Sega and Relic Want to Revive the Company of Heroes 2 With a New Expansion

It’s been a long time since I heard about any news regarding the Company of Heroes title. The hype around it suddenly died soon after it got released, though the expansions that came after it did try to keep it going. The latest one, Adrenaline Assault, also shifted the focus on the eastern World War II front, taking the focus off the Allied forces and placing the Red Army in the spotlight.

This time around, the focus will move to the Brits and their forces. The upcoming expansion will be called Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces and will introduce fifteen new unites and six commanders, along with eight new multiplayer maps. It will also be a standalone multiplayer expansion, which means you don’t need to have Company of Heroes 2 in order to play it.

In addition to the expansion, Relic and Sega is planning a big update for all Company of Heroes 2 titles too. The latter will feature an improved balance between all factions, improved animations and visual improvements to the majority of units. It’s nice to see they are still supporting the Company of Heroes 2 title, but will this move to attract more players actually work this time?

The expansion and update are said to arrive on the 3rd of September, having the expansion cost £9.99. Sega said it will also offer a 20% discount to players who already own any Company of Heroes title, but only for pre-order purchases.

Thank you Rock, Paper, Shotgun for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of SegaBits

Company Of Heroes 2 Gets New Free Map – Semoskiy

Company of Heroes 2 developer Relic Entertainment have just announced a brand new map for Company of Heroes 2 via Eurogamer. This new map is based off the highly popular Semois from the original Company of Heroes. The map is called Semoskiy and has both a summer and winter variant. Relic Entertainment will patch the map into Company of Heroes 2 via a Steam Update on September the 10th. Both the summer and winter variants of the maps will be provided to current Company of Heroes 2 owners free of charge and will automatically download via Steam.

Relic Entertainment also provided a trailer for the map so you can get a feel for what it will look like. Don’t forget to watch in HD! If you’re a player of Company of Heroes 2 then you don’t have to do anything at all, and who can complain about free stuff?!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRSxmrzgwzs[/youtube]

Image courtesy of Eurogamer (YouTube)

AMD’s New Game Bundled Called “Never Settle Forever”

We recently brought you news about the new AMD Never Settle bundle being released later on this year. VR-Zone reports that this new Never Settle bundle will be dubbed Never Settle Forever and is coming in August.

“It is coming in August, and it will be called Never Settle Forever. I cannot yet tell you what the games are…Well, the obvious one is Battlefield 4. We are doing some stunning things with that”, said AMD’s Roy Taylor.

Previous reports suggested the following details about the Never Settle Forever game bundle:

“For the HD 7000 series it will include some of, or all, of the following games – Splinter Cell: Blacklist, either Lost Planet 3 or Raven’s Cry (both will launch in October), Grid 2, and Company of Heroes 2.  Of course the exact games each card gets will depend on the card in question. Higher value cards will get more and/or better games than lower cost cards.

The HD 9000 series bundle is said to include Watch Dogs, Battlefield 4, and Total War: Rome 2. AMD might even bundle pre-release Battlefield 4 codes if the HD 9000 series GPUs arrive before Battlefield 4.”

Image courtesy of X-Bit Labs

New AMD Never Settle Bundles Detailed – Battlefield 4, Company Of Heroes 2 And More

AMD’s Never Settle bundle has really appealed to gamers by offering them a wide range of Top-Tier games included within the price of already competitively priced graphics cards. In many cases this saves gamers a tonne of money on games they would of bought and can even make you an effective rebate should you decide to sell the game codes to recoup some costs.

According to VR-Zone AMD is revamping its Never Settle Bundles once again. AMD’s VP of channel sales Roy Taylor told them that AMD would announce two new bundles, one for the HD 7000 series and one for the HD 9000 series that will probably launch later this year.

The new bundle for the HD 7000 series will include some of, or all, of the following games – Splinter Cell: Blacklist, either Lost Planet 3 or Raven’s Cry (both will launch in October), Grid 2, and Company of Heroes 2.  Of course the exact games each card gets will depend on the card in question. Higher value cards will get more and/or better games than lower cost cards.

The HD 9000 series bundle is said to include Watch Dogs, Battlefield 4, and Total War: Rome 2. AMD might even bundle pre-release Battlefield 4 codes if the HD 9000 series GPUs arrive before Battlefield 4.

Image courtesy of AMD

Company of Heroes 2 PC Review

This week I’ve been getting lost in a part of the gaming world I know little about, real-time strategy. I’ve tried and failed at this genre before and I’ve yet to find a game that really hooked me, even then I think the last one I moderately enjoyed was C&C Generals! But I have heard great things about Company of Heroes and when presented with a chance to test out this latest edition in the series I just couldn’t help myself. Of course this isn’t just me sharing my preferences for gaming but a warning that I am a complete n00b at CoH2 and may not fully grasp the source material, you have been warned.

