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Relic Entertainment

Review: Company of Heroes 2

Jun 25 // Joshua Derocher
Company of Heroes 2 (PC)Developer: Relic EntertainmentPublisher: SEGAReleased: June 25, 2013MSRP: $59.99Rig: AMD Athlon 7850 2.80 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 560 Ti GPU The sequel to one of the best strategy titles out there, Company of Heroes 2 lives up to its predecessor. The game focuses on the Eastern front of World War II, and during the campaign the player takes on the role of the Russians. It's a slow-paced RTS, with a big emphasis placed on unit placement and having troops stay behind cover if they want to survive. Each unit is a squad of troops, rather than just an individual. The strength of the squad is based on how many soldiers are alive. This system lets their be hundreds of soldiers in the game, but the player only has to focus on a dozen squads or so. Squads can be refilled with new men at headquarters, or conscript troops can be assigned to fill in missing ranks. At a given time a player will control anywhere from five to twenty squads, which doesn't seem like it would be that hard to do, but it can be hectic to keep everyone moving and alive.  [embed]256767:49295:0[/embed] The utterly fantastic campaign is among the best I have played in a strategy game. Missions are varied enough that different tactics have to be used to win each one. There are some defense missions that are so hectic I had to constantly readjust my troops to face new attacks coming from all sides. One mission takes place in the snow, and you have to prevent your troops from freezing to death by moving close to fires, or keeping them inside. Another one of my favorites involved hunting down and destroying a Tiger tank, which I ultimately accomplished by luring it into a series of mines I placed as a trap. There are 14 missions in the campaign, and each one takes between 20-60 minutes to complete depending on the difficulty and how terrible you are at playing. All of the new mechanics fit well with the Eastern Front setting. Lots of soldiers will die, and CoH2 does a brilliant job of making it expensive to lose troops. Conscript troops can be cheaply deployed quickly, but these soldiers are ill-equipped to survive for long. They are best used to replenish the ranks of more valuable units, and then sent off to the front lines. As units are built they will often shout out, "Need a suicide squad?" Taking over an enemy territory will certainly require you to sacrifice a lot of men, and sometimes you'll have to do it knowing you won't be able to replace them easily. I was always faced with some form of a choice with each unit. "Do I have them run in and face certain death, or do I hold back and wait for a better opportunity?" Better opportunities don't always come, and sometimes the only way to win the battle is to lose a fight. Wounding a tank is ultimately more valuable than a squad of infantry. The cold weather adds to this dilemma of having to choose to lose expensive units, since having them out too long can cause them to freeze to death. Even if they survive a fight, they can and often will die in the cold soon after. All of these calculated decisions are heavy to deal with, and the game's atmosphere and mechanics make sending every squad to the front lines a hard choice. Alongside the campaign, there is the "Theater of War" mode which includes a series of co-op and single-player missions and scenarios. This mode is meant to provide more battles along the Eastern front that don't tie in directly to the campaign. While right now all of the battles focus on the year 1941, Relic has stated that it plans on adding more content later. The scenarios are tightly-focused missions revolving around one aspect of the war that year, and they are some of my favorite missions in the game. Company of Heroes 2 shines the brightest for me when I have three squads and keeping them alive is insanely hard. The co-op missions are large-scale battles that pit players against a computer opponent; the rest are simply single-player missions that use the multiplayer maps and have a computer opponent. There is a competitive multiplayer, of course. It's what gave the first game such a long life, and it's just as solid in the sequel. It plays out the same as in the first game, either with players fighting over control points or simply trying to demolish each other. This time around there are all new maps and units, which is enough to make me want to play the same style of game. If you are a classic fan of the series and you're only interested in the multi-player, it's hard to say if you'll find enough here invest in this if you already played the first. It's more of change than the Call of Duty series has every year, and people still play that like crazy. No matter what your style of play is, there's a ridiculous amount of achievement, unlocks, and progression to keep you in the game. There are 366 Steam achievements, which is just absurd, but if you play often it's nice to know there will always be something you haven't done yet. Your in-game profile, which is tied directly to Steam, will gain levels and as you level up you'll be able to customize your army with different units, abilities, and even custom skins. Company of Heroes 2 brings the classic gameplay of the original game into the modern era. It has all of the familiar mechanics while embracing new technology to make everything look and respond better. The physics are very realistic, and just about everything can be destroyed. One mission had me defending a point from oncoming Germans, and I kept getting flanked by them crossing a bridge. On my third attempt I had the crazy idea, "What if I blew up the bridge?" and I sent over a team of engineers to rig it with explosives. The first round of Nazis was met with a surprise, and the bridge was no longer a problem. All of the cover can be destroyed if the other guy has a big enough gun. Hiding behind a fence might be great for stopping bullets, but tank is going to destroy the wall and everyone behind it. Standing on ice is a really bad idea, since if enough weight is applied, it will break. As things get destroyed, soldiers can take cover in holes in the ground or behind rubble, broken tanks, and even corpses. After a long match the middle ground will often be demolished, filled with the effects of war. This evolving battlefield makes Company of Heroes 2 stand out from other strategy games, and I have a feeling it will make any other game without this level of physics feel fake. Company of Heroes 2 is an excellent real-time strategy game. The campaign is challenging, varied, and true to the setting of the war. The atmosphere is intense and filled with bass-rumbling sounds, and an orchestral score that provides the perfect background. It's visually impressive, yet manages to run at a smooth frame rate. All of the matchmaking and multiplayer systems are tied into Steam, so you don't have to log in twice to play the game; everything runs flawlessly. I was worried that the campaign would be weak and everything would be focused on the multiplayer, but I was happy to be proven wrong. The campaign turned out to be my favorite part, and with the added content from the Theater of War mode, there is a lot of game even if you don't want to engage other players. The amount of content is generous, going way beyond the normal six-hour single-player campaign and multiplayer formula that most games use today. I could ramble off dozens of words of praise, but the simplest way to summarize my experience is to say that I stayed up playing until 4:00am without realizing how late it was, either because I was yelling at the Germans for killing my troops or high-fiving the air when I took out a tank. It's one of those games that can suck you in for hours and keep you constantly engaged. Company of Heroes 2 is shining example of what an RTS game should be: a mix of classic mechanics with new features and technology.
Company of Heroes 2 photo
Winter is here
Company of Heroes 2 comes off strong with its new campaign, and it packs an impressive amount of extra features. Standing on its own, it is an impressive real-time strategy game, but there are people who want to know what mak...

