Let me prelude this review by saying, that back when I had the time to play these sort of games I used to really enjoy them. Infact when I was a teenager I spent countless hours in Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth series, which is similar in gameplay techniques to Company of Heroes. I’ve also spent a large portion of my life on the Dawn of War series and am currently in a Closed Beta for Dawn of Fantasy which is an MMORTS.
So I don’t dislike this type of game, I just lack the proper amount of time to be able to invest into an RTS currently- and this may be reflected in my review. Unlike the other three who have played Company of Heroes for 100+hours, I’ve had a meager 15/20hours of gameplay on the multiplayer section and thats about it.
Company of Heroes Story
Looking at the cover art and the website for Company of Heroes, what do you think its about? It’s about war; The game retells the WW2 story from the American/British & German point of view. It’s hardly a ground-breaking rehashing of the story, we all know what happened, where it happened and when. I have very little to say about the story, there are some nice cut-scenes in the game, however I tended to skip over them as I found them tedious and uninformative. However they do add an interesting perspective too the game if you find the time to sit down and watch them.
Company of Heroes Sound
The majority of my playtime with Company of Heroes has been spent in the online multi-player sessions and due to this I have a high respect for the sound in this game. Being able to identify what the enemy players are sending your way by the sound of the weapons firing and the units moving is a very valuable resource. This makes playing against a human enemy whilst on Ventrilo (other VoIP programmes are out their) so much more fun, compared to playing against a random enemy player.
Company of Heroes Graphics
Graphics in Company of Heroes are not ground breaking or breath taking. Nor do they need too be. A game such as Company of Heroes is about the gameplay mechanics and not a great deal about how it looks. I know I certainly am not looking around the map thinking “wow that road looks AMAZING”, I’m focusing on building and sending out the units to conquer the map. For me the graphics is not something I’m looking for in a game of this calibre; hence the reasonably high score for a game with medium rated graphics.
Score: 7/10 (The Plus side is that a good amount of machines should play this game)
Company of Heroes Gameplay
This is where this particular game comes into its own. Playing Company of Heroes online with friends is the experience that anybody needs to have when purchasing this game. The single-player is great and interesting, but it’s nothing compared to the online experience. In fact I would go so far to say that this game realistically doesn’t need the single-player campaign- I’ve barely touched it and still enjoy the multiplayer game for what it is. The single-player excursions against the AI, can prepare you for the online mode by teaching you tactics and the best way to play each army (eg. British, American…)
The basic situational map you would play within will compose of an enemy at one end of the map and you at the other. You are able to create a base and troops by using resources which you collect and defend throughout the map. Once you have a sizable force and a decent tactic on how to destroy the enemy you can throw your troops into combat. Game modes include “Annihilate,” which is my personal favorite mode as it tends to make the matches drawn out super-battles for domination.
The AI could use a little work, there seems to be no “Normal” AI. The options of I difficulty range from Easy to Super Hard, however the Easy and Medium/Normal AI’s are far too easy when compared to the Harder options.
Company of Heroes Content
Company of Heroes has already had several downloadable expansions with new maps, armies and other great content. All of these downloadable extra’s really add life to the game and allow the players to explore different tactics and army types in varying situations. Although not for me, the single-player options add content for users waiting for multiplayer maps or wanting to try out different tactics on the AI before taking it online.
Company of Heroes Overall
Enjoy Player VS Player online matches with up to 8 of your friends? This game is for you.
Enjoy learning new ways to crush your enemies into dust? This game is for you.
Enjoy figuring out new tactics and troops combinations too become more effective? This game is for you.
Enjoy a compelling story with out of this world graphics and fantastic AI? You should look elsewhere.
Ry’s CoH Review: 80%