Saturday, June 29, 2013

(Spoilers) Company of Heroes 2: Single-player First Impressions

***SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers may be found in the post below about VARIOUS ITEMS. And I'm going to add in a bit of filler text here to limit how much of the main article gets shown in a preview. That should take care of most of it. Hopefully. And away we go. SPOILER WARNING. ***

This is my first new purchase since Diablo 3 came out in May of 2012, which was a bit over a year ago. I played the hell out of that and got my money's worth. For some reason, Far Cry 3 and Bioshock: Infinite weren't that appealing to me. Maybe I'm getting old.

Anyways, so I got Company of Heroes 2. The last time I played a Company of Heroes game must have been 5 years ago when I first got my Dell 2407 monitor -- I remember because it was the first game I tested on my new monitor.

This new version doesn't appear to have changed that much. Cut scenes are not the highest quality that I've seen. The in-game graphics are fine and not a distraction -- neither spectacular nor bad. I'm playing at 1920x1200 with mid/high settings, textures I believe are medium, and shadows low. Things run smoothly unless there are a lot of fires on the screen, then it slows down a bit, but not to the point of chugging.

Single-player Campaign
I suck at multiplayer strategy games. I'm always too slow in setting up and get killed early, so haven't touched that yet. The main focus for me was and still is the single-player campaign where I started as a Russian commander. So far, I've only been through the first three or four levels. The first level is pretty simplistic with the need to only command three or so squads, no resources to really worry about, and just a few advanced features. This is based on the Stalingrad battle, which is the main focus of the movie Enemies at the Gate and other World War II games about the Russian Front.

Once I moved onto the second or third level, things got a lot more complicated. If you're familiar with history, the Russians were losing pretty badly early in the war, so a lot of defense. I may have missed a level in there, but there are two major defensive missions in a row early on. They were hard even though I was (still am) playing on the middle difficulty.

One had me using infantry and engineers to defend against non-stop attacks on multiple sides. That means grenades and mines only. I felt overwhelmed most of the time with too much stuff happening all at once. It turned into a game of spamming reinforcements for me after a while. I ran down the clock and managed to win after a few tries.

The other defensive level I remember was based in a town and I was on the defensive again. I think there was one based outside of the town just before this one. This was much harder than the previous level because I was defending against tanks and had to keep up with three major attack points/crossings. Again, it turned into a game of spamming reinforcements. I think I replayed it a half-dozen times.

I'm currently on a level where I have to keep my infantry warm. Bla bla bla, it's winter and I'm attacking, but I have to find fires or houses to keep my guys warm or they freeze to death. So far, I've tried it once and have found it frustrating. I ran into some Germans, started shooting, and everyone froze to death. Can't say I'm impressed with this level.

So Far
It's fun. Seems to be a lot of emphasis on spamming reinforcements, which sounds "accurate" in terms of war on the Russian Front. Think I would have been happier with a really dumbed down, shoot them up game. More thoughts to come.

Company of Heroes 2: Single-player Portion Review
Company of Heroes 2: Second Impressions
Company of Heroes 2: Third Impressions
Company of Heroes 2: Final Impressions