Company of Heroes photo
Company of Heroes

Back to the front! Company of Heroes 2 multiplayer


Time to hit the Eastern Front once again
Jun 21
// Jason Cabral
With less than a week away from its release, Relic Entertainment has decided to share a bit more on the enhancements it made to Company of Heroes 2's multiplayer. The most notable developments made to game are the new Comman...
Company of Heroes 2 beta photo
Company of Heroes 2 beta

Company of Heroes 2 fires into open beta


Play it for free while you can
Jun 05
// Joshua Derocher
Company of Heroes 2 has launched into open beta, so from now until June 18 you can check out the multiplayer and coop. The best news about the open beta is that if you play it a lot, and decide to buy the game later, you'll g...
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Things go boom in the latest Company of Heroes 2 trailer


ACTION MAN!
May 30
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The latest look at Company of Heroes 2 shows off just how action packed this real time strategy game is. There's action, explosions, and death all around you in the battlefield. There's so much action here that the trailer even says you should check this one out before you play "the next big FPS." Oh, snap! Company of Heroes 2 will be out on June 25 for the PC.
Company of Heroes 2 photo
Company of Heroes 2

Here's your Company of Heroes 2 campaign trailer


RTS sequel will arrive next month, comrade
May 22
// Alasdair Duncan
I'm really grateful that Sega has picked up Company of Heroes 2 after THQ's collapse. The original was a great real-time strategy title, one that I had most of my fun with in multiplayer more than the single-player. This tra...
Company of Heroes photo
Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes 2 announces Red Star edition for retail


This red star shines pretty bright with all of its goodies
May 16
// Jason Cabral
Good news for fans of the Company of Heroes 2 series as now you have a great reason to pick up the physical copy in June. Along with a snazzy steelbook, you also get a Czar's wealth of extra content. Right off the bat, player...
Company of Heroes photo
Company of Heroes

Relic details Theater of War mode for Company of Heroes 2


Third mode announced
Apr 29
// Jordan Devore
The single-player campaign and multiplayer of Company of Heroes 2 will be joined by a third mode, one that's new for developer Relic Entertainment. A combination of single- and cooperative play, Theater of War is built with r...
Company of Heroes photo
Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes servers close May 7 in favor of Steam


