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Essence Engine
Developer(s) Relic Entertainment
Operating system Windows
Type Game engine
License Proprietary
Website Relic Official Website

Essence Engine is a game engine developed by Relic Entertainment for video game Company of Heroes.



The Essence Engine features many new graphical effects, including High Dynamic Range Lighting, dynamic lighting & shadows, advanced shader effects and normal mapping. The Essence Engine is also one of the first RTS engines to create detailed faces with facial animations.

In Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts the Essence Engine was further improved to include weather effects and also added support for DirectX 10 for Windows Vista.

The recently released sequel to Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, Dawn of War II, is using an updated version of Essence Engine (Essence 2.0) which allows for more detailed models and textures, and more advanced lighting and shading effects, as well as including more complex "sync-kills" than those in Dawn of War and supporting dual core CPUs.

Games using the Essence Engine


Essence v1.0

Essence v2.0

  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (2009)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising (2010)


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