Com­pany of He­roes 2

A se­ri­ous war sim with plenty to get your head around

Mac Format - - RATED -

This ex­plo­ration of World War II pits the Red Army against the in­vad­ing Wehrma­cht in a va­ri­ety of con­flicts along the East­ern Front. The game’s foun­da­tional me­chan­ics – lines of sight, spe­cialised units, dra­matic flank­ing ma­noeu­vres – pro­vide dy­namic and adapt­able gam­ing.

The cam­paign’s cutscenes and melo­drama are work­man­like, but the mis­sions are well paced and teach valu­able lessons about the se­ries’ new fea­tures: how grenades can crack open icy rivers, for ex­am­ple, or how to keep troops from freez­ing to death in the snow.

Ma­noeu­vring dozens of dis­crete squads through the streets of Stal­in­grad can be te­dious, but the chaos is largely made man­age­able by units’ abil­ity to au­to­mat­i­cally choose tar­gets, take cover, and at­tack, leav­ing more time for tac­ti­cal po­si­tion­ing and strate­gic re­source man­age­ment. The user in­ter­face isn’t al­ways in­tu­itive, but the cam­paign is still a ro­bust teach­ing tool.

The bulk of Com­pany of He­roes lies in its com­pet­i­tive and co-op mul­ti­player modes. Un­for­tu­nately, nei­ther the Steam nor App Store ver­sions of the game of­fer cross­plat­form mul­ti­player, so par­tic­i­pants in the game’s best modes are hard to come by. Joseph Leray A fine strat­egy game ham­pered by sparse mul­ti­player gam­ing. But for soli­tary play it’s rich, dense, and highly flex­i­ble.

It’s a wa­tery grave for that tank crew af­ter a well-placed explosion.

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