You'll need your CD-Key to make the switch
Apr 23
// Keith Swiader
Company of Heroes' current online servers will shut down May 7 in favor of replacement Steamworks servers, Relic Entertainment announced on the game's official forums.  Relic offered instructions on how to transfer ...
Warhammer photo
Warhammer

More Dawn of War? Relic suggests a 'strong possibility'


Highlights the importance of new tech
Apr 22
// Jordan Devore
With Sega's purchase of Relic Entertainment behind us, now more than ever I'm dying to hear about the future of the company's Warhammer 40,000 titles. Game director Quinn Duffy told Eurogamer that "There's a strong possibilit...
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Gearbox

Gearbox has rights to classic RTS Homeworld


Plans to bring Homeworld 1 & 2 to digital platforms
Apr 22
// Allistair Pinsof
Update: Along with Darksiders, Red Faction, and other THQ properties getting picked up by Nordic Games for a cool $4.9 million, it's come to light that Gearbox spent $1.35 million in acquiring Homeworld. Borderlands developer...
Company of Heroes 2 photo
Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2 CE includes the original game


Plus the two expansions for the first game
Apr 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Company of Heroes 2 is getting a Collector's Edition, and it's set to include several bonuses such as the original Company of Heroes, including the two original expansions: Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valor. Other bonuses in...
Company of Heroes photo
Company of Heroes

Pre-order Company of Heroes 2 for a 'mini-campaign'


Among other digital trinkets
Apr 05
// Jordan Devore
Those who pre-order Company of Heroes 2 before the real-time strategy title launches this June will get a number of bonuses, including a Theatre of War mini-campaign. Seemingly unfinished right now, this extra spot of single-...
CoH 2 beta photo
CoH 2 beta

Company of Heroes 2 beta opens soon for pre-orderers


Second beta phase will be more inclusive
Mar 28
// Jordan Devore
It's nice to hear that Relic Entertainment is still plugging away at development on Company of Heroes 2. Leading up to the full June 25 release, the studio will soon hit the obligatory "closed beta" milestone. Open first on A...
Company of Heroes 2 photo
Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2 arrives June 25


Both in North America and Europe
Mar 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Company of Heroes 2 has been set for a June 25 release date in both North America and Europe. Have to say, I'm really happy for Relic Entertainment on today's news. Things were shaky thanks to the THQ fallout, but I think Rel...

