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I feel that this is a good time to talk about my relationship with the real time strategy
genre. I fell in love with these games after a friend showed me Command & Conquer in 1995,
and I've followed the evolution of the genre ever since. Another point of order, I am absolutely
terrible at these games. That being said, the original Company of Heroes is one of my
favourite real time strategy games. It took the mechanics of cover and reinforcement that
Relic introduced in Dawn of War and applied them to a World War II setting. That game
made you care about losing any single unit, and went a long way to present the chaos and
despair of wartime from a bird's eye view.
That last point is on display here in Company of Heroes 2. Presenting the war from the perspective
of the Russian front as Germany is invading their lands has you controlling squads that
are outgunned, outmanned, and even sometimes lacking weapons. Just as you would imagine
a soldier in such a predicament having to learn simply how to survive in the thick of
it, the player experiences the same. This can be especially taxing as levels can be
long, multi-segmented, and without checkpoints. Be sure to save often, or be willing to learn
through repetition.
One thing I don't recall from the original game is how wonky the camera is. There never
seems to be an ideal default angle to witness the battle from. While holding alt down does
allow you free reign to place the camera where you'd like it, it only seems to be applicable
until the next battle or strategic movement, in which case you need to find a more ideal
angle to work from. I guess this keeps the player from becoming complacent in the heat
of battle, but did they really need to implement that into the camera system?
The same methodical approach to combat is still on display. If your units are in good
cover, you don't have to worry about them too much as you make a decision as to what
to do next. Flanking is very important, as is the use of grenades, reinforcements, and
suppressive fire. Just don't get attached to your units. While the last game made you
sad if you lost a squad, on the Russian front it seems to be a necessity.
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My impressions of Company of Heroes 2

41 Folder Collection
wei published on December 16, 2018
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