I do love Steam. Especially when they offer a free three-day test of certain games. Over the weekend the offer was extended to me to play Saints Row IV and Company of Heroes 2. Seeing as how I already reviewed Saints Row IV (which you can view by clicking here), I decided it was time to give Company of Heroes 2 a go. I never got a chance to play the first Company of Heroes, but I always am a fan of real-time strategy games so it was certainly worth a play through. While I can safely say that my experience to the game was positive, there was never a moment where I was blown away by anything that I was seeing. Real-Time strategy games based around World War II are a dime a dozen in the gaming world so another one released is not necessarily breaking new ground. But all things considered it is still an enjoyable play.
The game takes place almost exclusively on the Eastern Front just after the Soviet Union reclaimed Stalingrad from the invading Nazi forces. The story in the campaign mode is told through flashback from the point of view of Lev Abramovich Isakovich, a disgraced lieutenant who has been sent to the gulag in Siberia during the winter of 1952. The events of the game are told by him to his former commanding officer.
Controls are Spot on and AI is Well Done
By the standards of what it means to be a game, the crunch if you will; this game is really spot on. The controls are tight, I never once ran into a single glitch which always deserves a thumbs up just for that, and the AI is really well done. The enemies of this game really plan and strategize. It is a game that will require you to think if you want to get past them. It is a real bonus to a strategy game like this to have AI that can compete with the human player and it does it well.
The graphics are also pretty good for a game like this which usually can be pretty blocky and blurry.
For any game that is based on historical events, if you play fast and loose with the history than you are bound to get some shit thrown your way. Luckily, this game does remain true to the source material. This has caused a bit of a stir with some gamers, which we will get to in the cons section.
It is not on the level of controversies that we have seen in the gaming community over the past couple of years, but it was enough to make it somewhat relevant. Several gamers from Russia and Ukraine have called foul on the portrayal of the Red Army during World War II. Many have claimed that the characters act very harsh and cruel as the Red Army is shown killing their own men who retreated during the war, killing surrendering prisoners, and sending others to the Gulag for insubordination.
While I can understand the criticism and negative backlash that this can bring, the fact that a lot of this has been documented and proven to have happened during the events of World War II is enough for me to side with the game itself. World War II is still a touchy subject for many people and is one that you have to approach with a little finesse when preparing something that will be consumed by the masses.
It’s a Vanilla Real-Time Strategy Game
I said it earlier, Real-Time Strategy games like this are a dime a dozen, not made any better by the fact that it is a game based on World War II. This game is the definition of safe. Something that has a built-in fanbase that will make money. As long as you do not fuck it up, you will make ‘modest’ sales. Which granted, they did do a good job with it. But with the market we find ourselves in today, the fact that a safe game like this is created is enough for me to call it a major criticism of the game itself.
There isn’t a lot to say about this game. It is a decent real time strategy game based on World War II. What else can you say? It is a safe game for the developers and publishers to make money and they did a decent job. The controls are good, the AI is good, and the graphics are good. It is a little controversial but only as controversial as any other WWII game. If you are a fan of that type of game I say give it a go.
Final Score 2.5/5
Please forgive the rushed nature of this review. I have been quite busy this weekend. Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoy this review, please like and subscribe for more.