Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH - Email mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

Mike Wil­cox



BACK in 2006, the orig­i­nal

Com­pany of Heroes in­tro­duced a re­fresh­ing spin on re­al­time strat­egy games, plac­ing the em­pha­sis on pla­toons rather than in­di­vid­ual soldiers, as well as re­treats, re­in­force­ments and cover tac­tics.

This an­tic­i­pated se­quel adds mean­ing­ful new ele­ments to the se­ries, in­clud­ing an un­for­giv­ing Rus­sian win­ter and other new en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges.

At its core, Com­pany of Heroes 2 is about “less is more”. Rather than the mass pro­duc­tion of sin­gle soldiers, you con­trol sev­eral units con­sist­ing of a hand­ful of troops with specifi c skills.

Game­play re­volves around unit place­ment and, more im­por­tantly, their fi eld of fi re, as where the di­rec­tion units are fac­ing is equally as im­por­tant as where they are placed.

The en­vi­ron­ment also plays a key tac­ti­cal role. In­fantry units rely on cover for pro­tec­tion and new to the game is the TruSight fea­ture, where lines of sight are re­al­is­ti­cally blocked by the en­vi­ron­ment, so you’re limited to see­ing what your units see from the ground.

The mid­dle slice of the story cam­paign is defi ned by the bit­ter soviet win­ter, which also pro­vides ma­jor game­play im­pli­ca­tions such as soldiers be­ing vul­ner­a­ble in deadly bliz­zards, which forces you to fi nd them warmth in shel­ters or build­ing fi res.

While new­com­ers to the se­ries will earn their mil­i­tary strips in the sin­gle­player cam­paign and theatre of war modes, the main ap­peal and longevity of the game lies in its mul­ti­player modes.

Com­pany of Heroes 2 po­ten­tially of­fers hours of wartime en­ter­tain­ment with its thrilling mul­ti­player ex­pe­ri­ence.

If only it took the time to ex­plain how best to mas­ter this mode, in par­tic­u­lar the or­der in which you need to con­struct things. You only need to build one or two units in the wrong or­der, and you’re un­likely to win.

Some mi­nor is­sues aside, with way­ward com­puter- con­trolled troops, in­con­sis­tent vi­su­als, and the lack of a tu­to­rial, Com­pany of Heroes 2 re­mains a wor­thy suc­ces­sor to the orig­i­nal game.

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