We take a look at the early portions of the campaign in Relic's new World War II-era real-time strategy game, Company of Heroes.
Good Work, Soldier
This environmental action comes into play when you have units holed up in a building. Like the units in Command & Conquer: Generals or last year's underappreciated Act of War, Company of Heroes' infantry units can inhabit most of the buildings on the map and fire from the windows. They gain a good amount of protection from small-arms fire when garrisoned, but if you shell a house with mortars, or send your tanks up to destroy the building, bits and pieces will be torn off (and the bodies of any troops caught inside will be sent flying) until the building collapses in on itself.
While we're on the subject of tanks, let's discuss the intriguing combat systems that Relic has put into place to make tank combat a risky, but worthwhile, proposition. If you've played other strategy games, then you might expect tanks to take up more space in your army than foot soldiers. This is represented in Company of Heroes by the population cap--the upper limit of how many troops you can have at any given time. As you might expect, tanks take up more of your population cap than a few infantry units, but they can stand up to a lot more punishment. However, when you do put your tank in danger, you may not be able to anticipate what will happen to it. Tanks have a modular damage model in Company of Heroes and will lose functionality based on how and where they're hit. If you hit a tank from behind, you'll not only deal more damage to it because of its weaker rear armor, but you'll also stand a chance of damaging or disabling the engine, making it impossible for the tank to retreat. Powerful shots to the front of the tank will sometimes shear off its main gun, leaving it incapable of counterattacking. But our favorite way to bust a tank so far, though it's only possible when a tank is severely damaged, is to kill off its crew, which causes the vehicle to fly out of control, often driving in circles and crashing through walls and buildings, before you deliver the finishing blow.
If you think you'll pull off these feats of derring-do with ease, you'll find that the artificial intelligence in Company of Heroes will do its best to give you a challenge. We've seen some instances where enemy soldiers have a tendency to stay inside a building while it's being shelled to smithereens, but in general, your opponents in the single-player game are quite capable of running away when the going gets tough. This is especially true of enemy armor. If you happen to stumble across an enemy tank and overwhelm it with armor of your own, it'll rarely stand still to take the beating; instead, it'll back up and try to lure you into enemy territory, where you'll be incapable of resupplying your units. Enemy infantry will act similarly, using the game's built-in retreat command to escape dangerous situations and attempt to return behind the lines to safety.
The last major addition to the gameplay formula that caught our eye was the inclusion of a command system that seems similar to the overarching hero powers you may have seen in other strategy games. When you kill enemies or capture resource points, you'll gain experience points, and after gaining enough experience, you'll earn a command point. When you have a command point, you can choose your command from either airborne, infantry, or armor specializations. You can only have one command per battle, though, so choosing wisely is key.
As you continue to earn experience, you can unlock more powerful abilities that wreak havoc with on the battlefield. For instance, the armor command starts with some useful abilities, such as letting your light vehicles capture resource points (normally, only infantry can do this), while the most powerful upgrade will let you deploy an M26 Pershing Heavy Tank. The airborne command path, on the other hand, will initially let you airdrop infantry reinforcements, but if you continue to build up experience, you'll eventually be able to call in strafing runs or even bombing runs.
All things considered, Company of Heroes looks to be a very promising game for both real-time strategy fans and World War II buffs. The game's new strategic elements build on the features that Relic devised for its previous games and should make for some interesting new gameplay, especially in online multiplayer. The game is scheduled to ship in September.
Gentlemen! Thank you for your animated responses; I'm sorry you felt so threatened. The purpose of a "comment" is to express an opinion about a subject or idea, very much like the way you expressed yours. Comments often times are based solely on personal opinions. In this case, what I expressed is based on what I liked or didn't like about this game and what I believed would make the game(s) a more enjoyable experience. Each of us has our own level of what we believe is right or wrong, where we draw our lines and make our conclusions. There are a great many people in this world that think (and know) differently than you realize. They may not be as vocal because they don't feel they have to live on the defense. You know very little about people, respect or history, AND absolutely nothing about me. I hope you will take this friendly advice to heart and save yourselves a lot of unnecessary grief in life. I'm sure you'll enjoy the game no matter what, so unless your the developer, the opinions of others shouldn't matter a whole lot, right? Right......
bigelf72 you shouldnt be having a go at people for evoking their right to choice... Despite the fact that they see violence as a non-issue yet language offends them??? (thats a WTF right there). But the fact that they choose not to buy the games is good as they are not offended and we are able to play games that havent been censored... Its when the choice moves from the individual and various governments around the world start dictating what can and cant be said /watched/read thats BS. So let em choose what games they play and just sit back question why its ok to watch someone kill someone else but not hear them sware as they do it... then chcukle to yourself.. Then wonder why swearing would be such an issue for someone and probably come up with an answer similar to "religion" and think... hey that causes all the wars in the first place and WW2 was ok cos the church says it was then you'll probably have your answer on the swaring vs killing thing and then chuckle some more and then just wonder if its just you and me that actually "get it"..