Top ten best THQ games: Remembering a giant

Jan 31 // Allistair Pinsof
Anyone who knows me, knows that I loves me strategy games. I love StarCraft, Rise of Nations, Sins of a Solar Empire, Civilization -- you name it. Company of Heroes was probably the first one that got me really into WWII from a strategy perspective. It is also one of the first games that took advantage of advanced graphics -- namely, destructible environments -- that have a huge effect on gameplay. As tank shells create craters, for example, your infantry can use the modified terrain as cover. Subtle details like that keep gameplay fun and dynamic and also provide a refreshing twist on the classic RTS. - Daniel Starkey [Take a look back at our previous Company of Heroes coverage.] Licensed games, as a general rule, tend to be rather uninspired affairs. Relic Entertainment's acclaimed Warhammer 40,000 titles fly in the face of that trend. Space Marine and the Dawn of War series are genuinely entertaining titles that pay homage to Games Workshop's license rather than abuse it. Relic has delivered quality experiences time and again, developing games capable of standing on their own merits while still providing ample amounts of fan service for the already initiated. As someone who has spent more than a fair share of hours painting miniatures and rolling dice, it's clear Relic has a great deal of reverence for the source material. Captain Titus' battle with Ork and Chaos forces on Forge World Graia brought that universe to life for me. I wish Relic the best and hope that their new overlords at Sega allow them to keep making these games for a long, long time. - Kyle MacGregor [Take a look back at our Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine review.] While the game was initially buggy, a heroic modding community has managed to make S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl into something worth celebrating; despite its dreary setting and almost constant peril, the Zone was a place that oozed life. It is a brave game both mechanically and tonally, considering no FPS has come close to what S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl attempts is slightly sad; the singular highpoint of the whole Call of Duty franchise is when the series visits Pripyat in the irradiated zone. - Alasdair Duncan [Take a look back at our S.T.A.L.K.E.R. coverage.] It feels wrong to love Saints Row 2, but it feels even worse not to. The presentation lacks polish, the writing is tasteless, the focus is aimless ... but it's so fun!  Where Saints Row made a marked improvement on the GTA series' controls, Saints Row 2 makes a remarkable improvement on almost every other level. GTAIV offered flawless presentation but boring combat; Saints Row 2 is just the opposite. It's the sandbox game I've always wanted, where nothing matters but the player having fun. Want to surf on a car for no reason?  Hell ya!  Want to ride golf carts through a mall while doing a drive-by?  YES! Even the music is awesome in this game. GTA is great but nothing compares to firing infinite rockets at cop cars while driving to Hum's "Stars". If only I could merge Saints Row 2's gameplay with GTA4's presentation and story, I'd have the greatest game ever. For now, I'll take Saints Row 2 over GTAIV.  After all, I can watch The Wire if I want inner city drama.  - Allistair Pinsof [Take a look back at the only Saints Row 2 video that matters on the internet.] Lock's Quest is one of the most unique games released on the Nintendo DS. It spices up tower defense with direct character control and RPG elements.  Long before Iron Brigade and Starhawk, Lock's Quest had players building walls and constructing turrets to later fight among them. The ability to directly control Lock on the battlefield may seem trivial at first, but it adds an entirely different prioritization element to tower defense, where Lock's location, health, and special abilities all factor into the decision making process.  As a tower defense game, it really shines in that it's not unforgiving in its difficulty, but the later levels really feel like they push you to your limits. While it's satisfying to have a great base built that easily repels the hordes of robots, it doesn't get much better than feeling all is lost only to scrape by with a well timed electrical explosion that takes out the last of the advancing enemies. Lock's Quest is pure fun, whether you are a fan of tower defense or not. - Darren Nakamura [Take a look back at our Lock's Quest review.] 50 Cent: Bulletproof was an awful waste of time. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, on the other hand, stands as the greatest guilty pleasure for any person who was brave enough to try it back in 2009. 50 Cent and G-Unit are playing a venue somewhere in the Middle East where his payment is in the form of a diamond skull, because why the hell not? As luck would have it, that skull is stolen and 50 Cent goes on a bullet hose rampage, destroying the country and yelling "you fucked up!" at everyone until he finds it. Because no one takes Fiddy's skull. No one. - Brett Zeidler [Take a look back at our 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand review.] Red Faction: Guerrilla is initially interesting for its building destruction mechanics. It's quite a hoot to blow up a building's support beams and watch it tumble down into pieces on top of anyone around it. I might die in the process, but it hardly matters since I'll just get a new guy and have at it again. That's when it hit me: these thoughts and ideas have a lot, perhaps too much, in common with those of terrorists. After all, the goal is to drive these uninvited invaders off of the planet, since they're only there for economic reasons. Guerrilla explores terrorism in an almost uncomfortable way, by executing it perfectly. Throwing away a life in an explosive raid is okay to do within the game, though it does make me a bit uncomfortable. And I love that. - Patrick Hancock [Take a look back at our Red Faction: Guerrilla review.] Very few games have warmed my heart like Costume Quest. There's just something about it. Although many people were quick to point out it was a very basic RPG experience, for a downloadable title it was perfect. Subtle changes to RPG tropes, like candy as currency and trick-or-treating as quests, helped showcase that the game wasn't merely a homage, but a labor of love. Combat has elements reminiscent of Super Mario RPG and exploring the whimsical world never felt like a chore. Double Fine did a great job recapturing the spirit of every child's favorite evening, and THQ did the right thing by publishing it. - Chris Carter [Take a look back at our Costume Quest review.] Until the arrival of Darksiders 2, drawing comparisons to Zelda was used interchangeably as a slight and compliment. Whether shamelessly cribbing from God of War, Portal, and Panzer Dragoon made the game stronger or not was also a point of contention. Never before had a game attempted such blatant copying of contemporary, popular games. Though some resisted Darksiders -- and still do -- for me, it showed that there is no shame in copying others when quality and holistic design come before tribute. The variety of level design comes from copying other titles, but Vigil Games is what made all the disparate parts come together in a game that continues to surprise until its end. When stripped away from its idols, you get Darksiders 2, the equivalent of a dried-out sponge. - Allistair Pinsof [Take a look back at our Darksiders review.] Some people may say that its predecessor, Saints Row 2, was a funnier and better game. These people are afraid of change. The Third is the full realization of what the series had been working towards. It is utterly ridiculous and doesn't pretend to be anything but. By doing this, the actions of the player outside of cutscenes fall in line with the character's actions within them, unlike a certain other company's open world games.The http://deckers.die mission in particular is what skyrockets this game above any other. In a single mission you become a toilet, a sex doll, use the Mega Buster, participate in a text adventure, and fight a boss that simulates lag. I truly hope that when future generations talk about the best levels in video games, deckers.die is sitting alongside the classics. - Patrick Hancock [Take a look back at our Saints Row: The Third Dildo Baseball Bat review.]
Top Ten THQ Games photo
From wrestlers to panda-suit-wearing sociopaths
When assessing a publisher's impact on the industry, we tend to focus on the highs rather than consistency. THQ was anything but consistent, putting out Nintendo DS shovelware, rushed licensed games, and taking part in one of...

