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Company of Heroes 2 delivers classic RTS gameplay on the Eastern Front

Hayden Dingman | June 26, 2013
Company of Heroes 2 is a sequel with a few new tricks that plays almost identically to its predecessor, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Relic also does an excellent job with its sound design, rivaling DICE (Battlefield series) for wartime audio. Everything sounds crisp here, from the tank rumbling through the silent, snowy village as your troops lie in ambush to the Stuka planes dive-bombing the battlefield.

A note on performance: the game runs fairly well on my PC--an i5 machine with 8 GB of RAM and a Radeon HD 7850 GPU-- though I experienced some slowdown during especially busy or explosive sections of the game. I also had odd frame rate hitching during the game's pre-rendered cutscenes. I'll keep experimenting with my settings to see if I can find a solution.

Bottom line
The best and worst thing I can say about Company of Heroes 2 is it feels like more Company of Heroes. That's not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it's a testament to how ahead-of-its-time the original Company of Heroes was--or perhaps an indicator of the glacial pace with which the RTS genre evolves.

However, this is a sequel to a seven-year-old game that plays almost identically to its predecessor. Oh sure, it's pretty and it sounds great, and the winter effects add a new tactical layer, but it's essentially a big expansion pack.

If you're a diehard fan and you've been waiting years for this game, great. I want to stress, Company of Heroes 2 is still objectively one of the best RTS games out there, and I certainly enjoyed my time with it. The formula was nearly perfect last time, and it's just as good this time around.

It just feels kind of like the original Company of Heroes died, dropped its gun, and the sequel picked it up and kept running in the same direction.

 

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