The game takes place in the legendary setting of World War II, in which you will span several legendary encounters from the perspective of the games new faction the Soviet Red Army. This sees you crossing the Eastern Front and the campaign features 14 challenging missions for you to pick your way through. Personally I found the game to be quite challenging in more ways than one and for the purpose of my own enjoyment I had to bump it down to Conscript difficulty (easy) just to get anywhere, although this could be my lack of experience with this type of game.

There is a tutorial mission included also for newcomers to the series and while it is a nice addition, it leaves many questions lingering in my opinion. There are many minor systems and tweaks that can be made to characters, gameplay elements and tactics while you’re playing and these are mostly unexplained and I get the feeling that while they may not be completely necessary to win they would likely offer something extra to more experienced fans of the series.

There are some interesting stories and scenarios throughout the game and the feeling that your often fighting a losing battle is ever-present, in fact it is often the case that the mission is to just hold out before retreating instead of actually winning the battle. This is further brought to life in the cut scenes and while they’re far from winning an Oscar in terms of CGI or acting quality they work well to set the pace and highlight some of the aspects of how the Soviet Army treated their soldiers.

The settings of the missions allow for some other new experiences too and the weather can have a big impact on certain battles, most importantly because your soldiers can freeze to death and its important to move between shelter and heat sources on some missions and this was by far my favourite feature as it added urgency to the mission and you felt the need to keep groups moving tightly together to stay alive outside of gun fights.

The game features plenty of great little features that make it enjoyable to play, plenty of weapons and vehicles make for a dynamic battle field and the pace of gameplay can be pretty frantic at the best of times too. Soldiers will call out enemies and the whole experience feels very involving but it’s often let down by some poor AI. Squads will struggle to find a route, or they will try fire at enemies through a wall or worst of all you may see them spinning around on the spot, stuck and lost for the rest of the game or until someone kills them.

Graphics look really nice and there are some extensive graphics settings options to allow you to tweak snow, shadows, AA, lighting, textures, physics and more and this ensures that even low powered systems can get in on the action, but the game can also take advantage of a high-end system and some of the visual effects do look rather cool. The camera can be spun 360 degrees to give you the best view of the fight but while you can also tip the camera I found that doing so highlights some poor level models and buildings that look awful from any other Y-Axis angle than the default one.

Overall the campaign took me about 15 hours to pick my way through and while it was enjoyable it wasn’t as entertaining as the Theatre of War missions. Theatre of War offers solo, co-of and AI battles, it offers more missions than the main campaign and the objectives are often a little more fun and engrossing than the main missions. Multiplayer also offers you even extra gameplay for your money and it’s also a great way to avoid the iffy AI by adding that human element to the game, naturally I got my butt handed to me but it was nice to see a more dynamic and evolving style of gameplay take place.

Overall I really enjoyed this game, while I have no intention of playing the campaign again I can certainly see myself returning to the Theatre of War missions a few more times to fine tune my skills. I still suck pretty bad at the game but there is a certain joy to be found in commanding tanks, having mortars blast holes in frozen rivers to trap enemies and sending forward groups of engineers with flamethrowers that will keep me entertained for quite some time.

I may not know much about strategic war games, nor do I feel I know a huge amount on the specific battles portrayed in this title, but I do know this is still a great game and while it lacks a few refinements in the AI it’s still an enjoyable experience.

Company Of Heroes 2 Official Campaign Trailer Released

Company of Heroes 2 should be one of the most exciting RTS releases of 2013 for the PC Gamer.  Developers Relic and Publisher SEGA have now delivered the official cinematic campaign trailer for the upcoming title that is set to be released on PC on June 25th 2013 (that is less than a month away).

The cinematic trailer shows the story of the westward march of the Red Army as it liberates its territory back from Nazi Germany before proceeding through the rest of Eastern Europe towards Berlin to force the surrender of Germany. The cinematic trailer shows the focus of the story as being about a battle for the truth and it draws very much upon needless soldier deaths and civilian casualties.

Company of Heroes 2 is equipped with an entirely new game engine and a set of mechanics designed to simulate more realistically the Eastern Front and its treacherous conditions.

Gamers who are not fond of the campaign modes can also engage with the historical theater of War or in multi-player battles. Indeed it is the multi-player that is likely to prove most popular as this has sustained Company of Heroes since its release in 2006.

You can currently pre-order Company of Heroes 2 for £39.99/$59.99 on Steam or from Sega directly for £39.99 for the Standard version and £69.99 for the Digital Collectors Edition version.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIz2uld_Ag0[/youtube]

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