they locate Apothecary Galan along with a host of Honor Guards that they find have all been corrupted by the forces of Chaos. The Force-Commander attacks Galan, who in his dying moments thanks the Commander for freeing him from the influence of Chaos, then he tells him that everyone on board the Judgment of Carrion had been corrupted by Chaos, along with most of the men here. Captain Diomedes's is found to be pure of corruption however, but is blinded by his pride and duty. The Force-Commander proceeds to the Honor Guard's Command Center where he hopes to access its logs to expose the traitor on the Retribution. The Command Center is destroyed however and Captain Diomedes's appears on the scene, branding the Commander as heretics for what they have just done. The Commander and his squad explain to Diomedes what had transpired and the events on board the Judgment of Carrion. The Captain is dumbfounded at what he is told, but resolves that no heresy was committed. Meanwhile, logs from Galan's dataslate that was found on board the Judgment of Carrion reveal that Kyras had fallen to Chaos long before the expedition, in addition the Daemon Ulkair was imprisoned within Planet Aurelia and that Eliphas is planning to release him.
On Planet Aurelia, Eliphas explains that just before the planet was taken by the Warp long ago, Kyras managed to imprison Ulkair after Kyras's master Moriah was killed in battle. Soon after, the warp descended upon the planet taking both Kyras and the Planet. Kyras, trapped within the warp, made a deal with Ulkair to guarantee his escape, he ended up on board the Judgment of Carion. Eliphas then sacrifices a captured Blood Raven scout and several of his own men to release Ulkair, whom he dubs 'Great Unclean One'. Ulkair thanks Eliphas for releasing him and promises him, albeit sinisterly, a reward after he consumes the sub-sector. As the player and his squad return to planet Aurelia, they discover that the traitor was Martellus (or one of the players squad with the highest level of corruption) who immediately leaves the Strike Cruiser and joins with the Chaos Force on the ground. After they kill the traitor, he tells them that Ulkair has been revived and confirms that Kyras was part of Chaos. Gabriel arrives with his Battle-Barge The Litany of Fury, the Force-Commander and his squads immediately tell him what they have learned. Gabriel, wasting no time, launches a grand assault upon Aurelia to secure a beachhead. Making use of the large amount of Predator tanks at his disposal, numerous Chaos Bases are destroyed as the Force-Commander and his squad gather to assault Ulkair. As they begin to approach the Daemon, they are intercepted by Eliphas who forces them into combat. Before they can deal a killing blow, Eliphas is saved by the warp and escapes death yet again. The Commander and his men now have no obstacles in their way to Ulkair, in a long, difficult, and bloody battle that cost many Space Marines their lives, the Daemon is finally vanquished and sealed again. However, Ulkair remarks that no prison may hold him forever and that eventually he will return and slaughter all.
At the Battle-Barge The Litany of Fury, Gabriel declares their victory over the Black Legion and Ulkair the Unclean One. He tells though of the greater challenges that await them, since Azariah Kyras has been corrupted by Chaos, the only thing that the Blood Ravens may do now is slay him. Gabriel then speaks to the Commander and his squad about their actions (Depending on the player's redemption and corruption level of choice and actions). Meanwhile, a resurrected Eliphas tells Abaddon the Despoiler (The Warmaster of the Black Legion) that he promises to annihilate the Blood Ravens.
Once the player reaches the end of the game, it gives out five endings that the player may receive depending on the player's redemption and corruption levels.
- Full Purity - If the player does all the redemption missions and kills Apothecary Galan and not Captain Diomodes, the player's character and his squads will act as Agents of Purification within the Chapter and with the help of Gabriel and Diomodes after learning the truth about the Corruption within the Blood Ravens. The player's character is bestowed the position of Brother Captain of the Fourth Company.
- Purity - If the player attacks Diomodes and not Galan, the player's character and his squads will be marked a renegades along with Gabriel.
- Neutral - If the player does both redemption and corruption in all of the missions (Killing all the Blood Ravens, as well as Diomedes and Galan), the player's character will be banished from the chapter and exiled to the eye of terror for a hundred years.
- Corruption - If the player has a greater corruption points than his redemption, player's character will be executed for heresy by Gabriel.
