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Company of Heroes 2 Preview



Company of Heroes 2 is the sequel to the critically acclaimed 2006 game, Company of Heroes. It is a real-time strategy game being developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sega.

As with the original Company of Heroes, the game is set in World War II, but will focus on the Eastern Front. It will run on Relic Entertainment’s proprietary Essence 3.0 game engine, which THQ claimed will allow the developer to bring "new technological advancements" to the game. In January of 2013, Sega acquired Relic Entertainment and along with it the Company of Heroes intellectual property from THQ. The game will also utilize Valve's Steamworks technology with matchmaking and achievements.

The game will focus on the Eastern Front campaign as narrated through flashbacks by Lev Abramovich Isakovich, a Soviet Army lieutenant locked up at a gulag in Siberia in 1952. An Army officer interrogates him about his experiences during the war. The game will feature the Soviet Red Army as a new faction and will take you on various stages of the Eastern Front campaign, from Operation Barbarossa to the Battle of Berlin. The game will also offer the player a chance to complete side missions such as protecting civilians caught in the crossfire.

Company of Heroes 2 in-game

The campaign is comprised of 14 missions, which are quite diverse. For example, using snipers during a blizzard, and then switching to large scale missions where you command a huge army. The game will last for approximately 10-15 hours. The game has been in development for about three years, where new technology has been added to the engine over that time.

In the Essence 3.0 game engine is the improvement of new line-of-sight technology, called TrueSight, which aims to better emulate troop visibility in real combat. TrueSight more accurately represents a unit's visibility range based on environmental conditions and type of unit. Essence 3.0 will also incorporate an innovative weather-simulating technology known as ColdTech and destructible environments.

Weather conditions will play a major role in the gameplay, with movement and action penalties applied on players’ units. It is also worthwhile to mention that since many battles in the Eastern Front occurred in winter weather, troops can die of frostbite if caught on the outside during blizzards. The only way to combat these effects would be to use bonfires, but that may alert the enemy to your location.

Company of Heroes 2 was first announced, by THQ, in May of 2012. Danny Bilson, THQ executive vice president of core games, noted that the publisher will continue working on Company of Heroes 2 following its launch next year. He said gamers can expect a "strong post-launch support digital content plan that enhances and expands the product's lifecycle”. 19 December 2012 was a sad day for THQ, as they filed for bankruptcy, just after postponing the release date of Company of Heroes 2. The following month, on January 23, 2013, it was announced that THQ had sold Relic Entertainment to Sega for $26.6 million (R264 204 500) as part of an auction of the company's properties in result of the bankruptcy.