Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War is that sort of game that has almost everything you'd need in an RTS (Real Time Strategy) game yet you feel there's just something missing.
The envirnoment of the game is a powerful tech era in the year 40,000. An era where everybody has laser guns coming out from their nostrils, and grenades flying over everywhere. In that far period of time, and for some reason, other races than humans has found their place to Earth. Those are the Orks, the Eldar, and the Chaos. In fact, the humans themselves are renamed to Space Marines. We're not informed though if they are really humans, but they are pretty much close, making us believe they are the evoluted forms of humans in that era.
Every race has its own unique characteristics and heroes, though Space Marines share a few things with the Chaos. My favorite race is the Space Marines, and then comes the Orks as my 2nd favorite. Space Marines squads look like astronauts with their heavy customs. The Orks are destructive and rough-sounding. The Chaos are monster-like and leave red stain where they build stuff. The Eldar are the quietest guys, hardly making any sound. They are tiny and elf-like too.
Having said that, the only thing about the races that just annoys me. The word 'Orc' or 'Ork' is very common in the western fantasy. And they are usually depicted in old fantasy stories that happened thousands of years ago, for they are harsh and dumb, that's why they perished by now. But how would be Orcs in year 40,000? It's totally irrational.
The word 'Eldar' is as well common in fantasy. It has been mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's very popular tale The Lord of the Rings as a subrace of Elves. So, if it's a bit annoying due to the confusion, but if you are not familiar with such terms, it won't cause any problems to you.
The graphics are top-notch actually. I even couldn't play the game at the highest settings (my vid card is not that good) yet I must say the graphics are awesome. Seeing multiple sqauds crashing into each other, and giant robots beating the hell out of a poor soldier is breath-taking. Terrains are well-drawn too, with a lot of detail you'd like.
I found the music of the soundtrack to be very suitable to such epic game. It kind of sends a chill down your back. It's subtle too, so sometimes you are not fully aware of it yet it has a great impact on the gameplay (Don't know if I said that in an understandable way).
The units' voices are generally very acceptable, may be except the voice of the default builder of the Chaos. It's very high-pitched, screamy, shrill, and just annoying. It very much sound like Gollum's voice in LOTR. I don't play that race for that very reason. Imagine that..?! There are a lot of long voice phrases too, if you like that.
That's the most important part in a game, I think. And here, you won't be disappointed. The gameplay is also a top-notch for an RTS. Every kind of control is possible. A lot of squad organization makes for a stronger army. The only thing I didn't like is the pointer of the mini-map. It's not easily controlled when moving the highlighted area, though it's not a big issue.
I don't like putting a rating for each part, then summing them up, and getting the average score. I'll just say if this game is recommended or not,.. and guess what?!! It is highly recommended. By the way, there is an expansion for it called "Winter Assault" that I may review later.
Btw, Wikipedia has a good article – that I've contributed to – on this game.