A challenging game to master

by Shane Dillon

IT’S been ages since I featured any PC games – apologies for that, as PC games (and gamers) are often overlooked for console games instead. As, err, I prove about 97.3% of the time …

Of course, PC gamers continue to enjoy terrific games in many genres, with the platform proving perfect for a tactical title like

Company of Heroes 2, the long-awaited sequel to the hit 2006 game that’s out now. Simply put, it’s a real-time strategy (RTS) game, based on the particularly bloody conflict along the Eastern Front around 1945.

History records how the Communists eventually crushed  the Nazis with a brutal war machine from the East – under your control, however, things could go very differently.

CoH2’s meaty single-player campaign takes in a significant chunk of the period, from the chaotic siege of Stalingrad through to the final march on Berlin, with you directing your troops on the field through a number of historically accurate theatres of war.

At first glance, Relic’s title looks pretty similar to a hundred similar strategy games beforehand – albeit a very pretty and detailed one, at that – but a number of interesting management options, coupled with challenging line-of-sight rules that affect what you see (and what the enemy sees), can quickly seize defeat from the jaws of victory – or vice versa.

Throw in some quirky, but slightly gimmicky, weather conditions that can affect the flow of battle, and it’s another memorable touch to have added on the sequel.

Ultimately, CoH2 hasn’t tinkered with the winning RTS formula of its predecessor too much – but then, when you’ve crafted such an enjoyable, challenging title, why would you?

And all that is before you even try multiplayer matches to really test your armchair general skills …

Company of Heroes 2 is available now; prices vary at retail.

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