Eastern Promises: Company Of Heroes 2 Interview

By Adam Smith on June 4th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

After being shown a demo of Company of Heroes 2 at Relic’s headquarters, we took the opportunity to sit down with game director Quinn Duffy, producer Greg Wilson and senior gameplay designer Matthew Berger, to find out more about what they have planned for the sequel. Then we talked about history, finding heroism in horror and brutality, and how too much balance can harm a game’s other qualities.

RPS: Last night I was preparing questions and I didn’t know anything about the setting. I was hoping it would be the Eastern Front. You didn’t just make this game of me though, right? Why did you go for that setting?

Duffy: There are a bunch of reasons. The story itself, the setting, the epic nature of it. The mystery of it as well, especially the Western perspective on that, which has been really skewed. We don’t really understand. So the exploration of that has been an important part of the process. We’ve kept in contact with our fans through the forums. There are still hundreds of thousands of people playing the game every month. But from day one, from when Company of Heroes shipped, people have been saying “you have to do the Eastern Front next”. As time has gone on, that’s never gone away. People want the Eastern Front.

Now that people aren’t talking about an expansion, they want the real deal. A full sequel.

RPS: Do you follow the modding community? There was a decent Eastern Front mod.

Duffy: Yeah, they did a great job.

Wilson: We actually fixed a bug for them in our final patch.

RPS: There was patch, I think in May, for Company of Heroes 1…

Wilson: Yeah, that was a huge one.

RPS: A lot of the balance tweaks seem to come from community feedback but what about the expansions? Were they a way of experimenting with different stories and play styles? Tales of Valour was very different. Did you see that as a way of looking for ideas for the sequel?

Duffy: I think when we looked at those things, the idea of a sequel was JUST an idea. Tales of Valour was an opportunity for the team to experiment with some features, the more hero based ideas, a different way of telling stories.

All of that contributes to the pool of knowledge and experience in the team, those of us who have worked on the team in the past. It’s also a way of challenging ourselves, injecting different types of gameplay into the Company of Heroes experience.

But when we look back to a couple of years ago when we started work on Company of Heroes 2, we looked at the parts of the original that were still compelling to us. What we wanted to do was to take forward certain parts that we wanted to focus on. It was the core gameplay experience that we wanted to bring through.

When we talk about the sequel, in some ways it’s not new, we’re not taking the game in a completely radical direction, it’s a bunch of really cool new features and a lot more authentic. More environmental destruction, more tactical gameplay. That feels like a Company of Heroes sequel.

RPS: The new tactical additions, particularly the new line of sight, to me who knows nothing about the process of doing these things, making the AI work well with that sort of thing seems like it could be a big rod for your own backs. Quite the challenge!

Duffy: We don’t want to put any system in the game that the AI can’t use…

RPS: It seems that that happens a lot in strategy games.

Duffy: IT happened in the original Company of Heroes. There were abilities that the AI couldn’t or wouldn’t use, not properly or consistently. We put a lot more effort and focus on the AI, making it understand its role and the challenge it should offer to the player. It’s not about beating the player, it’s about offering them a fun experience. That’s a different way of looking at things.

RPS: There’s some similarity with the multiplayer. One thing that stood out that you said was that people still play the game together and tell stories about what happened. Less competitive and more experiential. That’s something that I always got from the first game’s campaigns as well. How important is it that your systems play into that?

Duffy: Critically. It’s amazing how many of our systems have nothing to do with game balance at all. They make our lives really hard because of some of that there is randomness.

Berger: Unlike other RTS games, you can’t look at a unit and work out that you do so much DPS and that unit has X health, so it will take so many shots to kill it. But, no! It could take that first shot to the face and also be crippled, or you could miss a few times, it could get to cover.So there is a lot of variance in the game and in the pacing and in the way the tactical depth works together. It makes it a deep game but also an approachable game where you have the time to react to the battlefield and make the decisions you need to make. Quinn, for example, is a slow, old person and would not be able to compete in a competitive RTS but in an environment like COH his knowledge of tactics and battlefields makes him a force to be reckoned with.

Duffy: Well, now he’s trying to be nice. I’m a mid quality player. For me it’s a sort of ‘what you see is what you get’. My expectation as someone who loves history and the military experience, I want these weapons to do what I expect them to do. I want these troops to react how I expect them to react. The systems that we use to build all of that are immense. We actually put more effort into how much our machine guns miss than to how they hit.

Berger: Because that’s not easy to do.

Duffy: You want to get that walking fire and shells hitting walls.

RPS: One of the attractive things about the game is how you see the aftermath of a battle.

Duffy: It creates an oddly beautiful mise en scene.

Berger: But it’s not just the obvious systems like that. It’s other things on the periphery of the game that impact on our core mechanics. So we have a unit set up that fires a certain way and another that fires a different way. It all balanced perfectly and it worked fine. But it actually impacted on our soundscape because the burst lengths were the same and it didn’t create the kind of audio variety you’d expect from a battle, so we had to work on the length of the burst, so we could maintain the balance of the unit but create a much more compelling sound space and therefore more compelling encounters.

