Company of Heroes 3
After about two weeks of pre-release play, we have a pretty good idea of Company of Heroes 3, although there are still some question marks. In general, we are happy with the game. The scenario option – Africa and Italy – is good, the game has been improved graphically and the factions and campaign offer a lot of new challenges. However, we do have some misgivings about the tactical pause, especially with the aggressive AI making the game less accessible for new and inexperienced players. Especially in this context, it’s a special option to override the “easy” AI. The game cannot match the previous parts yet, if only because of the limited number of maps. The good news is that mods will be supported from day one of release, until the community can do its job. So we hope that in the future this game will become even more fun and diverse.
These are great times for RTS fans. The past few years have seen a real revival, with remakes of old classics – like Command & Conquer and Final Editions of Age of Empires 1, 2, and 3 – as well as highly anticipated successors to old strategy games – like Age of Empires IV. It has also spawned new spin-offs and RTS, such as Iron Harvest based on Company of Heroes, and Dune Spice Wars, which have ties to the original RTS Dune II.
Only a sequel to the RTS topper C&C Generals is still missing from this list. In 2013, a project from EA to revive this game faltered when the development studio stalled in a free-to-play model and received a lot of criticism during beta testing from fans who complained about the quality of the game. For those fans, Company of Heroes was an interesting alternative, the sequel of which was released in the same year. Like C&C, this game takes place in the age of tanks, mortars, and planes and is all about defensive and offensive strategy to defeat the enemy. CoH 2’s game world had realistic looking landscapes with famous places where historical battlefields took place. A large portion of these gaming environments are still being created by an active community to this day.
We briefly discuss the basics, for those unfamiliar with Company of Heroes. It is basically similar to rts, Command & Conquer and Age of Empires, but not on the classic wood, gold and food principle. You don’t build an extensive village or gather resources around your base. Instead, you build a base of up to four or five buildings in which to train units. With these units, you can conquer different points on the map. By conquering them, you not only expand the area you control, but you also get resources like ammunition and fuel, which are generated at those points. With fuel, ammunition, and manpower, you can then train units or make upgrades. Your enemy will, of course, try to capture the points you have conquered and thereby thwart part of your supply of resources; Your area must remain contiguous to prevent this. Whoever controls the most territories has the best credentials to win the battle. So you will have to build a good defense on a broad front and at the same time provide enough resources and develop your base to produce tanks and artillery later in the battle and go on the offensive.
Company of Heroes 3
CoH 1 and 2
The first version of CoH appeared in 2006 and has been supplemented by a number of extensions in the following years. The sequel came out in 2013 and added the Red Army as a faction, as well as two expansions, including the Ardennes Offensive. The last expansion dates back to 2015, but there have been minor improvements in recent years, such as the arrival of additional commanders. The second version was initially criticized for the changes to the foundation of the game, particularly the addition of microtransactions. Both parts of CoH remain popular, thanks in part to user-generated content from the community, with new unit configurations and hundreds of new maps and scenarios. CoH 3 will also receive mod and map support from scratch, although these were not yet available during the review period.
Version 3 builds on this concept, but with more modern graphics, much improved AI, new environments – the African desert and Mediterranean Italy – and some new game principles. This is how the “tactical stop” was introduced. This allows you to pause all actions during a battle with AI opponents, and then issue multiple commands to your units in succession to quickly react to the enemy. This principle works well, but the question is whether this addition is useful to the game; After all it is Real time strategy. The campaign now also has a new layer on top of RTS, with a dynamic map where you and the enemy take turns – so cross turn basedPrinciple – take strategic steps. This is original and at the same time somewhat reminiscent of the initial rts of Dune II, but here too the question is how important is the added value. Moreover, the leaders from the second part disappeared again and the creators chose Battlegroups from the first part. During the game, you can choose from three combat groups with additional units and skills and external assistance consisting of two main options with branches. a Community Advocate Fans helped Relic and Sega pick these innovations, though of course Relic also made its own considerations.
In this review, we look at whether the game is a full successor to its illustrious predecessors, what we liked and didn’t like, and what the near future will look like, with tweaks and possibly additional expansions.
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