"In darkness, I shall be light
In times of doubt, I shall keep faith
In throes of rage, I shall hone my craft
In vengeance, I shall have no mercy
In the midst of battle, I shall have no fear
In the face of death, I shall have no remorse..."
Dawn of War III is a real-time strategy video game released by Relic Entertainment and Sega in partnership with Games Workshop, the creators of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It is the third stand-alone title in the Dawn of War series, and the first new release in the series since Dawn of War II - Retribution in 2011. It was released for Microsoft Windows on April 27, 2017.
"Fiery skies shall light the way,
and blood shall spill over the wandering world.
The Spear of Khaine shall call the wayfarers,
and the Storm Prince shall unite them.
Their victory shall shake the heavens."
- — Farseer Taldeer of Ulthwé
A "catastrophic weapon," known only as the Spear of Khaine, has been discovered on the planet Acheron, long lost in the Warp, and three forces eventually converge on the world to recover it -- the Blood Ravens Space Marines under their legendary Chapter Master Gabriel Angelos, the Eldar led by Farseer Macha (with both heroes returning from the first game), and an Ork WAAAGH! led by Warboss Gorgutz (his fourth appearance, after Dawn of War - Winter Assault, Dawn of War - Dark Crusade, and Dawn of War - Soulstorm).
The single-player campaign begins on the Imperial Knight World of Cyprus Ultima, which is under siege from a massive Ork horde led by Warboss Gitstompa. For reasons unknown, the Imperial Inquisitor Holt has ordered the Imperial Navy to blockade the planet and denies the ruling Lady Solaria's Imperial Knight House Varlock any reinforcements planetside. The Blood Ravens under Chapter Master Angelos run the blockade to bring aid to Lady Solaria, but not before Varlock Keep is looted by Gitstompa's erstwhile lieutenant, Gorgutz. Gitstompa uses the looted parts to build an enormous cannon capable of defeating the forces of the Eldar, who are also on Cyprus Ultima and assaulting the Orks. Meanwhile, Inquisitor Holt impatiently reminded Angelos that their primary mission in the region was to utilise a dozen Ramilies-class Starforts in order to form a blockade intended to contain any Warp contagion present on Acheron from spreading across the Imperium after its emergence from the Immaterium. They are not to be distracted by the violent follies of the Orks -- even if this meant the destruction of one of the Emperor's knightly houses.
Autarch Kyre, the leader of the Craftworld Biel-Tan warhost, known as the Swordwind, on Cyprus Ultima, summons Farseer Macha to aid him against the Greenskins present on the Knight World. Kyre intends to use Cyprus Ultima as a staging ground to travel to the planet Acheron when it emerges from the Warp after having been lost for many Terran centuries. Kyre is obsessed with the Spear of Khaine, named after the lost Eldar god of war Khaela Mensha Khaine, and said to be able to kill enemies with a single blow. Kyre had previously seized the Spirit Stone of Farseer Taldeer (Dawn of War - Dark Crusade) from her twin brother, the Eldar Ranger Ronahn (Dawn of War II - Retribution), when he was trying to transport it to their home Craftworld of Ulthwé. While the stone was in Kyre's custody, Taldeer's spirit unwittingly told Kyre of the prophecy surrounding the Spear of Khaine. In a trance, she prophecised that the "wayfarers" would be called forth by the Spear of Khaine and united by the "Storm Prince."
Convinced that he is the Storm Prince destined to unite the fractured and nomadic Eldar against their foes, the power-hungry Autarch secretly keeps Taldeer prisoner in her Spirit Stone as a way to swell the ranks of his Swordwind force by using her as his puppet to reinforce the idea of his destined leadership among the other Eldar. Unable to communicate with anyone other than Kyre in her disembodied state, Taldeer finds herself effectively isolated from any outside help. Farseer Macha, however, does not trust Kyre at all, and secretly begins to build an Eldar insurgency with the aid of Ronahn, who pretended to cooperate with Kyre while serving as the Autarch's spymaster, and Jain Zar, Phoenix Lord of the Howling Banshees Aspect Warriors.
A detachment of Eldar forces next assault the Imperial Starfort Helios where the Blood Ravens Chief Librarian Jonah Orion is studying an Eldar artefact, but Gabriel Angelos and his fellow Astartes arrive in time to rescue the Librarian, though at the cost of critical damage to the Starfort in the wake of the battle. Inquisitor Holt is incensed at the damage done to the Helios and Angelos orders Chaplain Apollo Diomedes to stay with his detachment on the Helios to defend it and oversee the starfort's repairs.