Im sorry, but if your some 13 year old noob complaning about not wanting to buy a game because of its language.....your a loser. You may think that what i say is harsh....but seriously if you not 17+ shut-up...its an M rated game....your worthless rants mean nothing. Jawlesh and Kloudwalker you newbs are missing out on the best games on the market....who cares about cus words.....they are words that people have portrayed as offensive.....but really....they are just words. They dont really mean anything..... Also learn some history....the word F**k was made during the medievil days. The Royal sects where mingling with peasants (getting it on) so the king made a law called the "F**k act" (Fornicate under the Consent of the King"....it was the kings way of keeping royal blood pure.....if he didnt see you as a threat....he would allow that person to have relations with a peasant. So really....the F-word isn't a big deal....as far as realism.....war sucks....people die.....explosions and death everywhere....cusing has been in war for as long as war has been going on....(FOREVER) so simply adding to the realism isnt a big deal.....get over it....get a life...gg noobs.
Jawelsh, I agree 100% of what you wrote, I have also passed on games because of the language which have been a lot. maybe they will start putting in the games a toggle where you have the the option to turn it off or on. i also don't buy a lot of music for the same reason .
I'd just wish they would explore some more battles of WWII rather than the ones with the Speilberg/Hanks stamp of approval. The maps mentioned have been done sooo many times before... Otherwise this game looks like it will rock!
Is it so necessary to have bad language to give a sense of realism? It really is only just a game. I realize we live in the real world and will hear it regardless, but that doesn't mean we have to embrace it in every aspect of life. It really is a shame; these games are fantastic and their graphics are awesome! I have discarded some games for this reason alone that were new purchases. It would be nice if there were more language controls in these games. Often times the rating systems are somewhat misleading, but I'm glad the developers seem to be mentioning more and more what the specific content of the games are. I have become very selective as a result of this concern. I would purchase many more games were it not for this "problem". My hope is that in the future these developers will be consciencious of this and know that it doesn't take bad language to make a great game - they've already done that! Thanx
Sounds really good, but.. can both sides be played? The article mentions "the Allied campaign". So does that mean there's an Axis campaign too? I hope so, otherwise it's yet another rehash of hitting the beach at Normandy ...
blackIceJoe said: The game looks good same with the movie so I hope this RTS game will be a fun one. I hope Battle for middle earth sells well because if it does the designers said they would port it to the 360. But it if does not come out at least there is always the PC. So I can't wait to see what the difference will be from this WW2 RTS then from others. Battle For Middle Earth 2 is already out for the 360.
The game looks good same with the movie so I hope this RTS game will be a fun one. I hope Battle for middle earth sells well because if it does the designers said they would port it to the 360. But it if does not come out at least there is always the PC. So I can't wait to see what the difference will be from this WW2 RTS then from others.
Nice, love RTS games, hopefully it'll be cool. Graphics look awesome, hopefully multiplayer is fun too.
Don't underestimate this title as "just another WW2 RTS" this game is the real deal, I've been part of the beta test for a couple of weeks now and this title never ceases to amaze me even in it's beta stage. A must buy for every RTS fan out there and hopefully a good benchmark for RTS titles coming out in the future.
This looks like a must buy, I am a huge fan of CoD series and nothing gets a game going than good AI and quick gameplay :) looking forward to this.
To JDFS: Have you even played the beta? It's not scripted at all. Pretty much everything can be destroyed, and the AI and physics in this game are amazing. It's awesome when theres an enemy squad or sniper in a building, and they pin your troops down, then you send in a tank and blow the crap out of a building and the troops go flying.
Ummm, Im part of the beta, and no its not scripted, the physics are amazing, you can destroy anything in pretty much any way.... and the AI is amazing, its NEVER the same each time you play, Im sorry JDFS but your wrong, this game is amazing
I don't think it's scripted per say they worked alot on the AI and i'm beting it's going to be making the descions on how to play. It's told to kill you from certain ways and it's gonna try hard to do so. But the map is never the same for the game it will have replay ability i think and if not it will still be a good run before I become lost in it's vast multiplayer fun.
Looks like scripted missions which sucks because it is not replayable, and since it is linear it is worse, this game will last a week or 2 then most of people will get bored, I see it coming like I did many times before. But I guess you can have a few days of fun if you like linear games.
Indeed its a great RTS ww2 game JUST MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT COMPUTER TO PLAY IT!!! And A Great Video Card. Sorry for the caps.
Wow, this game is going to be great. That modular damage model they are using for tanks sounds really awesome, lot of strategy will be allowed by this.