Nor, for that matter, does it support dual video cards in Crossfire or SLI configuration. It takes a lot of time for the campaign to introduce its resource-gathering mechanics, however, so if you're new to the series, don't expect the campaign to do an entirely great job of getting you prepared to take on human opposition. Where Isakovich's campaign story spans 14 missions, the Theatre of War has 18 missions for 1941 alone – the years progress as more battles are won – split between the German and Soviet sides. It's very similar to the original title, but the improvements made since (and previewed at E3) allow for a more matured, fleshed-out and entertaining strategy experience. PC Gamer is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Company of Heroes 2 is an excellent real-time strategy game. Soldiers trying to move in the middle of blizzards risk being snuffed out by the cold itself, and anyone traversing over a frozen lake risks a watery death should enemies rain explosives down upon them. I made a beeline straight for this mission on the meta-map and, a matter of 20 minutes later, had successfully routed the defending Nazis. Terms of Use and The atmosphere is intense and filled with bass-rumbling sounds, and an orchestral score that provides the perfect background. Privacy Policy, Now Playing: Video Review - Company of Heroes 2. Once you've reached that point, you've probably earned a relatively high rank--meaning you have also earned persistent unit bonuses, such as increased accuracy for your antitank guns, or increased damage for your T-34s. At a given time a player will control anywhere from five to twenty squads, which doesn't seem like it would be that hard to do, but it can be hectic to keep everyone moving and alive. Doubly so when almost all of the game's units have a slew of personal abilities that can be activated in the heat of battle. For much of the rest of the story I was driving the steamroller inexorably closer to Berlin. I found yet more in the game's multiplayer: replacing the game's slightly wonky AI with real humans makes for ludicrously tense matches, even if a few tactics – mortar spam, particularly – feel entirely too effective for their own good. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors. It suffers most as a game when it's trying to tell its weighty story. If you are a classic fan of the series and you're only interested in the multi-player, it's hard to say if you'll find enough here invest in this if you already played the first. But when it finds its target, Company of Heroes 2 delivers a loud and mighty payload. CoH2's AI is a bit suspect, leading to some confusing scenarios. The scenarios are tightly-focused missions revolving around one aspect of the war that year, and they are some of my favorite missions in the game. The Theater includes a number of cooperative and solo challenges, which are typically much more challenging than the campaign. The cold weather adds to this dilemma of having to choose to lose expensive units, since having them out too long can cause them to freeze to death. It plays out the same as in the first game, either with players fighting over control points or simply trying to demolish each other. On my third attempt I had the crazy idea, "What if I blew up the bridge?" There is a competitive multiplayer, of course. And violence. The game focuses on the Eastern front of World War II, and during the campaign the player takes on the role of the Russians. Squads gain experience whilst in combat, and having veteran units is an invaluable tool. When examined up close, the changes introduced to distinguish warfare on the Eastern Front of World War II from the Western are as problematic as they are interesting. Most campaign missions don't require that kind of high-end strategizing, however. It's a subtle change of gameplay, but drastically changes how gamers will play when they're the Soviets. All of the new mechanics fit well with the Eastern Front setting. You're expected to make good use of your surroundings and make tactical decisions on the fly, or you will end up with your backside being handed to you repeatedly. The gunner pauses for a moment before turning awkwardly on the spot, grinning like he's been told a joke, and shooting all his mates. I had won the battle, but it had a hugely negative effect on my overall war. Balance is key to successful multiplayer matches, and the game mostly hits the right marks in this regard, with some exceptions. These are spectacular moments from a visual perspective in a sharp-looking game, but rarely are such sights just for show. You will receive a verification email shortly. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, After a few of my squad were squished under its 70-tonne tracks, I began to lay down tripwires and traps. All of the cover can be destroyed if the other guy has a big enough gun. While the campaign is focused on the Russians, the Theater includes both USSR and German missions, some of which are wildly intense and entertaining. It isn't perfect, since nothing is, but came as close as you could get in a given genre. 8/10 Get involved in … Enemies in my path were like locks that I could choose to either smash through or delicately unpick. This familiarity is unlikely to breed much contempt, however, given Company of Heroes 2's consistent level of enjoyment. While the conscripts aren't so useful on their own, they can be split up into existing squads of more experience. "Do I have them run in and face certain death, or do I hold back and wait for a better opportunity?" I found most of the character and cleverness that was missing from CoH2's campaign mode in these Theatre of War missions. The horrors of the eastern warfront are hard-pressed into Company of Heroes 2, from the aforementioned weather and environment challenges to the way the Soviet army treats conscripts themselves - the campaign will often have the player throw waves of unfortunate conscripts at entrenched machinegunnners or even light up flaming fire traps behind the player's own soldiers, dooming them to a horrible death to cover a bulk of retreating soldiers. It feels like a lot: keeping track of an entire army is stressful, especially when many of the game's missions demand you fight on two fronts in addition to defending your base from roving groups of grenadiers. In most missions, squads can be trained at your home base or brought into battle as conscripts. Company of Heroes 2 comes off strong with its new campaign, and it packs an impressive amount of extra features. © It results in locking you into a set of abilities, such as the German Festung Support Doctrine that grants abilities like off-map artillery and auto-reinforcing infantry, or the Soviet Guard Motor Coordination Tactics, which is an armor specialization that can summon medium tanks and debuff enemy armor. You might see all of this offline and cooperative play as the lead-up to Company of Heroes 2's multiplayer suite, and it's online that you see some of strategy gaming's finer moments, along with a few nods to modern gamification that don't improve the online game in any meaningful way.


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