- Full Corruption - If the player does all the corruption missions and full level of corruption in all of his squads, the player's character becomes the next Chaos Lord of the Black Legion war-band on Aurelia.
The Last Stand
The Chaos Sorcerer and the Tyranid Hive Tyrant will be added to the current selection of The Last Stand heroes.
New units and/or upgrades
All new units and upgrades for the four pre-existing races in Dawn of War II will be available to players who only own the original Dawn of War II, upon the release of Chaos Rising - with the exception of the Chaos Faction for those who do not own Chaos Rising.
- Chaos Lord - Offense Commander, affiliated with Khorne, The Blood God.
- Chaos Plague Champion - Defense Commander, affiliated with Nurgle, The Great Lord of Decay.
- Chaos Sorcerer - Support Commander, affiliated with Tzeentch, The Changer of Ways.
- Heretic Squad - A cheap melee squad that can be upgraded with grenade launchers and an Aspiring Champion (detector). Comes with the ability to worship, granting benefits to nearby squads. Can build shrines in Tier 2, amplifying the affects of nearby worshipers.
- Chaos Space Marines (CSM) - Similar to the Space Marine Tactical squad. CSMs start off weaker, but become tougher with upgrades. Can be upgraded in Tier 1 with Eternal War for bonus damage. In Tier 2 an Aspiring Champion may be added, as well as upgrading the squad with Marks of Khorne (Chainaxes) or Marks of Tzeentch (Inferno Bolters).
- Chaos Havocs - Similar to Space Marine Devastators. In Tier 2 can be upgraded with marks of Khorne (Autocannons) or Marks of Tzeentch (Lascannons).
- Chaos Bloodletters - Lesser Daemons of Khorne, armed with Hellblades as power weapons. They can phase into the Warp and teleport.
- Chaos Dreadnought - Chaos Walker armed with autocannon and a power claw when built. It can be upgraded with marks of Khorne (Twin Power Claws) or Tzeentch (Missile Barrage).
- Chaos Bloodcrusher -A Bloodletter riding a Juggernaut (A Beast of Khorne) into battle. Its power is charging into battle and it causes fear in enemy infantry.
- Chaos Plague Marines - These are the worshipers of the Chaos God Nurgle. High in toughness and armour. However,they are relatively weak in shooting or close combat. These ranged heavy infantry units are armed with bolters and a missile launcher, allowing them to deal with vehicle armor as well as infantry units. They shoot normally while suppressed and detonate when killed.
- Chaos Predator - Similar to Space Marine Predator and its variants. It can be upgraded with the marks of Khorne (Increased attack damage), Nurgle (Increased health), or Tzeentch (Twin-Linked Lascannon).
- Great Unclean One - Greater Daemon of Nurgle. This monster wields a Plaguesword and can vomit on enemies. Its intestines can be used to snatch infantry units, and a swarm of flies surround the Great Unclean One which attack nearby enemies. Heretics can be sacrificed to the Great Unclean One to gain power. Is the most powerful and expensive unit in the game.
- Wraithguard - Although they look similar to the larger Wraithlord, the three member Wraithguard squad is best used at range against enemy infantry and tanks. They are armed with short ranged mini D-cannons.
- Weird Boy - Every so often an Ork comes along that is a little bit different than all the others. These Weirdboyz are Ork psykers, conduits for powerful psychic energies generated by masses of greenskins and their enthusiasm and excitement for a fight.
- Librarian - Capable of powerful damage and support spells. Inspires surrounding space marines when killing in melee. A new character in the campaign called Jonah Orion is a Librarian.
- Devastator Heavy Bolter squad - They can now receive the lascannon upgrade.
- Dreadnoughts - Able to receive the multi melta upgrade.
- Predator Tanks - Able to receive the Lascannon upgrade.
- Genestealers - An elite Melee unit that infiltrates after staying still for a period of time.
- Tyrant Guard - Powerful defensive melee units used to protect other large or vulnerable units. Replaces the Carnifex in Tier 2.
- 1UP.com - A-
- Eurogamer - 9/10
- GamePro - 4.5/5 stars
- Gamespot - 8.5/10
- GameSpy - 4/5 stars
- Gametrailers - 8.5/10
- IGN - 8.5/10
- Metacritic - 86%