|Company of Heroes 2|
|Publisher(s)||Sega (initially THQ)|
Essence Engine |
Havok (Physics Engine)
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS|
Company of Heroes 2 is a real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sega for the Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux platforms. It is the sequel to the critically acclaimed 2006 game Company of Heroes.
As with the original Company of Heroes, the game is set in World War II with focus on the Eastern Front. Company of Heroes 2 runs on Relic Entertainment's proprietary Essence 3.0 game engine, which THQ claims allowed the developer to bring new technological advancements to the game. In January 2013, Sega acquired Relic Entertainment and along with it the Company of Heroes intellectual property from THQ. The game was released on June 25, 2013, in North America and Europe.
The campaign features the Soviet Red Army as a new faction and takes the player to various stages of the Eastern Front campaign, from Operation Barbarossa to the Battle of Berlin. The game is built on Relic's proprietary Essence 3.0 engine, which showcases new improvements compared to Relic's previous games. One such improvement is the new line-of-sight technology, TrueSight, which aims to better emulate troop visibility in real combat. In contrast to traditional unit visibility, TrueSight more accurately represents a unit's visibility range based on environmental conditions and type of unit. Essence 3.0 also incorporates an innovative weather-simulating technology known as ColdTech and destructible environments.
Weather conditions are a major factor in gameplay, with movement and action penalties applied to players' units. Since many battles in the Eastern Front occurred in winter weather, troops can die of frostbite if caught in the outside during blizzards. Bonfires protect soldiers from the cold at the expense of enemy detection. Players moving through deep snow will move at a reduced speed. Certain maps have frozen bodies of water, allowing for more movement options. However, players face the danger of being attacked from the other side; as a result, the ice can buckle under the weight of the units in movement.
Company of Heroes 2 takes advantage of DirectX 11 but also supports DirectX 9. The game also utilizes Valve's Steamworks technology with matchmaking and achievements. In regards to strategy mechanics, the game retains the traditional Company of Heroes formula.
The game introduces the Theater of War, a series of single-player and cooperative missions detailing various aspects of the Eastern Front campaign from both the German and Soviet sides. Eighteen missions set in 1941 will be part of the game upon release with the missions from 1942 onwards available as downloadable content. Game developer Quinn Duffy said the rich history of World War II on the Eastern Front is an opportunity to show other stories from the war. The game also offers the player a chance to complete side quests in a mission such as protecting civilians caught in the crossfire.
Multiplayer, probably the most-played component of the original game, returns. The first Company of Heroes was acclaimed for being one of the greatest RTS games of its time. Company of Heroes 2 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, with much being added and some things being changed. For better or worse, Relic has come out with another RTS game, and if you liked the multiplayer experience in the first one, you at least owe it to yourself give this one a go.
There are five playable factions in Company of Heroes 2:
- Soviet Union (Allies)
- Wehrmacht Ostheer (Axis)
- US Forces (Allies)
- Oberkommando West (Axis)
- British Forces (Allies)
The game's story focuses on the Eastern Front campaign as narrated through flashbacks by Lev Abramovich Isakovich, a Soviet Army lieutenant locked up at a gulag in Siberia in 1952. An Army officer interrogates him about his experiences during the war.
THQ first announced the sequel to the acclaimed Company of Heroes in May 2012. THQ executive vice president of core games Danny Bilson noted that the publisher will continue working on Company of Heroes 2 following its launch next year. He said gamers can expect a "strong post-launch support digital content plan that enhances and expands the product's lifecycle." On December 19, 2012, publisher THQ filed for bankruptcy just after postponing the release date of the video game. The following month, on January 23, 2013, it was announced that THQ had sold Relic Entertainment to Sega for US$26.6 million as part of an auction of the company's properties as a result of the bankruptcy.
On March 6, 2013, Sega announced that Company of Heroes 2 would be released in North America and Europe on June 25, 2013. A few weeks later, the company announced that the first closed beta would begin on April 2, 2013. The open beta was released to the public on June 4, 2013, after the stress tests and the closed beta sessions were finished.
The game has received positive reviews.
PCWorld - 3.5/5
IGN - 8.4/10
GameSpot - 7.5/10
Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies
- Wiki article here.
Upon the release of the standalone expansion, Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies, the total number of playable factions has been brought up to 4. The two new factions added are the US Forces and the German Oberkommando West. These factions play out very differently from the two vanilla factions in many different ways.
It is purely a multiplayer expansion pack, meaning it includes new multiplayer maps and new multiplayer factions but does not add to the campaign. Players with the new pack can battle with players owning the original game and vice versa (obviously, purchasing Western Fronts pack will not allow the buyer access to the Soviet and the Ostheer armies).
Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault
- Wiki article here.
Released on November 18, 2014, Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is centered around the Battle of the Bulge, a brutal conflict on the western front. Its new non-linear campaign mode is focused on the United States repelling the German attacks.
Company of Heroes 2: British Forces
Released on September 3, 2015, Company of Heroes 2: British Forces is the latest instalment in the franchise. It allows use of the British Forces faction in online and multiplayer game modes. It includes 8 new multiplayer maps.