Company of Heroes 2 Announced!
As I looked over the list of different World War 2 themed games that I had I could not make up my mind. I prowled through the internet looking for some note worthy news or games, and then it happened. Company of Heroes 2 was announced, and according to the promises on the main site it is meant to be a better and improved Company of Heroes, yet different.
Company of Heroes 2, this time on the Eastern Front
This time we are not facing the Allies on the Western Front. This time the year is 1941, the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, and you play as the Soviets:
“Company of Heroes 2 takes the fight to the snow-filled fields of the Eastern Front as players command the Soviet Red Army during the World’s darkest hour. It is the year 1941, and the forces of Germany have just begun Operation Barbarossa, as they push East to conquer Russia in what would become the costliest conflict of the war. It is up to you, commander of the Russian Red Army, to push back the Nazi invaders and free Mother Russia!”
What is important about this “time stamp” are the tanks available, at the time. The Tiger I, Panther, JagdPanzer IV and other “popular” Axis tanks are not available. On one side you will have the Panzer IVs and Panzer IIIs, while on the other a number of early variants of the T-34 as well as a few out-dated tanks. At this early stage of the war the Soviets suffered from poor training and organization which allowed the Axis forces to quickly overwhelm, surround and destroy large bulks of the Red Army. What eventually turned the tide was the coming of “General Winter” (Russian Winter), Siberian reinforcements and Hitler’s indecision on a single attack plan (he kept changing his priorities and strategic objectives). According to the official announcement the campaign could go all the way to 1945 (“(…) smash your way to Berlin.”). As some community members pointed out, if the campaign covered the entire 1941-1945 spectrum we could be facing an extremely long campaign. Considering how long the original Company of Heroes US campaign was (and that only covered a short time period) imagine four years of war.
The graphics in Company of Heroes are said to be improved with the use of the Essence 3.0 Engine, while realism will be further expanded:
“Company of Heroes 2 raises the bar of the standard in PC Real Time Strategy. Powered by the new Essence 3.0 Engine, Company of Heroes 2 features incredible graphic fidelity and cutting-edge technology. With the unprecedented new TrueSight™ system, fog of war is no longer a guessing game as unit visibility on the battlefield relies on true and proper line of sight.”
More Commander Abilities, different battle tactics, a more complex game overall. There are plenty of promises and I do hope THQ will live up to them. Company of Heroes was one of my favourite games and I am pleased that a new installment is being worked on. I am sceptical of how much better will the new Company of Heroes be, since the standard set by the old game and numerous mods (Eastern Front, Blitzkrieg, Europe in Ruins) might be difficult to surpass.
Time will tell, for now let’s keep our eyes out, and await the first trailer and gameplay videos which will set the foundation for this (hopefully) great title.
Alex “WriterX” Bielski