View Full Version : Review: Company of Heroes

6th October 06, 07:22 PM
It's WWII, again. But this this RTS does things right. Relic who relased the awesome Dawn of War series of games has recently released COH. I picked up a copy the day it came out and I was excited due what I had been reading about this game.

The single player campaign involves landing on Normandy Beach, and progressinhg through Europe to destroy the Nazis. The plot is not what makes this game special, what does is the gameplay.

Graphically, I doubt you'll find an RTS that has the detail of COH. Similar to DOW, the camera can be freely panned right up close and you can see some excellent detail on the textures. The game was billed as having "FPS level graphics in an RTS" and while I don't think that's 100% true, it is certianly impressive looking up close. In DOW relic accomplished somethig that needed to be done in the RTS genre but never had, namely the realism of the battle. Units looked like they were actually fighting. While COH lacks the H2H element of DOW, the firefights look very realistic as units dive for cover, hit the ground and get sent sailing through the air when hit by shells. I once saw half a body flying through the air when my tanks fired at a squad.

The main thing that COH brings to the genre is physics. Lots o' physics. Almost every building, barrel, tree, plant, fence, wall can be knocked over crushed or splinterd into pieces with explosions. Tanks go right through walls and take the corner out of buildings. Buildings fall apart, get holes blown through them and collaspse into rubble as they get shot up. Even machine gun fire digs up the dirt and eats away at concrete creating a cool cloud of dust.

The gameplay has some significant differences to your standard RTS. You don't point a squad at an enemy squad and have them stand there and hit each other every time they shoot. What happens is that units will crouch down, take cover and engage in a firefight. Not every shot yoru squad fires will hit, they ususally fight it out for a while then someone will get hit. A voiceover will reward you with "enemy down". Units that see more action will gain veterancy and increase thier accuracy which is a nice feature. You can do some cool stuff like garrison buildings with troops and see them poke guns out the windows and fire on nearby enemies. This tactic works well for snipers.

The sound is good. Explosions, gunfire and the sound of bullets ripping through flesh are all effective. The units voices are great and carry the tradition of DOW. A cool feature is that if a unit talks and is on screen, his voice will be normal, but if he's off screen the voice will have an old radio effect on it. I feel that the nazi voices are a bit silly. They make them appaer as bumbling buffoons and the serious setting doesn't really mesh with that sort of comedy.

While this is cutting edge RTS, it's not without it's technical drawbacks. The game takes ages to load. I mean, go and make a cup of coffee while you wait. Finally when it does load there is still about 20 seconds of slowdown, untill the game wakes up and has it's own morning coffee. After that things are generally smooth although when units start to increase in numbers, especially on screen, the frame rate will take a hit. I'm running an E6600 with an ATI 1900xtx and 1 gig of corsair RAM. I can put all details on maximum but the game will stutter a bit so I generally go for medium. It has been discoverd that this game ir RAM hungry, while 1 gig is plenty for most games, COH really needs 2 gig to max out on all the settings.

Rating: 9/10

Screenshots here:

http://www.eurogamer.net/assets/articles/a59300/ss_preview_1.jpg http://media.pc.gamespy.com/media/743/743961/imgs_1.html

Airman Kai
7th October 06, 12:50 AM
Wrong Forum.

7th October 06, 12:55 AM
Where did I put it? I thought it was in Geekdom.

Sorry. Didn't see the reviews forum. I suck.

7th October 06, 04:14 AM
Review goes to review forum.

Ta-da, mod magics!