Duffy: Much more variance in the battle and the intensity. It changes as you get up close and all that kind of stuff. When you reduce those tuning variables you just get BRRR BRRR and there’s no variety, we want something more like BRR RATATATA BRRRRRRRRR.

Berger: That’s a constant struggle on the team. Don’t focus on the balance. We’ll make the numbers work but you have to get the feel right first. It has to feel compelling, it has to feel like you’re in a battle.

RPS: In the demo you hear the battle in the background and a lot of the historical talk was about scale. How do you go about getting that scale across to people?

Duffy: That is part of it. We want cues in the background to remind them that they’re part of a bigger battle. There are things that will really help reinforce that scale that we talked about and it’s really important to portray that. The balance for us is not losing the tactical gameplay, not overwhelming the player.We’re not getting into thousands of units, it doesn’t make sense for the kind of game we are. We’re still Company Of Heroes.

RPS: It seems to go back to the storytelling as well. I think you said at one point actually, so I won’t pretend I was clever enough to think of this for myself, that you’re telling a story about individuals not ideologies. But then you have this overarching campaign story told by a war correspondent. Is that a method of telling the political story as well?

Duffy: Yes, definitely. It allows us to put him in places where a soldier wouldn’t have access. We had some really compelling characters in the first Company of Heroes, our company commanders. But they never see what Eisenhower or the joint chiefs have been talking about. They don’t have that level of exposure. When we have a character like our war correspondent we can introduce the challenge of those high level decisions and the impact of the ideology and the drive that pushes the front line troops around. Their life is about a single bullet but they are pushed and driven forward by the leaders and by ideologies. It’s important in a campaign to put that across.

RPS: One of the reasons that I think Normandy has been done so often is because it more naturally lends itself to a tale of heroism and valour. Or at least to a Western audience. How difficult is it to communicate the heroism on the Eastern Front.

Duffy: There’s a ruthless truth we want to convey. To be unflinching but still to find that. What makes, I think, heroism on the Eastern Front so compelling is that in many ways these guys were beset on all sides. The normal Soviet soldier is fighting the Germans, he’s struggling within the system he’s part of. Finding what motivated these guys to do what they did is…well, it’s the same on the Western side. That’s what I find so fascinating about the history. But on the eastern side, the privation they were faced with.

RPS: In that it was a fight for survival as much as victory at times?

Berger: When you drill down to the level that we operate at, which is closer to the individual, on either side you will always find those individuals who rose above and beyond. In the many many stories and books that we’ve read there are so many examples. I remember reading something about a famous female sniper, I forget her name. She would never get off the front line and she died doing her duty, saving other soldiers, constantly exposing herself to the enemy. There are countless examples like that on the Eastern Front and every other war as well. There are always these heroic figures who become larger than life. They fight for the people next to them, not necessarily for their country. They might fight with a red star on their uniform but that’s really not necessarily what they are fighting for.

Duffy: A great example of that was when we went to St Petersburg. We went to the Nevsky Bridgehead Museum where the Soviet forces had linked up finally and broken the siege of Leningrad. There was a soldier, I wish I could remember the name of the fellow, but he dove into the mouth of a German machine gun embrasure. He blocked the gun slit with his own body and obviously he won a posthumous award. You don’t do that for Lenin or Stalin. That’s to protect the people following you. You get that in every army.

RPS: And every war.

Berger: We ran into something similar when we did our first expansion for COH. Part of that was from the perspective of the Germans. Once again, you find the heroes are the people who want to save their friends not the people who want to serve the system.

RPS: But is it important for you to tell the story of the system as well?

Duffy: It provides context. You need some of the ‘whys’. Why did they fight? That level of introspection on the system is important.

Berger: It has an impact on the game. Order 227, for example. It takes a certain outlook on life to say ‘that’s it, we’re not moving back’.

Duffy: The Canadian army didn’t have something like that. The British army didn’t have something like that. The Soviets had executed thirteen thousand men in Stalingrad, just in Stalingrad. The Canadian army didn’t execute a single soldier for retreat or cowardice.

Berger: We like to quote Stalin, “In the Soviety army it takes more courage to retreat than to advance”.

RPS: Events like the retreat, shown in the demo, are they only scripted events to advance the plotting of the company that the player is with?

Duffy: We’re going to explore these things really heavily in the campaign. The scripted element we showed is to introduce the player to the concept, but some of the choices will be up to the player. It’s another tactical choices: when, if, can I retreat in this situation. The narrative of the campaign is the perfect avenue to explore this stuff. It’s safe there.

RPS: Going back to line of sight briefly. A word that came up again and again was ‘dynamic’. The changing battlefield. Is that for replayability as much as anything else? To let people play through again and find things go differently?

