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Company of Heroes 2 – Rally the Troops and Load Up the Guns

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Released back in 2006, Company of Heroes amazed the world with its remarkable gameplay, getting the highest rating for any strategy game from various publications. It got a respectable Metacritic score of 93/100, and was the first RTS game to feature defined faces with facial animations. Now, Relic Entertainment has tried to build upon that and bring an even better version. Company of Heroes 2 has been developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sega. It was released for PC on June 25, 2013.

Plot

The game’s story is focused on Eastern Front campaign of the World War II as narrated by Lev Abramovich Isakovich, a Soviet army lieutenant locked up at Gulag in Siberia. An army colonel, who is his old commanding officer, interrogates him about the war happenings.

Gameplay

This edition has utilized the Essence Engine 3 ― an improved version of the engine used in the original Company of Heroes. The new version allows for new technological advancements such as TruSight, ColdTech and better support for a multi-processor system. TruSight enables better emulation of the troops’ visibility range based on the type of unit and environmental conditions. Weather plays a major part in the gameplay because of the innovative weather simulation technology, ColdTech. Since many battles occur in winter, troops can die of frostbite if they are outside in extreme weather. Soldiers’ body temperatures are shown on a thermometer shaped bar, and the players can regain body temperature if they get close to a bonfire or have found a building to shelter in. They travel through deep snow at slower speeds. Some maps have frozen bodies of water, allowing for more routes. However, there is a danger of being attacked from the other side causing the ice to collapse, and the armies getting wiped out at once.

Resources can be gathered, i.e. manpower, munitions or fuel credits by capturing flagged points on the map, and then used to make units. Players can decide on the resource type to be built on any flagged area.

The building damage feature from Company of Heroes is retained and is now improved. Civilian buildings can be used to regain temperature, while other buildings to make units and weapons.

Combat mechanics have also been revamped. Units are recruited and ordered directly by the player, and every controllable unit has a construction cost and recruitment time, along with a range of fighting abilities. Units can be upgraded to improve effectiveness in battle, i.e. range, accuracy and firepower.

The game includes the new “Theater of War”, an interesting combination of both multiplayer and single-player missions. Eighteen missions set in 1941 are playable from the start, with missions from 1942 onwards available as DLC.

Verdict

The game with innovative features and an immersive storyline is surely great. With features like a fine career mode, realistic gameplay elements and an interesting multiplayer, Company of Heroes 2 is definitely recommended for all strategy game lovers. Give it a try!

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