Return of Homeworld? photo
Return of Homeworld?

TeamPixel wants to purchase the rights to Homeworld


Intends to release Homeworld on Steam and iOS, and make Homeworld 3
Jan 25
// Joshua Derocher
With the recent bankruptcy of THQ, the studios and franchises they owned are being auctioned off. While Sega just bought Relic Entertainment, it's possible that the rights to Homeworld might still belong to THQ...
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THQ auction over, Relic goes to SEGA [Update]


Ubisoft gets South Park, Koch gets Volition, Vigil left in the dark
Jan 23
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Kotaku has reposted a staff letter from THQ president Jason Rubin, saying that Koch Media (owner of Deep Silver) bought Volition and the Metro IP, Crytek bought Homefront, Take 2 bought Evolve, and Ubisoft took Montr...
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Four upcoming THQ games revealed amidst bankruptcy woes


:(
Dec 19
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Sad news today as THQ has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The bankruptcy filing, which is available for you to read, included several unannounced projects by various THQ studios. Note that these are more than likely internal...
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Trailer shares a bit of Company of Heroes 2 multiplayer


So many screens
Dec 13
// Jordan Devore
To accompany our preview of multiplayer in Company of Heroes 2, Relic Entertainment and THQ have a little video that shows off the variety of commanders and troops they'll be able to lead in this anticipated sequel. Nothing ...

