Company of Heroes (PC) review
"Your boat arrives at the sandy shore, but what awaits for many is death. Every enemy is ready, guns at their side. The crashing of waves is drowned out by immense fire, bullets flying everywhere. What was once your best friend is now a blood ridden corpse. But you and your comrades push forward with determination. Your infantry uses all the tricks up their sleeves - flanking from various directions, calling in artillery fire. What seems like days of fighting finally ends, and you are victorious...."
Your boat arrives at the sandy shore, but what awaits for many is death. Every enemy is ready, guns at their side. The crashing of waves is drowned out by immense fire, bullets flying everywhere. What was once your best friend is now a blood ridden corpse. But you and your comrades push forward with determination. Your infantry uses all the tricks up their sleeves - flanking from various directions, calling in artillery fire. What seems like days of fighting finally ends, and you are victorious.
Welcome to Company of Heroes. Never before has a strategy game captured the true horrors of war, while at the same time providing loads of fun. Youíll see two soldiers engaging in comical conversation, and before you know it one of them will have been shot. Then all of a sudden youíre thrown into the heat of the struggle, with only your wits at your disposal. You have no time to hang your head in sorrow, itís time for battle.
Company of Heroís most appealing factor is its gameplay. When playing a strategy game, a wide array of troops and detailed commands are essential. Luckily, these are the gameís strongest assets. Youíll become familiar with quite a few soldiers, ranging from basic riflemen to trusty mortars. Oh yeah, and there are tanks. Thatís right, those giant vehicles capable of mass destruction make a lot of appearances. Get ready to drive over foes and blow things up all day. But if there arenít thorough actions to issue to your troops, whatís the point?
Accompanying Company of Heroes is a variety of complex commands sure to please the George S. Patton in all of us. Whether it be flanking from various directions or building barracks, the game proves to encompass all the responsibilities of war. The list of options is superior to that of other strategy games; this is in large part due to each infantryís capabilities. You could have riflemen throwing sticky bombs or engineers crafting devastating minefields. On the contrary though, this can tend to become complicated. With so much going on, one could forget something here and there. But this should prove to be only a minor problem, because it wonít result in death...that all rests on your hands. But the question is, does all this translate into a feast for the eyes?
One of the biggest obstacles the game overcomes is that pesky visual barrier. Not too often, if at all, do strategy games blow us away with incredible graphics. Company of Heroes ignores this completely, resulting in the most authentic look imaginable. There are a medley of explosions, so get ready to see countless piles of debris. Also, whatís war without dead bodies? Throughout your conquest, youíll encounter many battlefields with soldiers corpses strewn about. Everything meshes together so well, delivering a harrowing reincarnation of war. Of course sights and sounds compliment each other in such heinous events, so luckily the audio lives up to this.
There are all kinds of soldiers today who have a loss of hearing. This can only mean war is loud, and Company of Heroes seizes that opportunity. The game is full of blistering rifle fire and thundering tank fire. Also, the dialogue does a nice job of delivering believable characters. You can sense fear and joy in their voices, and theyíll even whisper at night, which adds to the realism of the game. Top this off with a symphonic score full of brasses and ominous strings, and youíve got a game covers every side of warfare.
Length is something Company of Heroes does not fall short on. The campaign provides quite a few hours of micro-management, and a second time around on a higher difficulty proves to be fun. Another welcome feature is the skirmish mode, which many will find to be more than satisfying. Then again, thereís the multiplayer. The game comes equipped with online play for up to eight players, so get your troops ready for battle with the enemy. In the end, Company of Heroes grasps a hold of you, and keeps its grip tight for a long while.
Everything in the game adds up to deliver a gaming experience never before seen. Company of Heroes manages to show the truly harrowing account of war, while offering a fun and engaging experience for us all. The game has a deep and complex system that will please the war genius in all of us. And the developers at Relic made sure we had plenty of troops to play with. Just add in a dash of groundbreaking visuals and ambient sound, and youíve got yourself one of the best strategy games to grace the PC. Give yourself a little pep talk, because itís time to fight...for a long while.
Community review by amlabella (December 03, 2006)
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