|Company of Heroes 2|
|Publisher(s)||Sega (initially THQ)|
Essence Engine |
Havok (Physics Engine)
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
Company of Heroes 2 is a real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sega for the Microsoft Windows platform. 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 on 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 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.
Arguably, the most played part of the game, the multiplayer, is back. Company of Heroes 1 was acclaimed for being one of the greatest RTS games of it's time. Company of Heroes 2 follows in the footsteps of it's predecessor, with much being added and some things being changed. For better or worse, Relic have come out with another RTS game, and if you liked the multiplayer experience in the first one, you at least owe it to yourself to give this one a go.
The four playable factions in Company of Heroes 2 are (the second two are from the standalone expansion pack, The Western Front Armies)
The US Forces (Allies)
The German Obercommando West (Axis)
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 in 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 will begin 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 gave the game 3.5 out of five stars.
IGN has given 8.4 saying More sequel-sized expansion than true successor, Company of Heroes 2 repeats many of the original CoH’s feats.
GameSpot gave the game 7.5 out of 10.
The game currently holds an average rating of 81% out of 33 reviews on Metacritic but 1.6 out of 10 user score thanks to the reasons described below.
The game's depiction of the Soviet war effort has caused an uproar of criticism and even caused the Russian publisher, "1C-Softclub", to cease distribution. Accusations include a heavily politicised storyline, vilification of the Soviet regime, depicting it using senselessly brutal tactics, exaggerating its oppressive nature and sometimes even attributing Nazi actions to it, depicting the Red Army as fighting only out of fear of repression, as well as using almost every cliché and national stereotype established by (biased) Cold War-era Western historiography; in stark contrast, the original Company of Heroes series remained generally apolitical. 
Standalone Expansion Edit
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 Obercommando 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 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 the western fronts pack will not gain the buyer access to the Soviet and the German armies).
- ↑ Jackson, Mike (May 7, 2012). "Company of Heroes 2 'briefing' on May 7". Computer and Video Games. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/346616/company-of-heroes-2-briefing-on-may-7/. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- ↑ Makuch, Eddie (May 7, 2012). "Company of Heroes 2 confirmed for 'early 2013'". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/news/company-of-heroes-2-confirmed-for-early-2013-6375383. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Sliwinski, Alexander (January 23, 2013). "THQ bid winners, prices and runners-up". Joystiq. http://www.joystiq.com/2013/01/23/thq-bid-winners-prices-and-runners-up/. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- ↑ Purchese, Robert (January 25, 2013). "Sega and Relic and the whereabouts of the Warhammer 40,000 IP". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-01-25-sega-and-relic-and-the-whereabouts-of-the-warhammer-40-000-ip. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Corriea, Alexa Ray (March 6, 2013). "Company of Heroes 2 coming on June 25". Polygon. http://www.polygon.com/2013/3/6/4070876/company-of-heroes-2-coming-on-june-25. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 McGee, Maxwell (May 22, 2012). "Surviving the Frozen Heart of Mother Russia". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/company-of-heroes-2/previews/surviving-the-frozen-heart-of-mother-russia-6378021/. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- ↑ Matulef, Jeffrey (July 24, 2012). "Company of Heroes 2's dynamic weather system will freeze your ass off". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-07-24-company-of-heroes-2s-dynamic-weather-system-will-freeze-your-ass-off. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- ↑ Regimbal, Austin (May 22, 2012). "Company Of Heroes 2 Will Have New Obstacles, Destructible Environment". GameBreaker. http://www.gamebreaker.tv/pc-games/company-of-heroes-2-hail-mother-russia/. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- ↑ Gallegos, Anthony (May 22, 2012). "Company of Heroes 2: Small Changes, Big Differences". IGN. http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/05/22/company-of-heroes-2-small-changes-big-differences. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- ↑ http://www.companyofheroes.com/news/frontline-stories-theatre-war
- ↑ http://www.coh2.org/news/3099/first-contact-company-of-heroes-2-single-player-campaign
- ↑ Gallegos, Anthony (May 3, 2012). "Company of Heroes 2 is Happening". IGN. http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/05/03/company-of-heroes-2-is-happening. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- ↑ Schreier, Jason (November 5, 2012). "South Park, Metro: Last Light, Company of Heroes 2 All Delayed". Kotaku. http://kotaku.com/5957904/south-park-metro-last-light-company-of-heroes-2-all-delayed. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- ↑ Sliwinski, Alexander (December 19, 2012). "THQ selling assets, files bankruptcy". Joystiq. http://www.joystiq.com/2012/12/19/thq-bankruptcy-sale/. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- ↑ Savage, Phil (March 28, 2013). "Company of Heroes 2 closed beta starts next week". PC Gamer. http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/03/28/company-of-heroes-2-closed-beta-starts-next-week/. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
- ↑ "Company of Heroes 2 open beta". June 4, 2013. http://www.companyofheroes.com/news/company-heroes-2-open-beta-live.
- ↑ http://www.pcworld.com/article/2042939/review-company-of-heroes-2-delivers-classic-rts-gameplay-on-the-eastern-front.html
- ↑ http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06/26/company-of-heroes-2-review.html
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/company-of-heroes-2/reviews/company-of-heroes-2-review-6410716/.html
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m4SCUaBHS8&sns=em
- ↑ http://www.polygon.com/2013/7/25/4553536/is-company-of-heroes-2-anti-russian
- ↑ http://galyonkin.com/2013/07/01/post-o-b-suzhdeniya-company-of-heroes-2/