Preview: Company of Heroes 2 multiplayer

Dec 13 // Abel Girmay
Company of Heroes 2 (PC)Developer: Relic EntertainmentPublisher: THQRelease: TBA 2013 One thing Hamza and Jordan didn't get to see was a build of the game running on DirectX 11. In our past previews, Company of Heroes 2 looked nice in DX9, but DX11 just adds all those little wrinkles to make the game pop. The persistent snow tracks have added depth, dimpling, and take a more natural shape. The snow itself looks more like individual pieces forming a larger whole rather than a static white sheet. You can see particles burning and moving in the smoke, and river water flows and reacts dynamically to infantry, vehicles, and the wind. While the official specs have yet to be released, Relic has said that the Essence 3.0 engine is being optimized to be less tasking than the first CoH. If you're familiar with our coverage of the single-player combat, you should have a good idea of what's on offer here. TrueSight is the name of the game in CoH 2. As it is, the real-time strategy standard is to block off enemy units' visibility until your own come into close proximity. TrueSight is essentially a more real-world interpretation of this, a feature that limits your own visibility to what your units would be able to see. When taken with the game's cover system, things start to get interesting. While your infantry might triumphantly waltz in to capture an enemy fuel plant, you can easily be caught of guard by a nearby mortar team hidden in shrubbery. Despite being slower-paced than some other RTS games, this approach to visibility does a great job of keeping you on your toes. One of the more touted additions to Company of Heroes 2 is the weather's effect on gameplay, and the same holds true in multiplayer. Like TrueSight, the weather hazards go a long way to forcing you to stay adaptable. Some units are slowed down by heavy snow, visibility is reduced, and infantry will even freeze to death if you don't take care to get them to a campfire every so often. The weather proves itself to be more than a gimmick, punishing players (like me) who initially refuse to respect the hazards. Not much longer after the snow storm kicked in, my infantry fell to the brutal cold, leaving the enemy anti-tank units unchallenged to decimate my armor. Outside of battle, the upgrade system offers a great deal of flexibility, taking a good amount of inspiration from the Call of Duty franchise. The most significant part of your loadout is perhaps your commanders. With seven to choose from on each faction (possibly more via post-lauch support), you can select up to three per loadout. Commanders offer their own unique buffs, structures, and units. You won't have the resources to call them in until midway through the match though, and even then, once you pick a commander to go with, you're stuck with him for the duration. For this reason patience is advised as you want to get a feel for which commander is going to help you the most. Wait too long though, and you can expect to get a swift kick from your enemy's commander units. I usually stuck with my offensive commander, allowing me to call in specialized mortar units to round out my tank-heavy army. You can also deck out your loadout with intel bulletins, which essentially act as perks. Based on real WWII-era documents given to soldiers that detailed how to deal with certain types of opposing forces, intel bulletins offer minor, passive buffs to your army. These include damage boosters, faster access to your commander, etc. You can only select three per loadout, however -- I found that you have to get a read on your opponents play style to make the most of them. Since my opponent favored heavy armor, I slapped on a 10 percent tank damage boost to buff my anti-tank infantry. I still got my ass kicked, but I like to think the bulletin helped me go down swinging. All this is unlocked via a traditional progressive upgrade system. You play matches, earn experience points, and gain more customization options as you rank up. You can even earn XP in single-player, but on a curve similar to what we saw in Halo: Reach. So don't expect to rank up quickly by playing the same exact mission over and over. The system even comes with a prestige mode, called Battle Honors, that allows you to reset back to level one in exchange for better emblems. Achieving battle honors does net you more than just emblems, such as intel bulletins that can only be unlocked after a certain battle honor ranked has been reached. While all strategy titles are, by definition, a thinking man's game, Company of Heroes 2's slower pace does a great job of tasking the 'ol noggin, while the TrueSight system and weather hazards preserve a great deal of the reflexes and split-second decision making of faster RTS titles. It still remains to be seen how well all the new additions work in multiplayer with other teammates (all my matches were 1v1 skirmishes), so be on the lookout for the early 2013 beta. Until then, stand firm and ready -- the Motherland calls, comrades.
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Fight well, comrades
Dynamic weather hazards, TrueSight, and now a progressive leveling system are the three pillars Relic is building Company of Heroes 2 on. While we've talked at length about these first two elements, the leveling system is what caught my eye the most on this third go around, taking more than a few cues from the Call of Duty series.

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Company of Heroes 2 developer diary prepares for war


I'll never get tired of seeing tanks slip into the frigid depths
Dec 08
// Jordan Devore
This first entry in a series of developer diaries for Company of Heroes 2 covers most of the major talking points new to the real-time strategy game, from its brutal weather conditions which drastically affect troops, the ab...
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These are the pre-order bonuses for Company of Heroes 2


Sep 21
// Jordan Devore
The pre-order incentives for Company of Heroes 2 aren't out of the ordinary, but the way in which they're being offered is a bit different than what we're used to. The base bonuses are beta access once that goes live and vehi...
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PAX: I utterly lost track of time in Company of Heroes 2


Mother Russia has never looked so cold
Sep 03
// Jordan Devore
Playing Company of Heroes 2 at PAX was a trippy experience. Hamza previously covered the game and hit the major points worth highlighting, but I still wanted to share my thoughts on the highly anticipated sequel as someone wh...
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Have some frigid new Company of Heroes 2 screenshots


Jul 24
// Jordan Devore
This latest batch of screenshots from Company of Heroes 2 highlights the ColdTech system of Relic Entertainment's Essence Engine 3.0. In the game, temperatures can dip so low that your infantry will freeze to death unless the...
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Darksiders II delivers its last sermon


Jun 29
// Jim Sterling
Here be a live-action trailer for Darksiders II. It's been floating around for a few weeks, but this is the "extended cut," so there's even more live-action stuff for us to hate on because everybody hates live-action trailers.  There's really not much left to say about the game itself. I'm just impatiently tapping my foot until I finally get hold of the thing. Any day now would be fine, THQ!
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Company of Heroes 2 teaser trailer is a little unsettling


Jun 28
// Kyle MacGregor
If it isn't broke, don't fix it. That seems to be Relic Entertainment's philosophy with the follow up to the most highly regarded strategy game in all the land. As is natural for a sequel, the Company of Heroes 2 developer h...
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Relic Entertainment celebrates its 15th anniversary


Jun 01
// Alasdair Duncan
With all the turmoil centered around layoffs at 38 Studios and BioWare Austin, it's comforting to note that there's some developers out there who have been around a while and go from strength to strength. Such as Va...

