Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm
by Shawn Frison, Gameplay Designer, Iron Lore Entertainment
The Warhammer 40,000 universe is amazing, and it's been a blast getting the chance to work on Dawn of War: Soulstorm.
Below I'll describe some of the exciting Dark Eldar and Sisters of Battle units we're bringing to you in this new chapter of Dawn of War, explaining exactly what makes them tick and how they stand out in a universe full of genetically enhanced super soldiers, undead killing machines, and millions of battle-hardened Orks.
Dark Eldar Archon/Incubi Retinue
Consumed by dark passions and fueled by fury, the Dark Eldar do not submit easily to any master. Yet even amongst such decadence and power, there are those few whose vileness and cunning stand above all.
It is these Dark Eldar who, through sheer cruelty and might, bend the will of their fellows to their bidding, forging the reluctant alliances that are the Dark Eldar Kabals. Known as Archons, these lords of malice are fierce combatants, tearing through the ranks of the enemy with terrifying fury and speed.
Consuming the souls of his enemies to sustain his immortality, an Archon grows stronger with every battle he survives, becoming nearly godlike in power as the centuries pass by.
Further, the Archon can enhance this innate superiority by drawing upon the ancient weapons of his Kabal to sow his enemy's destruction. Among these is the Animus Vitae, a twisted device that unleashes psychically charged barbed wire that can ensnare enemies, siphoning away their life force.
Another, more terrifying still, is the ancient artifact known as the Crucible of Malediction. Using unfathomable occult arts, the Dark Eldar have captured the tortured souls of enemy Psykers within the Crucible to be unleashed upon the enemy, driving them mad.
Treachery, however, is paramount among the Dark Eldar, and greatness in battle is no guarantee against the assassin's blade. Guarding against such betrayal, the Archon surrounds himself with a retinue of Incubi, elite warriors unmatched in close combat. Wherever the Archon may go, the Incubi follow. And wherever the Incubi go, death follows.
The Archons have fought their way to domination amidst the vile machinations of the Dark Eldar, the cruelest and most devious of all the known races of the universe. They have conquered through blood and artful manipulation, through subtlety and rage. Only fools would oppose such mastery.
The order of the Adepta Sororitas - known commonly as the Sisters of Battle - are among the fiercest of the Imperium's warriors. Consumed with the fury of their undying Faith, their blessed mission is to root out heresy wherever it is found. Holiest of the Sisters is the Canoness, a battle-hardened veteran whose devotion to the God-Emperor is so supreme that she is able to call upon His aid in battle, invoking miraculous Acts of Faith that can change the face of the battlefield in an eyeblink.
Such terrible powers, though they require great Faith to use, can be awe-inspiring to behold. Legends tell of these abilities, though few alive can confirm the tales. One such story tells of a pure white light that poured from the Heavens, inspiring the devout and searing the eyes of their enemies.
Another describes the souls of fallen soldiers ascending from their bodies to take the form of vengeful angels, each burning with the fury of the Emperor and cutting through the enemy ranks like a sickle through corn. Against such manifestations of the Emperor's wrath, even the greatest of generals will tremble.
Yet even without such powers the Canoness is a force to be reckoned with. Equipped with the mightiest weapons of the Imperium, the Canoness lays waste to all who are foolish enough to oppose her, burning heretics with the devastating Inferno Pistol, or slicing through their ranks with her Power Sword.
With such at her disposal, the Canoness's versatility on the field of battle is unparalleled, allowing her to smite her enemies from near or afar. Attack how you might, no weakness can be found in the armor of the righteous.
So be strong in your faith. Do not waver. For the purging awaits those who doubt.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm is due out in spring 2008.