THQ has unveiled Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, the upcoming sequel to the hit 2004 RTS game of savage warfare in the 41st Millennium.

The game is being developed by Relic Entertainment, using an enhanced version of the Essence Engine 2.0 that will deliver “intense action and visceral combat” in both a non-linear single player campaign and a cooperative multiplayer mode. THQ also announced that invitations to an exclusive Dawn of War II beta test will be offered to gamers who purchase the recently-released Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War – Soulstorm.

“The original Dawn of War and its subsequent standalone expansions have established the series as one of the industry’s leading RTS franchises,” said THQ Vice President Brad Carraway. “Dawn of War II will redefine RTS gaming to gamers worldwide, delivering brutal frontline action and tactics, and allowing players to get straight to the action with unprecedented fast-paced RTS gameplay and a full co-op campaign, all in stunning cinematic detail.”

“We started with everything fans loved about the original Dawn of War and then added more than they ever could have hoped for in the sequel into Dawn of War II,” added Tarrnie Williams, general manager at Relic. “Leveraging our critically acclaimed Essence Engine 2.0, gamers will develop and lead an elite strike force through Games Workshop’s war-torn universe, engage in devastating combat among the ruins of fully destructible battlefields and be immersed in an ever-changing single-player and co-op multiplayer campaign.”

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War was released in September 2004 to positive reviews, and went on to spawn the expansion packs Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm, as well as various bundles. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is currently targeted for release in spring 2009, exclusively for the PC.

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