Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Q&A - Single-Player, Multiplayer, and What the Fans Want

We get the latest details on this follow-up to the explosive strategy game Company of Heroes.

2006's Company of Heroes changed what people have come to expect from real-time strategy by focusing on explosive, small-scale battles featuring squads of soldiers behind enemy lines in World War II--soldiers with the ability to drive tanks through walls and blow up buildings. The game expanded in 2007 with the stand-alone game Opposing Fronts, and later this year, developer Relic Entertainment is getting ready to finish its next follow-up, Tales of Valor, which will be a stand-alone game that won't require the original game. It'll also have plenty more smashing tanks through walls and exploding buildings. Senior producer Tim Holman explains.

Tales of Valor will add new vehicles, new campaigns, and lots more explosive, squad-based action.

GameSpot: Give us an update on Tales of Valor. What aspects of the game is the team working on at this point?

Tim Holman: We're closing bugs at the moment and about to finish--close enough that we started thinking about the wrap party!

GS: We understand that Tales of Valor will be a stand-alone product rather than an expansion that requires the original game. Why go in this direction for the product? What exactly will players get out of the box?

TH: We'd rather make our content accessible to any new players rather than having them fork out cash for the original, and we don't want to split our multiplayer community. You will get three short campaigns (instead of one long campaign), three new multiplayer games modes, new units for multiplayer, new skirmish maps, and more.

GS: We understand that the campaigns will have an even stronger focus on small-scale tactical battles, including the Tiger Ace campaign, in which you basically play as a single tank crew rather than controlling an army. Why the even smaller-scale focus? What does this add to the experience?

TH: We've done big campaigns focused on telling long stories, and this time we wanted to do more intimate stories of small groups of soldiers fighting against overwhelming odds. It's hard to create that when you have a huge army behind you, but when you've got only a small number of troops, it's easier to create that tension.

Like in the original Company of Heroes, in Tales of Valor you'll generally control a small squadron of commandos.

GS: Tales of Valor will also have an arcade-style "direct fire" mode for the King Tiger tank in the Tiger Ace campaign. What does this new mode add to the game? Will we see it anywhere else other than in Tiger Ace?

TH: Players can play units in the regular way, but direct fire gives even more intimacy. In the hedgerow-and-city terrain of [the] Tiger Ace [campaign], it makes for some fun tactical maneuvering and fire control. And yes, [it's used for] other units. Defend against a rush of infantry with an HMG, funnel tanks toward your direct-fire-controlled 88, and my personal favorite, painting the landscape with fire, with my direct fire flamethrower (and that's just a few). We only use it in the single-player missions and one of the operations modes--original multiplayer stays the same.

GS: We understand the expansion will include a new set of multiplayer vehicles. Give us a rundown of them, how they work, and what they add to the game.

TH: I can only reveal some right now, so I'll do [a few of my] favorites. The first is the Schwimmwagon--this amphibious vehicle was used as a scout car--which acts as a great early-game harassment and capture vehicle. The second would be the Hellcat, a mean little tank destroyer used by the Allies. And then there is the Kangaroo, which the British used. It acts as a troop carrier and, while slower than others, is much more [heavily] armored. These new units are swapped for existing units and fill the role of the unit they are replacing in multiplayer, but people can also play with the "classic" units.

GS: What other additions and tweaks to Company of Heroes' multiplayer will Tales of Valor add?

TH: While there are some adjustments to multiplayer balance based off community feedback, the biggest multiplayer addition are the game modes. Invasion is a cooperative mode where players defend a town against waves of attackers--a very fun comp-stomp mode. In Assault, players choose a hero unit and join a larger battle to push back the front lines of their enemy and destroy their base. And finally we have Panzerkrieg. Multiplayer tank destruction using direct fire is a recipe for mayhem.

Tales of Valor will be available later this year.

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about Tales of Valor, or about Company of Heroes in general?

TH: Tales of Valor has allowed us to create a more-intimate single-player experience while greatly expanding multiplayer. We think we've struck a good balance that meets the needs of both audiences.

GS: Thanks, Tim. Looking forward to it.

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Discussion

155 comments
Slig0
Slig0

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Bambii12633
Bambii12633

Who said this is what the fans want well for one i wont Russians and Japanese

KINGT9X
KINGT9X

is this game like the real time strategy command and conquer where you build units? i wouldnt wana buy the game and be dissapointed

Mspanky
Mspanky

i hope that they will fix that "nat negotiation failure" in multiplayer ! that would make my day and hearing about new units and direct fire mode, is really something to wait for in this upcoming game! *cheers*

kwloy
kwloy

I got mixed felling on this 1.

Sudden_ATTACK
Sudden_ATTACK

Its a brit,a Amerikaner and a PanzerElite commander

Sudden_ATTACK
Sudden_ATTACK

im good at Direct fire...since i play games like FoW and SHOWWII....but i want this and Men Of War(Faces of War but a better graphics and newstuff)...what should i get?

Alex_22_muie
Alex_22_muie

Can„t wait for this one and Homeworld 3

DevilDog68
DevilDog68

o yeah one more thing the American forces should be able to dig foxhole kinda like the slit trench!

DevilDog68
DevilDog68

is there any good rts about the pacific theater in ww2? If not thats whats what should be made next or a vietnam war based rts.

