World War 2 is Still Interesting
Around 15 to 17 hours. That is how long it will take you to beat the 15 level campaign of Company of Heroes (CoH). Either that or I make a really bad general. If you do not know what CoH is let me inform you as to what it is. It is a World War 2 Real Time Strategy Game. The makers of Dawn of War bring you Company of Heroes. The land of the brave, where soldiers die for you and French wine is abundant. Getting drunk on wine though is not the subject of this game. We have all been there before, pushing the Nazi war machine back into Germany and ultimately watching Hitler piss his pants. Or did he kill himself? Either way we know the outcome. If you have a decent computer that runs, oh lets say, Half-Life 2 Episode One on high settings you are going to get a gorgeous game. The “Essence Engine” which is Relic’s new RTS engine shows what its made of with destructive environments, hill sides, multi-level maps, and fireworks galore. When you send your first artillery shower onto a group of panzers you will be delighted to see dirt fly up in the air and massive explosions as the panzers blow up along with the people inside. While most WW2 games tend to make the world look bleak a lot of times the French and German countryside come out as a nice serene place where The Sound of Music may have occurred. It only becomes bleak when you decimate it while liberating the French from Nazi Control.
I have not talked on much of game play and usually I would do that in the first or second paragraph. Ultimately controls are the same as Dawn of War except some exceptions. You have three resources; munitions, manpower, and fuel. All of which you will need to conduct a coordinated attack on the enemy. You obviously capture certain control points to acquire these resources and use them to deploy troops, tanks, throw grenades, and call in air strikes….and so on. Then there also strategic control points that one would think most of them would be useful but most of the time they really aren’t. As I played through the game I just found it necessary to control most of the map and completely obliterate Hitler’s toys. The campaign also very subtly sneaks in one of the multiplayer modes that way you will know what to do when you actually play the mode. The mode is one where you just control strategic points. Now it only does this for one map but, it is a good way of introducing you to it. I won’t elaborate anymore because if you played Dawn of War or any other RTS you should be able to pick this game up with ease.
The sounds of the game are not only phenomenal but, immersive. Go ahead and turn up the volume of your speakers to experience the “sound” of shell shock during an artillery blast or hear the very pissed off infantry or arrogant mechanics. There are obviously guns in this game now it’s not always clear what is being used but, the sounds are nice and just add more to the fact that you wish you had been in WW2. Think of it this way, back then you had to go to war to be a “man.” Now we just hate you if you go to war in Iraq. The musical score for this game will lift your hearts and sometimes make you think you are watching Saving Private Ryan which this game, no doubt, takes inspiration from. That is noticed in the very cinematic beginning of this game. Watch your army take a beating on the beaches of Normandy while you try to rescue 25 of 100 people. Load times aren’t really that bad but feel long because it doesn’t play music during them. Not really a con just the load times aren’t as long as some people may think they are. The story of Company of Heroes is told through a very cool artistic style combined with game cinematics that feel very unique and professional. This game will take you through hell and back again, through night and day, in the end your small and big combat dreams will be fulfilled by this game. I of course will recommend this game to any one who wants a non formulaic WW2 game with its own unique spins. This game gets 9.8 out of 10 mainly because it crashed on my computer twice but, that’s what I get for putting everything on high when I should have it on medium-high graphics.