- Platform: Windows XP
- PEGI Rating: Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By placing an order for this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age or over.
- Media: Video Game
A few short weeks ahead of its release and reviews have given further weight to these expectations. PC Gamer described it as 'the finest RTS we have ever played' and PC Zone remarked that it is 'nothing short of brilliant'. And the praise is continuing its relentless advance as the downloadable demo circulates internationally.
Aesthetically, the visuals, audio and overall presentation are quite astonishing. The emotional intensity of the deeply involving gameplay is also like nothing seen before, as players zoom in from their strategic overviews to witness the pained expressions on their own soldiers' faces. The remarkable AI ensures the chosen strategy is executed as intended, and with fully interactive, dynamic environments punctuating the cratered backdrops.
For RTS fans, PC gamers and WWII enthusiasts, Company of Heroes is essential. As, indeed, it is to anyone with even the most fleeting interest in video games.
Real-time strategies have been stuck in a rut in recent years but this game doesnt just offer a change in scenery. It goes out of its way to reduce the amount of micromanagement, with troops that can be trusted to act sensibly when under fire and dont need you to tell them to duck when a shell comes their way. As youd expect theres no mining of resources, but instead you have to expand your territory via control points to get more men and resources. Stockpiling fuel, munitions and manpower allows you to bring in more specialised units but to keep a sense of realism everything needs a lot more time and effort to build than in the average real-time strategy. With a surprisingly subtle mix between the needs of realism and gameplay this is the freshest new strategy game for years.
Most exciting moment:
Graphically this is one of the most impressive real-time strategy games ever seen, but what really impresses is the artificial intelligence, both of your troops and the enemy. Soldiers on both sides will take cover without being asked and the enemy will constantly try to outflank and outgun you.
Since you ask:
Company of Heroes is the first game to use developer Relics "Essence Engine". It features many special effects usually only seen in first person shooters such as HDR (high dynamic range) lighting and the Havok 3 physic engine.
The bottom line:
Bored of WWII games and real-time strategies? This makes both seem exciting again. HARRISON DENT