Developers: Relic Entertainment
The snow is littered with debris, and the smouldering husk of a German tank is all that remains of the penultimate armoured column on my hitlist. Six are down, only one remains. My veteran anti-tank commandos have done their jobs well, vanquishing their trundling, turreted adversaries with rifles and the occasional river. The fourth and fifth to fall were condemned to an icy grave after weakening a frozen river's surface and feigning a retreat. Now, however, the engineers who built fires to keep us safe from the cold are all face down in the dirt, and all I can do is watch my grizzled team slowly succumb to the freezing clutches of General Winter.
Just as my last triple-starred officer broaches line of sight on the final tank, he topples into the deep Siberian snow and snuffs it. The game's designer Jason Lee simply laughs at me. "To be honest," he says, "I didn't manage that one the first time around. But you came really close!" I can't tell if he's just being nice or not.
It's been a while since I've played Company of Heroes and, in that time, I've revisited my love for other RTS games such as Supreme Commander and Command & Conquer, not to mention real-time tactical gems such as Commandos. I always found that Company of Heroes managed to fulfil both sides of the coin rather well, providing a stage set for large-map strategy and resource balancing, alongside detailed micromanagement and a tactical challenge that few RTS titles could hope to stand up to.
So it is, having spent much of the last fortnight getting to grips with the multiplayer beta for Company of Heroes 2 and the upcoming game's Theatre of War mode, that I've found myself dying a lot. Half a decade of playing lesser strategy titles has only served to dull the mind and stiffen the fingers.Click here to read more...
SEGA have unveiled an all-new mode for Company of Heroes 2 called 'Theatre of War' that will see players taking on a wealth of skirmish-specific solo and co-op challenges, playing across a number of battlefields and location across 1941's Eastern Front.
Players can opt to choose to be either the Soviets or the Germans, with each faction serving up nine missions from which to choose: three solo challenge missions set in extreme conditions, three skirmishes against an AI with a distinct play style, and three co-op scenarios so you can take the field with a chum.
“We get a lot of requests from fans to showcase specific conflicts from the war and it isn’t always possible to fit these into the campaign," said producer Greg Wilson. "Theatre of War gives us the opportunity to deliver these new gameplay experiences to our fans.”
We'll have a hands-on preview from our time with the multiplayer beta and Theatre of War very soon.