Com­pany of He­roes 2: The Western

Com­pan y of Heroe s 2: The Weste rn Front Armies is good value for new­com­ers.

PC GAMER (US) - - CONTENTS - By Ian Birn­baum

Com­pany of He­roes 2 has spent the last year be­ing tweaked and bal­anced, and build­ing an on­line com­mu­nity. This lat­est DLC ad­vances that suc­cess: it ditches sin­gle­player to in­stead fo­cus en­tirely on adding new blood to the mul­ti­player servers in the form of the Ger­man Oberkom­mando West and the US Army.

CoH2 was a big im­prove­ment over the first Com­pany of He­roes in many ways, but when the the­ater of war was changed we left our fa­vorite armies and playstyles be­hind. Bring­ing those leg­endary units and bat­tle­fields into the new graph­ics and physics en­gines of CoH2 feels bet­ter than an up­grade.

The Ger­man army runs on or­ga­ni­za­tion. The Oberkom­man­dos be­gin with a sin­gle head­quar­ters and a sup­ply truck. To build more ad­vanced units, the sup­ply truck has to be driven onto cap­tured ground and con­verted into one of three mo­bile HQ build­ings, one each for sup­port, ar­mor and de­fense. Con­vert­ing the truck takes time and re­sources, but the end re­sult is a net­work of re­in­forced hard­points that in­vad­ing armies will have to slowly chew through.

It’s an ex­er­cise in heavy, awk­ward hard­ware. The West Ger­man army only has three in­fantry unit types sup­ported by a dozen va­ri­eties of ve­hi­cle, but there is some rep­e­ti­tion. The SdKfz 251 and 251/17 half­tracks, for ex­am­ple, are es­sen­tially the same ve­hi­cle, ex­cept the Mark 17 spe­cial­izes in at­tack­ing air­craft. Air­craft can be called in on bomb­ing or straf­ing runs, but they’re pretty rare. In order to make the Ger­man army more ve­hi­cle-heavy, Relic has sac­ri­ficed some unit in­di­vid­u­al­ity.

If the Ger­mans run on sup­ply chains, the Amer­i­cans run on star power. The Amer­i­can base be­gins fully formed. Play­ers will have to work, how­ever, to re­cruit the of­fi­cers needed to run these sup­ply lines. These of­fi­cers are pow­er­ful in­di­vid­ual units that al­low you to field ad­vanced in­fantry sup­port, anti-tank and ar­mored units.

Us­ing In­fantry spe­cial­iza­tion, the ba­sic Amer­i­can ri­fle­man squad can get up­graded weapons and abil­i­ties un­til they are re­source­ful, mo­bile and pow­er­ful. Hav­ing a hand­ful of ri­fle squads charge in with light ve­hi­cles for sup­port is very ef­fec­tive, and feels amaz­ing.

There are eight new maps set on the Western Front, and they’re well­bal­anced and var­ied—a sat­is­fy­ing re­fresh of CoH2’ s mul­ti­player. The hedgerowed Fay­monville Ap­proach map quickly be­came my fa­vorite for one-on-one comp stomps.

If you’ve been hold­ing off on buy­ing CoH2, you can dive straight into the mul­ti­player by buy­ing one of the two new DLC armies—$13 seems ex­pen­sive for a sin­gle army, but as it gets you ac­cess to the on­line servers and all 31 of CoH2’ s maps for a quar­ter the cost of the full game, it’s a bar­gain. For ex­ist­ing own­ers, though, $20 for two new armies and a hand­ful of maps is a bit steep.

Eight new maps join the 23 CoH2 maps, as well as more than 1,000 com­mu­nity-cre­ated maps.

The new maps and armies mesh well with the ex­ist­ing game.

The adap­tive mo­bil­ity of the US forces makes them kings of the early game.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.