Company of Heroes (PC) Reviews

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Company of Heroes (PC)

By: Rex Inego | Dec 12, 2007 01:52 AM

At first glance things dont look good for Company of Heroes. A PC Real Time Strategy set during World War II, oh dear. DonҒt be so hasty to turn away though, because if Relic taught us one thing with the Warhammer 40k series its that they know how to breathe new life into what has become an extremely tired genre.

The first thing you notice about Company of Heroes is how fantastic it looks. With the right gaming rig this game simply blows away any RTS before it. It may lack the sense of scale that is apparent in the Total War series but the attention to detail is superb, from the exquisite character models to the astounding backdrops and effects that litter the game.

The more time you spend with the game, the more you are immersed by it. ItҒs one of the few titles that makes you feel like you are in a true war-time environment. Major components of the gameplay such as the physics engine give this an immersion I havent felt since the opening level of Medal of Honour: Allied Assault. It succeeds in this vital area where many other RTS will fail Җ simply it doesnt make you feel detached from the conflict.

There are three fairly typical game options to choose from Җ Campaign, Skirmish and Multiplayer modes. I predict the majority of players will spend their time with either Campaign or Multiplayer. Skirmish is a fun addition of the game but due to its nature (just a simple battle mode) I canҒt see it holding many players attention for a long time. The multiplayer mode also doesnҒt hold many surprises, but as the basic gameplay is so entertaining there are countless hours of online and LAN play waiting. There have been reports of players struggling to get into games and issues with lag, but I personally didnt experience anything out the ordinary. These should however be fixed with an upcoming patch (at the time of writing).

Unsurprisingly the main attraction of the game lies with the Campaign mode. Fifteen missions, each dealing with individual episodes in the various battles that took place on and after the famous beach landings of World War II. The game has a sufficient learning curve, easing the player in with a simple first mission before slowly but surely raising the difficulty as the playerҒs experience increases. The campaign mode is certainly lengthy enough, expect to take 12-15 hours plus to complete it on normal or hard mode depending on your RTS experience.

One of the main talking points of the campaign mode is how the game flawlessly switches from a cinematic cutscene to gameplay. This helps increase a feeling of continuity in the gameplay and avoids falling into the trap of making fancy movie sequences that then appear to have little or no relevance to what you then play in game. This cinematic approach also aids in giving a sense of scale to the game, giving your individual soldiers a unique personality meaning that instead of them feeling just like any resource you actually want them all to survive.

If I have one criticism of the game it would be that it is just a bit too similar to the Dawn of War series. At certain points it does tend to feel like an updated version of Dawn of War set in World War II. The flipside of this is that Relic has been able to amend a few of the problems that plagued their other series for Company of Heroes. It may even end up working in favour for the developer newcomers are well catered for and it may even open their eyes to previous Relic titles (Dawn of War has always carried a certain stigma because of it֒s Warhammer roots.). The lack of ambition however may leave hardened fans feeling a bit cold.

Pros: - Awsome visuals - Good sound effects - Good music - Good campaign mode


conclusion: Great game.

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