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Old 07-15-2012, 02:44 AM #1
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Company of Heroes 2

a.

Background

When Company of Heroes was released in 2006, it filled a void in the game industry - a halfway decent real-time strategy game set in World War II. In fact, it did more than fill the void: CoH has won over 20 awards and still remains the highest rated strategy game of all time. Company of Heroes offered a completely immersive gameplay experience; blending vivid, fluid animations with a phenomenal soundscape along with intelligent AI and well-researched historical accuracy, it was a genre-defining game that is still played and thoroughly enjoyed by millions of people. And the addition of two expansion packs, Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valor, have kept the appetites of WWII RTS fans whetted. (1)

So it's no surprise, then, that a sequel has been announced to a good deal of fanfare.

Summary

Company of Heroes 2 is expected to be released sometime in 2013. Whereas the first installment(s) of the series were set in Western Europe (specifically centered around the Invasion of Normandy in 1944 and the operations that followed, e.g. Market Garden, etc), CoH 2 will be set in Eastern Europe, following the conflicts between the German Army and the Red Army. Missions will span during the timeframe of Operation Barbarossa (Germany's invasion of Russia) to the Battle of Berlin (whereupon Hitler became an hero and the war began to draw to a close). (1)

A major objective of Relic Studios in the production of Company of Heroes 2 is historical authenticity. The team has traveled to Germany and Russia to take pictures of uniforms, guns, tanks, locations, and so on, and, like any good production studio, has amassed a library of historical firearm and vehicle sound effects. The studio is aiming to immerse itself in history so as to make a game which does the same for the player. More on Relic's historical accuracy endeavors can be had here. (2, 4)

CoH 2 will make use of the Essence 3 engine. The original Essence engine was developed entirely in-house by Relic for Company of Heroes. It featured various lighting effects ("high dynamic range lighting, dynamic lighting and shadows, advanced shader effects and normal mapping"), as well as real-time physics, facial expression animation, variable weather effects, variable times of day, and so on. (3) Essence 2 was introduced in Dawn of War II (and its sequel and stand-alone expansions) and allowed, "for more detailed models and textures; more advanced lighting and shading effects," among other features. (3)

Screenshots

Company of Heroes-

b.

c.

d.

Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II-

e.



Essence 3 will, ideally, be pretty advanced and will build on the facial animation, lighting, and physics effects which have characterized the Essence engine thus far. From the looks of screenshots released heretofore, it looks pretty snazzy.

Company of Heroes 2-

f.

g.

h.

i.



Rating aka a list of the horrible images your poor baby will be exposed to

Company of Heroes 2, like its predecessors, will be rated M. According to the Company of Heroes Facebook page here, it will be rated as such for Blood and Gore, Strong Language and Violence. (2) Whether or not this is an actual ESRB designation is up for debate, as the previous installments have received "Intense Violence" as opposed to just plain 'ol "Violence." Either way, CoH 2 will obviously continue the preceding games' legacy of immersive, realistic, violent gameplay. People will likely still be blown apart by artillery, writhe on the ground after being shot, and curse at each other, their situations, and their enemies. Good fun for all.



Why You Should be Interested

Company of Heroes (and its expansions) were phenomenal games. They were set apart by their well-researched historical accuracy, great game engine, captivating gameplay, and a huge amount of fun and replay value. Company of Heroes requires you to really think through your strategies as there isn't a massive amount of resources (unless your matches are on huge maps and last for a long time). It manages to create some level of attachment between the player and the units; infantry will chat while idle and holler while fighting. It creates a certain image of "Commander" for the player without being campy and over-the-top (a la RA3 and the like). In short, despite being a violent (but accurately violent) strategy game where the player is hovering over the battlefield, there is a distinct human element to the game which not only endears the player but also makes them want to continue playing for a long time.

Company of Heroes 2, as the first full sequel to the original, promises to build on the original without completely reworking it; after all, there's only so much wiggle room with a historical game, and a historical game that has proven its gameplay is already top-notch at that. Its coverage of the "other half" of the War in Europe will be markedly different from the original's France-based locale, but definitely in a good way. The new-and-improved Essence 3 engine looks awesome and will provide that eye candy that so many gamers are obsessed with nowadays, but its meat and potatoes (history, gameplay, fun) will still provide a more than solid foundation for a game which, if the original is any indication, will likely win a plethora of awards upon release.



Further Reading

More can be found on the franchise at the CoH website here. (7)

Updates on CoH 2 can and will be lapped eagerly from these two direct sources (2):
Facebook
Twitter

IGN's mostly useless page on the game is here; while it's short on actual written details, it does have links to a few vidyums which may or may not interest you. They should. (5)

Finally, if you're one of those slacker-gamer types who doesn't really care about school but just loooooves to down Monster and play Cawl of Doodie 4-8 (except 5 because TOO HISTORICALLY), but are interested in this game, please do yourself a favor and get some background knowledge here. (6) You should know this stuff anyway, but if you don't, now is as good a time as any to start edumacating yourself on what is arguably the most significant course of events in the 20th century. Slacker.