On Cyprus Ultima, Gitstompa's cannon is sabotaged by Gorgutz, and it explodes just as he is about to engage Macha's forces, who overrun his position. With Gitstompa defeated, Gorgutz quickly subjugates Gitstompa's other subordinates, which include the Ork Weirdboy psyker Zapnoggin and the Big Mek Wazmakka. Gorgutz forms a new warband with them and begins preparations to travel to the lost world of Acheron, which he had learned existed after battling the Eldar and other factions to ultimate victory in the Kaurava System during the events of Dawn of War - Soulstorm. Having learned that the Spear of Khaine lies on Acheron, Gorgutz wants the "SUPER pointy stikk" all for himself.
Farseer Macha and her forces prepare to assault the Blood Ravens on Cyprus Ultima and nearly kill both Librarian Orion and Gabriel Angelos when a meteor shower suddenly interrupts the battle, heralding the return of the planet Acheron to realspace.
Gorgutz seizes the opportunity to crash his massive Kill Kroozer starship into another Imperial starfort and overwhelm the defending Blood Ravens before landing on Acheron. The Starfort Helios then impacts in turn onto Acheron's frozen outer shell when it emerges from the Warp. Gabriel Angelos and a squad of Terminators rescue Chaplain Diomedes from the Eldar and Orks attacking him in the wreckage of the Helios.
Farseer Macha and the Ranger Ronahn manage to gain an audience with Gorgutz (after killing quite a few of his Orks) and convince him to fight Kyre in an effort to derail the scheming Autarch from getting to the true surface of Acheron where the Spear of Khaine is kept. Ronahn leads Gorgutz straight to Kyre's outposts and Gorgutz and his forces kill the Wraithlord Valador, another lieutenant of Kyre. While Kyre is preoccupied fighting Gorgutz' forces, Macha, Jain Zar, and a handful of Striking Scorpions Aspect Warriors raid Kyre's main base where the Spirit Stone of Farseer Taldeer is kept. Macha's strike group barely escapes with the aid of sympathisers within the Autarch Kyre's ranks as well as a surprise attack from a detachment of Gorgutz's Orks.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Angelos has tracked Gorgutz's warband all the way to the "Vault," one of the many passageways through Acheron's outer shell that leads to its true surface. He destroys Wazmakka's cannon that was brought there to break open the Vault. Inquisitor Holt orders the bombardment of the Vault despite Angelos being in the immediate vicinity of it, in an attempt to destroy the passageway and cut off any access to the Spear of Khaine for the xenos factions. Enraged, Chaplain Diomedes swear vengeance on the Inquisitor for seemingly killing their Chapter Master and has to be calmed by Librarian Orion. It is not until Lady Solaria informs the Blood Ravens of the news of Angelos' survival from Inquisitor Horst that they shift priorities towards regrouping with the Chapter Master on the surface of Acheron instead. The Imperial orbital bombardment does not have the intended effect of sealing the Vault, but rather breaks it wide open. Kyre sees the destruction of The Vault as an opportunity to lead his forces down to the true surface of Acheron and seize the artefact.
Macha and Ronahn make an unsettling discovery on Acheron -- they come across an enormous Greater Daemon of Khorne -- a Bloodthirster -- trapped in the ice, but attempting to awaken. The Bloodthirster was sealed there by the ancient Eldar eons ago. Kyre also discovers the daemon but thinks the Spear of Khaine should be used to kill the beast before it can fully awaken. Taldeer, Ronahn, and Macha are not as sure, and think the Spear of Khaine is nothing more than a trap created by Chaos during Acheron's time in the Warp to lure others to the world to free the daemon. When they attempt to flee via the Acheronian portals known as the Colossus Gates, Kyre locks down their escape routes. With time running out, Taldeer orders Ronahn to place her Spirit Stone in a Wraithknight and to pilot her new mechanical body to help break down the Colossus Gates' locks. Knowing that only twins, one dead and one living, can pilot a Wraithknight, Ronahn reluctantly complies despite his objections to risking her life again. They flee to another section of Acheron far from Kyre's forces.
Gabriel Angelos and his Blood Ravens, along with Lady Solaria and her Imperial Knight walker, arrive at the Temple of the Spear and overrun Kyre's forces as well as a portion of Gorgutz' Orks, but Gorgutz exacts his revenge with the help of Big Mek Wazmakka's Beauty the Morkanaut.
