Game News Company of Heroes 3: New king of the real-time strategy game? Our impressions!
After being approached for the first time in July 2021, Company of Heroes 3 has returned to shake up the strategist within us! During a new presentation, we were able to discover the Afrikakorps, an unprecedented German division at work in Africa in the 1940s. of one hour. Does this new episode live up to the prestigious legacy of the series? Here is our review!
If you don’t know Company of Heroes, it was one of the big names in real-time strategy (RTS) gaming in the middle of World War II. So after Normandy then the western front in the first and the second episode, Sega and Relic Entertainment take us to the Mediterranean with Company of Heroes 3, where lesser known – but equally significant – clashes took place. “It’s not an easy story to tell but it’s important to do so” explains the studio, during a presentation reserved for the press. As part of Operation North African, one of the big chunks of the single-player campaign, players will be able to immerse themselves in the battles of Tobruk, Gazala, and El Alamein. But for the moment, it is that of Ajdabiya in Libya that we have been able to discover. This is the “Alpha Mission”, the one that opens the Operation in Africa. The opportunity to survey a fairly inhospitable terrain of war and lead the assault in the company of the Afrikakorps, the new faction of this third episode.
Want to try Mission Alpha?
If you are already participating in the collaborative development of Company of Heroes 3 and have had access to previous Pre-Alpha, Mission Alpha will automatically appear in your Steam library. If not, it’s not too late to join the “CoH-Development” Game.
A stated ambition
Sega and Relic Entertainment told us from the start, “Company of Heroes 3 will be the most ambitious installment in the series”, whether for single player or multiplayer. Then there is of course the new functioning of the main adventure, which requires advancing pawns and spending action points on a large Civilization-style map (we haven’t seen more on the subject). But more simply, Company of Heroes 3 will offer four playable factions as soon as it is released on November 17 on Steam against two in the past: the Americans, the British, the Wehrmacht and the new Afrikakorps. No major changes to the program for the teams already known, except for greater depth of play globally and a more affordable UK clan. The USA team retains its flexible-aggressive nature and the Germany team remains a strong defensive base. On the other hand, the Afrikakorps should offer “very fresh” gameplay for fans of the franchise. The Relic studio speaks of a “mechanized and mobile” faction capable of quickly deploying strategies and assaults. Everything takes on even more meaning with new gameplay features:
- “tank-riding”: Climb his troops on an armored vehicle to advance faster.
- “towing”: Tow/drop artillery pieces in order to cover/attack areas.
- “Side Armor”: Armored vehicle damage is much more localized to the rear/sides.
- “Traversable Trenches”: Climb a tank on top of a trench, even if occupied.
- (Finally, for the first time, front line infantry can repair vehicles)
“In the desert, a dust”
After a full briefing, we embarked on the first mission of North African Operation. Our objective, to annihilate the British forces between the cities Ajdabiya, Msus and Saunna. As so often, the battle starts in a corner of the map, with an army that can grow up to a certain threshold depending on the resources and control points recovered. First element that challenges: the nature of the terrain. The Libyan desert reserves its share of verticality, an element that can put you in a position of strength – if you are the one who is high – as well as of failure. Fans of the genre know it: in Company of Heroes as in all RTS, you have to grope your way, anticipate the unexpected hidden by the fog of war (dark area out of the army’s field of vision). Moreover, while we are at it, remember that this episode offers for the first time an active break only valid in the solo part. Enough to freeze the action, establish a strategy, and then resume the course of things!
An ideal feature for newcomers: Company of Heroes 3 is part of a genre that can quickly overwhelm the player, having to manage multiple teams and attacks at the same time. On the subject, we appreciated the flexibility offered by the Afrikakorps. Towing, moving artillery pieces (a Pak 38 Anti-Tank in our case) can be decisive but requires a lot of anticipation. And the ability to repair vehicles directly with infantry is a clearly big plus. As a reminder, Relic Entertainment is looking to get closer to Company of Heroes 1 here, valuing good men on the battlefield more than ever and extending tank creation times. A very good choice to avoid fights that end with interposed armor, even if this aspect remains just as solid, especially with Side Armor. All in all, we more than enjoyed our game session with Company of Heroes 3. There is still work to be done at the Relic studio (a lot of display bugs, others more restrictive) but everything is in right way. See you in November to see more.
> Read our preview (2021) on the Campaign and Skirmishes of Company of Heroes 3