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    keep24's Company of Heroes (PC)

    [March 3, 2008 07:48:33 PM]
    Company of Heroes
    Gamelog Part II


    After successfully completing the tutorial missions, I moved into the single player campaign which was played through the allied side. Once done playing with the first two levels I got some insight as to how the RTS focuses on quick battle and shifting frontlines. The gameplay in Company of Heroes is all about frontline combat, and forces you to quickly explore the map. You typically start out with a headquarters and a squad of engineers, who can build structures and setup defenses. Maps are divided up into territories that all have a resource point in them, and the resources you'll need are manpower, munitions, and fuel. Infantry may capture neutral or enemy resource points, causing them to indefinitely contribute a flow of the given resource to your military efforts while also increasing the total number of units you can have in your army. Although all of these steps seem pretty remedial and easy going, to perfect the skills to build up a diverse army and hold off the repeated attacks from the German soldiers and tanks, it challenged me immensely and will challenge many veteran gamers.

    I liked the very historic battles and cut scenes that provided a very lifelike progression of events. The very first level/battle was the invasion of Normandy beaches and then shifts kind of backwards to the night before when Airborne troops are dropped behind enemy lines.(Although I havent finished the game, after this review I plan on going back to the single player to finish the campaign mode and hopefully try out the multiplayer game mode) Most of the missions are excellent and include objectives beyond the typical seek and destroy you find in so many RTS titles. Some missions will ask to capture and hold a road for a convoy while others charge with setting defenses against a German counterattack. Others still assign the duty of crushing lines of retreating Axis forces. Often times missions will begin with smaller objectives such as the capture of a forward base after which a mid-mission briefing will set up the action for the remainder of the level. Company of Heroes gameplay was addicting and fast paced and acted much more like a FPS rather than a slower RTS game. I can't wait to finish the game and perfect my attacking/defending/gathering skills in multiplayer mode.


    COH is one of the RTS games that have raised the bar for the genre. In terms of visuals and audio, COH is second to none. This advanced technical aspect of the game provides for a realistic and engulfing RTS that needs to be ported to other games in the futre.The truly amazing visuals in Company of Heroes demand a top-of-the-line system and a cutting-edge graphics card to get the most out of them. On more-modest systems, you can strip away a lot of the detail to improve the game's performance, but seeing the game in all its glory is truly a sight to behold especially its various types of explosions that fill the screen with fire, smoke, and debris.The detail that went into everything on the battlefield is extreme especially when taking the massive destruction into account.

    Another design aspect to the game which made the gameplay even more realistic was the game camera that was used to view the battlefield. The default camera perspective is optimal for gameplay, but you can zoom right in to clearly see each individual soldier and his gear, or how a tank, turning a tight corner through a city street, might take a chunk right out of the side of a building. This level of visual fidelity far exceeds what's previously been done in a strategy game. But it's not just for show, since the graphics' realism helps make the gameplay itself more engrossing and intuitive. Some of the scenes that were zoomed in actually looked more like scenes from a Saving Private Ryan than a real time strategy that I had to be controlling. Just these distinct features in an RTS makes it stand out more than other RTS games. Only other games in the future with DX10 and an amazing game developer like Relic will replicate the stunning visuals and audio that came with COH.
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    [March 3, 2008 06:35:39 PM]

    Company of Heroes (CoH) is a real-time strategy (RTS) computer game developed for Microsoft Windows by Relic Entertainment. The game takes place in the Epic World War II battle theater and focuses on the Allies' invasion of German-occupied Normandy in 1944, specifically on close-quarters skirmishes between infantry and armor. Gamers will experience the journey of the brave soldiers of Able Company in a single-player campaign that begins with the invasion of Normandy through their fight across Europe.


    Because of the games dynamic gameplay and intricate micromanagement of soldiers and vehicles, 40 minutes of playing only let me get through all of the various tutorial missions. The missions are classified by what types of abilities they teach you and were very helpful to introduce me to the specific rules and style of gameplay that COH requires. Company of Heroes trades a wide breadth of content for an extremely detailed look at WWII-era ground combat, and its action is so fast paced that it's best for veteran RTS focused gamers rather than the occasional Age of Empires player. Also, the gameplay and resource gathering was vastly different than other RTS.

    The tutorials taught me some of the basic resource gathering techniques, as well as some of the specific ways to move and control my army. Instead of simply grabbing generic resource points and constructing power generators,farms etc. players will capture points (to raise their population cap and rate that manpower pours in), gather ammunition, and boost fuel supplies. Those three resources are what keep an army functioning. The three resources can have pretty different applications: manpower is used in all unit and building construction, fuel is necessary to raise structures and purchase new vehicles, and ammunition is generally used to equip units with special weapons or activate special abilities on individual units like grenades or command tree abilities like air strikes. This focus on just capturing different strategic points shifts the focus from Macrolevel resource gathering and base building, to on-the-fly micromanagement of soldiers controlling, capturing and invading different points on the map. Because I'm used to LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth I and II, and the Age of Empire games, this was a huge learning curve for me. Instead of being a defensive player gathering resources and building defenses, then unleashing my growing and perfected army, I had to pro actively confront the enemy at control points around the campaign maps to gather resources and then spend the resources at my headquarters to build, accurate to history, tanks, soldiers, and vehicles for the allied forces. Although this was somewhat tedious to control each group of soldiers and vehicles constantly without any break to just gather resources, one of the great things about Company of Heroes is that, in spite of its somewhat glamorized portrayal of World War II, the game looks and behaves realistically. The sorts of tactical maneuvers that are central to the gameplay feel intuitive in practice. For example, you'll naturally want to avoid making your infantry rush a machine gun nest head-on, especially since the withering fire from a German MG42 will force your squad to drop prone, pinned down. After the tutorial I learned that pinned down soldiers were utterly ineffective and needed to get behind cover before acutally putting up a fight to the attacking forces. I did like this realism and the small details that went into the game making it much more believeable than other RTS's of the WWII genre.
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    keep24's Company of Heroes (PC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 3 March, 2008

    keep24's opinion and rating for this game

    A good, if not the best, rendition of a World War II RTS game.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See keep24's page

    See info on Company of Heroes

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