With Taldeer explaining that the prophecy of the Storm Prince was unclear and her vision partially obscured, she and her fellow Farseer Macha meditate and try to clearly decipher the contents of the prophecy. Meanwhile, both Kyre and Gorgutz arrive at the altar of the Spear of Khaine and Kyre quickly bests the Ork Warboss in individual combat. Kyre takes the Spear for himself and attempts to kill the defeated Gorgutz with it. Unfortunately for Kyre, it is revealed the prophecy regarding the Spear was indeed a trap left by the servants of Chaos to free the daemon. As Kyre makes the killing stroke, the main blade of the Spear of Khaine shatters without harming Gorgutz, and Kyre is consumed as a blood sacrifice that releases the Bloodthirster from the ice. Now free, the Bloodthirster becomes empowered by the countless lives taken on and around the planet across the millennia -- lives taken by all those who had come in pursuit of the Spear of Khaine 's promised power.
All three factions on Acheron -- Eldar, Space Marines, and Orks -- find themselves battling Warp spawn generated by the daemon using the psychic echoes of the warriors of many races who were slain on Acheron over the centuries. An alliance of convenience is quickly struck. Farseer Macha tasks Gorgutz with destroying the Chaos Spires that are powering the Greater Daemon and generating the Warp spawn. Meanwhile, Macha urges Gabriel Angelos to sacrifice his Battle Barge, the Dauntless, to cripple the Bloodthirster by ramming it into a frozen fissure on the planet's frigid surface; sacrificing the lives of the Astartes and mortals aboard the great vessel but preventing the Greater Daemon from wreaking havoc across the galaxy in the name of the Blood God.
Knowing that the daemon was shielding the planet, Angelos reluctantly complies and orders Captain Balthazar to set a crash course onto Acheron. The impact of the great vessel at such a weak point in the planet's tectonic structure causes the benighted world to begin to crack apart.
With Acheron fragmented and destroyed, the Greater Daemon quickly diminishes in size and strength as his access to all the psychic power of the souls slain in the world's vicinity is lost. With the urging of Macha, who believes the prophecy predicted that all three factions -- who are the nomadic "wayfarers" it spoke of -- must work together to defeat the Greater Daemon, now revealed to be the Storm Prince, the three heroes team up to defeat the daemon after battling through hordes of Warp spawn on the remaining fragment of Acheron housing the Temple of the Spear. All three heroes warily part ways after banishing the Storm Prince back to the Warp, but Gorgutz stays behind and seizes the remains of the Spear of Khaine for himself as a trophy before leaving.
In an after credits scene, an unknown Necron Overlord has taken notice of the events on Acheron and prepares to enter the fray.
The initial factions available for play in the single-player campaign are the Space Marines of the Imperium of Man (who have appeared in all of the other Dawn of War games in the guise of the Blood Ravens Chapter created specially for the series), the Eldar, and the Orks. Other non-playable factions in-game include the Astra Militarum (Imperial Guard) as well as the Daemons of Khorne, while the Necrons make a brief cameo in the after-credits epilogue of the single-player campaign. In the multiplayer game, various skins are available for the three factions, different Chapters for the Space Marines, alternate Craftworlds for the Eldar, and different klanz for the Orks. In addition, a custom paint and sticker editor enables players to create their own custom color schemes for their factions. Like in the previous games, the primary resources are requisition and power, which are gained from building resource generators on strategic points. Dawn of War III also includes larger-scale walker units – Imperial Knights for the Space Marines, Wraithknights for the Eldar, and Morkanauts for the Orks. These units, along with commanders and other unique units, are called in using Elite points, which are gained slowly over time but are generated more quickly from elite point generators on certain strategic points. These units gain experience from participating in battles, which unlocks more features for future battles. In the singleplayer campaign, unlike previous games where each race had its own campaign/story, you play as all three factions in one campaign, completing a single mission first as Space Marines, then Orks followed by Eldar before repeating.
The game was announced in May 2016, seven years after the release of Dawn of War II. According to the game's executive producer, Stephen MacDonald, elements from both of the previous Dawn of War games were intended to be featured in Dawn of War III. A companion novel by the same name was written by Robbie MacNiven and released on April 18, 2017. In addition, a four part comic series began serialization by Titan Comics on April 19, 2017.
GameSpot awarded Dawn of War III a score of 8.0 out of 10, saying "Dawn of War III builds and maintains an organic tension that yields huge pay-offs, and there's nothing else quite like it." Destructoid awarded it 7.5 out of 10, saying "Not everything works (especially the strict adherence to the core concept), but it's still very much both a Warhammer and a Dawn of War joint." Hardcore Gamer awarded it 4.5 out of 5, saying "Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III successfully takes the best elements from the previous two games and blends them with traditional RTS mechanics to create a game with deep strategic gameplay."
- Dawn of War III (PC Game)