Relic has released their new part of the Company of Heroes-series alongside with Sega as Publisher on June 24th 2014. The real time strategy game which brings you back to the Battlegrounds of World War 2 is a standalone addon which does not require the retail-version of Company of Heroes 2. We took a closer look at the game and report our results in this review.
Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies leads you back to the Battlegrounds of Word War 2. U.S. Forces are facing the Oberkommando West. The player gets the possibility to play the most brutal and intense battles along with other players.
After we start the game we arrive in the main menu. There we are able to adjust our settings to our computers performance, graphics and sound. Now we are already ready to play. We click the Button „Online & Skirmish“.
We are creating a lobby which allows us to choose between Player vs Player, Player vs KI or a Custom Game. In order to start the game just press the button „Start Game“ and here we go. The map we will be playing on is randomly chosen.
Before we start the search for a game we choose between U.S. Forces or the Oberkommando West. You have 3 Bulletins to improve some units and 3 commander. We set ourselfs up and then we can start the game.
After we finished the loading screen we start on the other side of the map as our enemy. The game mostly can be played with your mouse, but hotkeys are avaiable on the keyboard and you can use the arrow-keys to glide over the map.
In the base of the Oberkommando West there is a Kommandotruck and one unit at the start. While we move our unit to capture the first ressource point, we are producing more units in our base. To capture a point we move our unit close to a ressource point and it will get captured automatically. There will be a progressbar popup as a circle if you are close enough and capturing. If the progressbar is filled, you own the territory. It will give us more ressources and we have the possibility to put a Supply-Truck on it as a forward base. To set up the Supply-Truck we have to spend Fuel and Manpower, 2 of the 3 types of ressources in Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies.
The Supply-Trucks gives us the ability to produce more units such as tanks, infantry, anti-tank weapons, armored or halftracked vehicles. Starting with infantry you will receive new units until tanks during the game.
By eliminating enemy units we are gahtering XP which will unlock Command points. The Command points are used for the Commanders and unlock different abilities. Choosing a commander can be done at game start or you can wait with it to keep your tactical oppurtunities opened.
Like at the Oberkommando West we start in a base with one unit. The base of the U.S. Forces has built up small barracks and small cabins. That means we own all the base-buildings, we just need to unlock them. Unlocking them works with producing a commando unit of the building. Aswell as the Oberkommando West we have to take points in order to get ressources, but we don’t have Supply-Trucks. U.S. Forces have the possibility to build up field defensives which can stop enemy units from pushing through your lines.
Increasing of game difficulty
While we focus on capturing ressource points and producing infantry units in the beginning, we will have to start the arms race with time of the game elapsed. While we fight and produce, we should not let our ressource points out of sight, because the enemy will try to capture these points. It is also important to see through your enemies tactical and strategic setup in order to defeat it.
During the battle tanks will roll on the field, artillerystrikes will rain down on our heads and in the confusion of battle we will lose some of our units. Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies demands a lot of attention to the game of every player in a team or it will show you that losing the overwiev of the battle can cause big consequences.
Goal of the game
The goal of the game is to eliminate your enemy or by decreasing his Victory Points. Every team starts with 500 Victory Points. On the maps there are 3 Victory Point Marks placed. In order to decrease your enemies Victory Points we have to own one more Victory Point Mark than the enemy. Victory Point Marks can be captured the same way as ressource points.
Graphics and Sound
Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies is developed with 3D-graphics and T&F. The various maps are designed with a lot of details and even the units are designed well. Although the lightning effects and details of terrains could be improved a little bit. In a complete view on the graphics, it does make a good impression. The sound in-game gives us the feeling as being in the battle yourself. All over the map you can hear shots and explosions. The music in the game is well composed and has some powerful and dynamic and some slow and calming tracks implemented.
Features and Extras
It is a stand-alone-addon for Company of Heroes 2. The Western Front Armies does not require the retail version of Company of Heroes 2. It provides us with two multiplayer-modes and two fractions we are able to choose.
Additionally we are still able to play with players who only own the retail version and they can choose the ancient Company of Heroes 2 fractions Wehrmacht and Soviets. Aswell a new reward system is included which gives you a drop. A drop can be a improved bulletin, a new commander, a skin or a Victory Strike. Unfortunatly there are no singleplayer contents in the game. For a price of 19 euros you receive a addon to your Company of Heroes 2 game or a completly new game, which has on first view few features, but on second view it reveals a huge anmount of new and innovative changes.
Pictures: Screenshots / companyofheroes.com
Results for Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies
Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies is a well done Standalone-Addon. The developers have created the game with great attention to details and the game will provide a high fun factor for experiences and new players. It challenges for individuals and team players alike, even though you can lose overview to the battle very quickly. Another argument buying the game is that you can play together with other players who only got the retail version. New player will need a little more time to discover the various style of using units and their abilities. The combination of units which is a key element of the Company of Heroes games will need practise and experience. For the future we would like to have better balancing of all fractions and additional content.