RTS’s always attract some of the most skilled people able to think of complex stratagems when confronted by different problems and able to react in kind, then theirs me, just casually throwing a large amount of troops in the general direction of the enemy, or that’s how it feels when I play RTS’s.
I always felt that company of hero’s 1 got a rather muted response, as it seems at the moment RTS games that are not set in the future don’t seem to gather much of a following, I’m sure that the setting isn’t the reason for this but it’s just how it seems to pan out (I’m look at you world in conflict you amazing game you). Company of Hero’s 2 is relics new take on the series, after designing space marines and tau in War Hammer series were going back to the Second world war to recreate what most have played through in every aspect and view imaginable.
CoH2 takes the same setting as previous games, you have your Allies and Axis fighting in everything from snow to villages each have different advantages and problems. For example the snow areas you have to battle against the cold, your infantry will become affected by the cold if you do not and your building units will take much longer to construct. Though right now the beta is multiplayer only and there is no single player right now, so working together in the cold with your team mates will help, building a fire near both your base and theirs will allow you both to benefit from its warming touch. Combat hasn’t changed much, though its taking a cue from Dawn of War2 where your infantry can be ordered to take cover behind objects such as walls by hovering the mouse near them and green icons will appear showing where they will take cover. This will help with defence and some infantry such as snipers become invisible when doing so.
The battle will be decided of course with resource, the team who captures the most flag and plants a resource gather on it will more than likely be winning due to being able to over whelm the other team, there are 3 types of resource, Man Power, which starts at a high 300 per minute, then fuel and ammo, these are the two types of gather you can plant on flags to help get more for your team, though resource is not shared, the gathering effect is.
Units can be upgraded to help them put up more of a fight, with infantry being able to equip new weapons that allow them to take down either infantry or vehicles more efficiently, this will give a slight advantage to those who get them first, but after a while it will be a moot point unless you put your infantry with a BAR against anti-tank. This can be used to help devise decent tactics to overcome your enemies.
You also get 3 different trees to advance down, each represented by different generals or commanders, each one allows you to unlock different tech and different units such as advance tanks and infantry. You can customise the skill tree’s you get by “equipping” different generals, though in the beta so far there are only three you can pick from so far, but they do allow for many different armies to be built up, from support to offence. This part of customisation is nice, it allows different people to play in any way they want.
Graphically the game is beautiful, with most of the buildings being destroyable the game will change, by the end of a match the world will look completely different and will change the way you are playing the game. Effects such as smoke and fire look great as well but it will take a performance hit due to these, so those of you with higher end graphics cards will be happy to hear that this will allow them to stretch their graphics cards legs, which is always nice to hear.
The only problems with the beta so far is that it has been very hard to find matches, not because of the small amount of people playing the game, but because 4/5 matches my game will crash to desktop 3-10 minutes into the game, which was terribly frustrating. Im unsure why the game crashed like this, updating drives and such did not fix the problem on my AMD card, but hopefully a newer driver revision will fix this problem.
All together the game is a solid RTS for fans of an older setting, all the mechanics are solid and allow new and old players to find brand new things to play here.