End

That's about it. I hope at least some of you are looking forward to this as much as I am. I still remember buying CoH Gold Edition a few years ago. Speaking of which, if you don't have it, you ought to buy either the Gold Edition (CoH + Opposing Fronts or the CoH Anthology (all 3). It's cheap by now, and still a lot of fun.

tl;dr I couldn't believe there wasn't already a thread for this game and it's going to be great and you should get it because I am going to get it.


Sources (not MLA or whatever; sue me)

1. Company of Heroes Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_of_Heroes

2. Company of Heroes Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/companyofheroes

3. Essence Engine Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essence_Engine

4. Company of Heroes 2: Creating an Authentic Experience by Anthony Gallegos IGN, July 6, 2012 (aka D-Day anniversary, slacker)- http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/07/...tic-experience

5. Company of Heroes 2 IGN- http://www.ign.com/games/company-of-heroes-2/pc-133759

6. World War II Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II

7. Company of Heroes Home Page Relic Entertainment- http://www.companyofheroes.com

Images, in order of appearance-
a. http://www.hdwallpapers.in/walls/com...eroes_3-HD.jpg
b. http://pressstartblog.files.wordpres...ity-battle.jpg
c. http://www.pcgameshardware.com/scree..._Heroes_05.jpg
d. http://www.deshow.net/d/file/games/2...f-heroes-2.jpg
e. http://matteomazzali.files.wordpress...04/orbital.jpg
All CoH2 screenshots (f. through i.) are from (http://www.videogamer.com/pc/company...reenshots.html)
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Last edited by Promagistrate : 08-25-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:54 AM #2
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I heard about this a while ago, but I can't honestly say I'm too wild about it. Don't get me wrong, I love CoH and its expansions, I just didn't see the need for any more. On top of that, one of the lead developers for the original CoH was killed in a car accident, God rest his soul. Time will tell, I suppose.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:59 AM #3
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I heard about this a while ago, but I can't honestly say I'm too wild about it. Don't get me wrong, I love CoH and its expansions, I just didn't see the need for any more. On top of that, one of the lead developers for the original CoH was killed in a car accident, God rest his soul. Time will tell, I suppose.
We shall see. If it were a rehash of the whole Normandy campaign I wouldn't be too thrilled, but Ruskies v. Krauts sounds like fun.

Also, I didn't know one of the developers died .
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:01 AM #4
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It was a couple years ago now, so I wouldn't expect you to remember it.

http://kotaku.com/5630790/company-of...n-car-accident

I can't believe it's been that long.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:08 AM #5
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Can't believe I didn't hear about that. It's really too bad.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:14 AM #6
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Hopefully they optimize the engine a little better this time around. COH ran like dog **** with my 570. Haven't tried it with my 670 yet, but I can't imagine the improvement will be very drastic. Dawn of War II runs fine so maybe they have learned how to smooth out the rough edges since COH.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:20 AM #7
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iirc the first go-round with the essence engine was optimized for medium range hardware. i could run COH pretty well on my E1505 but the performance gain from that to our 2600k 6870 crossfire rig wasn't nearly as large as I would have thought. I'm not sure why it wouldn't be buttery smooth on high end hardware but regardless essence 3 will undoubtedly be well optimized for current medium and high end hardware.

at least I hope
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:46 AM #8
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first one was definitely one of the cooler strategy games i have played. but i got burned out on WW2 along time ago. meh
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:21 AM #9
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I don't think I could ever be burned out on WWII
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:40 AM #10
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Stoked, always liked the CoH playstyle which more focused on grand strategy vs for example starcraft which is so heavy on resources, base expansions, and micromanagement.

I find it a bit more relaxing to play.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:30 PM #11
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Stoked, always liked the CoH playstyle which more focused on grand strategy vs for example starcraft which is so heavy on resources, base expansions, and micromanagement.

I find it a bit more relaxing to play.
it plays more like chess or risk, whereas starcraft or halo wars and the like are more like managing a business.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:13 PM #12
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Lots of goodies surfacing lately.

Heavy snowfall will impede troop movement or even stop them. I'd imagine this will have an effect on visibility as well since the whole fog of war thing is entirely reliant on individual troop vision.

Ice can break if big tanks drive over them and you have bad luck, or if the ice takes a lot of damage. Ice will have individual HP, or something similar.
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:36 PM #13
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Looks mad faggy. COD is better.
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:17 PM #14
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Looks mad faggy. COD is better.
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Old 07-29-2012, 12:30 AM #15
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COD
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:05 AM #16
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A lot of people call me a hero because I was hit by acar that was traveling at 65 mph and it knocked me 60 feet and I landed in a pile of blood, bones, and meat. But I'm still hear and living and breathing.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:00 AM #17
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A lot of people call me a hero because I was hit by acar that was traveling at 65 mph and it knocked me 60 feet and I landed in a pile of blood, bones, and meat. But I'm still hear and living and breathing.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:08 AM #18
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:16 AM #19
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I'm waiting to see what it adds to the first game, but that game was great so improved graphics might be all it takes for me to play this one too.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:01 AM #20
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I'm waiting to see what it adds to the first game, but that game was great so improved graphics might be all it takes for me to play this one too.
there's much more of an environmental dynamic. even if it's just coh with breakable ice and blizzards, it'll be rad
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:34 AM #21
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Actually pumped about this game
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