OverLord1228
OverLord1228

THE GUY ON THE COVER OF THE GAME LOOKS EITHER FRENCH OR SOVIET? WE HAVE TO SEE EITHER ONE THE AXIS SHOULD HAVE JAPNEESE OR ITALY

jakednb
jakednb

I see no reason why there shouldn't be a set of games (like in Battlefield..) using the CoH engine for different periods. CoH vietnam, CoH modern... a ton of fun...

mataviados
mataviados

I think (and hope) that relic is keeping the soviets and the japenese factions for CoH 2. That would be really awesome because they have different fightning styles if compared to the allies or the germans.

2122
2122

rock i hope they just keep making ww2 ones 2

rockatanski
rockatanski

I can't wait for a modern version of this with the same engine!!

Don111
Don111

Intersting looks like another addition to a great game (when will there be a company of heroes 2?)

niklev83
niklev83

Soldiers Heroes of WW2, Faces of War and Men of War are more or less the same game...They were made in that order by more or less the same developers... Men of War being the newest game in the series... but due to some copyright issues the names had to be changed with each title... Waiting for Men of War since I enjoyed both Soldiers and Faces of War... But this Company of Heroes title was a surprise to me.... and a Great surprise it was... Now I have 2 great games to look forward too.... (Just a little detail I noticed while having both games installed on my computer... The icons if not for the different letters and color scheme are generally the same... hehe...)

dark_death78
dark_death78

i retract my previous statement about Men of War because i was thinking about Faces of War, my bad :P, i've never played Men of War, sorry guys

dark_death78
dark_death78

to iamslow123: Men of War is a great game, but it's not for everyone, a fair bit of micromanaging, and it's focus isn't fast paced action like COH, they're quite different in essence. I'm curious how this new COH will pan out...

corlorde
corlorde

Looking forward to this, woohoo.

simonsworld
simonsworld

oh yea,am excited baby been waiting for another COH game since the last game opposing fronts, and yes men of war looks intresting, but better than COH? "iamslow"indeed you are you naive child, COH has progressed over the last 2/3 years, and you mention budget well COH was created by a small english company called relic (awesome game engine), there budget is big, not because game sites lick there ass, but because it sells crap loads of games, and is quality,best ww2 rts game ever made.

dejan-k
dejan-k

Men of War looks great! Thanks for info iamslow123.

niklev83
niklev83

iamslow123, I can't wait for that game to be released... :)

iamslow123
iamslow123

you guys should check out MEN of War, if you like COH then MOW is like COH on steroids coh is a rip off compared to MOW.....MOW doesnot have the budget of COH to advertise like i said if u like COH you will forget about it once you try MOW MEN OF WAR go google it

dejan-k
dejan-k

i am a huge fan of coh! I only hopes that this ep be like original !

murdilator
murdilator

i've been a huge fan of the company of heroes series since its release, but this third expansion really disappoints me. if They're just going to add new units and some campaigns then why not put it in a patch? I understand they want to make the singleplayer more "intimate," but hell we have both Brother's in Arms: Hell's Highway and Call of Duty 5: World at War both focusing on the same issue (and an RTS will never compare to a FPS when it comes to individuality, since its nature is more along the lines of world domination), so I think this is a lame and lazy move on Relic's part. They should at least add more playable factions if they are going to sell this.

bloody_taco
bloody_taco

okay so just because TOV dosnt have a japanese and soviet faction dosnt meen you should blow it off. they where focusing on making it a better experiance, not re-make the game, because first off, they would probably have to add hand to hand, seeing as how the japanese did about enough bayonetting as they did shooting. and the russians where basicaly "we have more men than you have bullets." and direct controle? " COH has been all about getting into the gritty WWII fighting, this is adding another feature where the player can aim a gun....whats so bad about that?

niklev83
niklev83

tooki, notice I said "in general" American... And if you've read any of my posts in the forum, i already had to explain this to someone... I know the studio is in Canada... What am I supposed to say North American? America is America my friend...

kAzrules
kAzrules

Direct controll........hmmmmm

Trifler
Trifler

Agreed a Soviet campaign similar to the original would be excellent.

painkiller6363
painkiller6363

they need to go with 1) the soviet theater 2) the pacific theater 3) Vietnam war would b awsome!!!!

tooki
tooki

niklev83, I feel I should point out that Relic is not an American studio (at least not in the sense that they're based in the USA), they're Canadian.

pooya_d
pooya_d

I hope it is not as silly as opposing front wich in my point of view was a huge failure

rishadali
rishadali

Soldiers: Heroes of WWII is not close when it comes to AI design of COH 1/2 , They are incomparable , I presume Tales of Valor would be more in the genre of WIC...But would miss the originals ..

fre3ze_fm
fre3ze_fm

I have started getting a flair for FPS games so i am definately gonna try this one out.

-erased-
-erased-

No Soviets... No Japanese... direct Control... uhmm.. crap?

Dune571
Dune571

Well I loved Soldiers: Heroes of WWII, but they should definitely give it credit sounds like they are totally ripping, I think soldiers even called it by the same name in the manual.

niklev83
niklev83

Here is the thing guys... If they can do it better (direct control) and keep everything else that has made this game what it is today, then I'm all for it !!! I loved this feature in Soldiers, Faces of War and hopefully in Men of War... But the whole design of this game in terms of the base construction and building units is awesome... and I don't want it to change...

ImperialDane
ImperialDane

Because it's not possible that this could have happened by chance right ?

DJcheerios
DJcheerios

DIrect control...hmmm I wonder where I've hear that before.. OH YEAH! SOLDIERS: HEROES OFWWII. Not that I'm particularily upset by this, they're taking a great concept, and hopefully executing it better, but this sounds pretty much exactly what Soldiers did.

killerloro
killerloro

this looks really amazing like the original game

Artosa
Artosa

western front is old! russian/soviet front is needed!