One of my favorite strategy games of all time is Relic’s Company of Heroes, a WW2-based title with crazy graphics that was tearing down buildings and deforming terrain a long time before Battlefield: Bad Company. As great as it was, CoH wasn’t super popular, so I never got my hopes up for a sequel.
In an actual surprise announcement, Relic has revealed Company of Heroes 2, set on the Eastern Front. As such, they’re bringing in a lot of the factors that made that side of the war one of the most brutal conflicts in human history. The winters on the Russian front were so brutal that troops gave them the nickname “General Winter” to reflect how badly mother nature could eff up their plans.
So it is with Company of Heroes 2, where fighting during winter presents its own set of challenges for your army. Soldiers struggle through snow drifts and freeze to death while tanks crossing frozen lakes have to be careful not to crack the ice. Of course, this leads to situations where you can use the landscape to your advantage, like withdrawing over weakened ice, leaving the heavy tanks chasing you to fall into a watery grave.
Engineers now become even more important as they can set up life-saving fire pits across the battlefield, essential for immobile units such as mortar and machine-gun squads. Well-placed engies can also nab vacated enemy tanks, something that could change the tide of battle.
Players haven’t really had to contend with weather as a factor before, so it will be interesting to see how this will play out when the game hits. Add this to the Truesight mechanic, where each unit has a cone of sight to cut through the Fog of War as opposed to casting a large circle of clairvoyance, might shake up the RTS genre as much as the original CoH did.
I’m definetely excited for this game, and it sounds like Relic is tuning up the engine to be scalable on a wide range of PCs, something that hamstrung the first title. Who’s in for a romp in the snow when this drops in 2013?
Source – Polygon