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