Preview: To the Eastern Front in Company of Heroes 2

May 22 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Company of Heroes 2 (PC)Developer: Relic EntertainmentPublisher: THQRelease: TBA 2013 The first thing I noticed about Company of Heroes 2 was just how beautiful it looked for a real-time strategy title. There's a ton of detail, from the snow filled battlefield, right down to the characters and vehicles themselves. I can't even begin to imagine how good this will look once Relic has implemented DirectX 11 support. The Essence 3.0 Engine isn't only able to output pretty visuals. The snow I mentioned isn't just a flat surface, it has depth and will slow down soldiers as they try to move through. During the presentation, the Soviet forces were charging down a road towards a Nazi encampment, but the road was booby trapped with explosives. So the Soviets are forced to go around the side, through the snow. It's safer than the road, but the snow is slowing down the soldiers and exposes them to Nazi gun fire. Once on the other side of the Nazi encampment, the Soviets plant a bomb on a wall and create a new path through the back of the base. The Nazis then enter a building for cover, but one of the Soviet soldiers is equipped with a flamethrower. The soldier proceeds to light the building up, burning everyone inside to a crisp. That building could be used by the Soviets for cover too, so it's up to the player to decide whether they would want to risk spending their soldiers lives for a nice cover spot, or just set the place on fire to spare their own forces. New to Company of Heroes 2 is the ability to vault over small walls and fences. Now instead of going all the way around an obstruction, soldiers can easily cut right through. This ability is great as Company of Heroes 2 is such a tactical game. Typically, I'm used to just sending all my forces straight on down a path into their doom. Now, I can send a few down the normal path to distract the enemy while another team is sneaking around to flank them. Later in the presentation, we see that pinning and suppression is back. If the enemies have a heavy machine gun in place, your forces will drop to the ground and crawl on their bellies in order to avoid the fire. After a few seconds of this, the Soviet squad leader orders a retreat, which ends up being a bad call. Stalin had signed into place Order No. 227 during World War II, which forbid Soviet soldiers from retreating. Doing so was to be treated with death, which was what happened with these particular soldiers as another commander gunned all the retreating soldiers down. Probably the most striking new addition is the TrueSight system. Instead of the traditional fog of war system most RTS games have, you'll only be able to see what your soldiers can see via their line of sight. Objects like buildings and trees can block their view, thus blocking your view as well. This lends itself pretty well to sneak attacks, and even extends to stuff like mortar strikes, where the explosion kicks up smoke that can block your view. All this also applies to the enemy, so they'll be just as blind as you. The Artificial Intelligence has been greatly improved, too, as Relic redoubled their efforts to make everything seem more realistic. Soldiers will move away from explosions, regroup around cover, hide behind objects when they're near them and so forth. It's small stuff from what I saw with my limited time, but I'm all about less babysitting. Sadly that's all we got to see. Relic wasn't talking about much else, but note that you can expect competitive and co-op multiplayer too. Even at such an early stage, Company of Heroes 2 easily looks like one of the best real-time strategy games to depict the Eastern Front.
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Relic Entertainment's Company of Heroes 2 has been in development for two years now, and the studio figured out pretty quickly that they didn't want to change things too drastically. Instead, they focused on adding more on to...

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THQ announces Company of Heroes 2 for early 2013


May 07
// Jordan Devore
Surprise! Well, not really. But we do appreciate the gesture. THQ has made its officially official announcement for Company of Heroes 2 following the PC Gamer reveal of the sequel. There's not much else to go on here, though ...
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Company of Heroes 2 appears on the cover of PC Gamer


May 03
// Jordan Devore
Thanks to the new issue of PC Gamer, we know that Company of Heroes 2 is on the way from Relic. Scans of the publication's coverage are floating around the usual places, but I'll just point out that the focus is on the Easter...

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