Duffy: I don’t know if it’s so much about that. Replayability naturally comes out of the destructibility of our environments and the fact that many times, a map can play completely differently given that a tank might decide to punch through a wall…

RPS: When you were playing through, machine guns were set up and a grenade went off and it seemed like it was supposed to blow a wall to bits. But it didn’t quite land close enough and it didn’t happen. We didn’t get the big moment!

Berger: Yeah, we ran through it a few times to prepare and we kind of wanted the wall to go but we can’t control completely where that grenade lands. Sometimes a tree goes up, sometimes it’s the wall. Sometimes nobody dies because they made it to the cover too fast.

RPS: Good. Otherwise you might as well have shown us a movie!

Berger: Exactly! The line of sight, the true sight system, brings things like that out a lot more in the encounters. You won’t know if there’s someone behind a hedge or not. Forests are great. I’ve been experimenting with forests. All of a sudden you can take your infantry through that space and their line of sight is completely limited and it’s too crowded to take in a vehicle.

RPS: Does it bring in unpredictability?

Berger: Not so much that. It extends the danger zone and it extends the fear of losing your troops. With some line of sight systems you can see behind everything and know what’s around. Now you can’t. It ties in well with our new audio because you can hear something sometimes but you don’t know exactly where it is. If a tank moves it gives itself away a little though. It extends the lack of knowledge.

Duffy: It makes certain weapons potentially more dangerous. Antitank guns for example, or machine guns that often rely on ambush. In a straight up gun fight, guys with an antitank gun against a tank, they can be out in the open trying to kill the crew with machine guns but that first shot is going to be all important. Through a gap in a wall or through a building.

RPS: The tension and the setting, of course, remind me a little of Red Orchestra – the setting obviously – but also the tension.

Duffy: It breeds attachment to your troops and that’s a huge part of what we want. Immersion. Making these soldiers feel more real. When we showed COH at E3 in 2006 I liked zooming in and show the soldiers’ fingers. When you see fingers on a guy and then you zoom back up to the God mode, all that detail still exists in your mind. That attachment becomes stronger to those characters, along with the way they move around and the way they talk.

The tension comes from the system but also from the presentation. You don’t know if you want to risk losing the little dudes. It goes back to Homeworld and what we learned there. It’s why a lot of our games have these flexible cameras. You can play from the default, but you get in and look at what we’re presenting, like in Homeworld the turrets traversing stuff, when you pull back you have such a huge picture in your mind. It gets your imagination moving more.

RPS: When you reduce war to flags being pushed around on a map it’s easy to forget what’s actually happening on the ground. Abstract horror was another phrase you used earlier. To get that across there has to be attachment and an understanding of fragility. You said the vehicles had to be like ‘vulnerable monsters’ as well.

Duffy: Systems have to support presentation and presentation has to support systems. That’s the goal.

More to come, including how Homeworld defined Relic’s approach to design.

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57 Comments »

  1. Memphis-Ahn says:

    sik gaem br0s
    Hopefully they remove base building like in Dawn of War 2!

    • Captain Hijinx says:

      Hopefully they don’t.

    • wodin says:

      Base building..ridiculous.

    • Derppy says:

      My macro is terrible, but I don’t mind the base building in COH. You only need a few buildings and it adds a little bit of depth to the game.

      I’m really looking forward to this, because COH is RTS where you can win with tactics, instead of perfect build orders and micro. The “true LOS” should only enhance this and allow a few correctly placed squads to take out a ton of enemies.

      Can’t wait for in-game footage.

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    He said Homeworld. Imma cry a little now.

    • Hanban says:

      Who cares about Company of Heroes(I do a little admittedly). It’s time they roll out Homeworld 3!

      Pleeeeaaase!

  3. Beef says:

    Here’s hoping the 2v2 and 4v4 multiplayer games will get as much balancing love as 1v1 did in CoH.

    And dear god no bridge maps like Scheldt. 90% of the current MP games seem to be on those god awful maps, with artillery doctrines on both sides. Don’t, just don’t.

    • Bhazor says:

      Really hope their distancing of the competitive scene* will lead to some more varied asymetrical multiplayer match types. Some types I’d like to see:

      A 3v1 map where the one player has a super fortified position in a giant doom fortress which the other three have to assault
      An assasination game type where every player has to protect a VIP
      A horde type mode where all four players work together to build a base as waves of enemies attack.
      Maybe even an easter egg hunt mode where each player is given direct control of a tank and has to demolish buildings and scenary to find the Nazi gold whilst fending off rival players.

      * I can’t be the only one to find the increasing focus on competitive multiplayer in many games to be really depressing.

    • Solanaceae says:

      haha I’m with you on that. I can’t stand the maps that funnel people through a few select areas. Very boring. Urban maps are another story, since you can level everything and open up new paths, but the ones with one or two focal areas around bridges are incredibly boring.

      I don’t know why it’s so popular.

      I always sit in lobby for a few minutes waiting for a non-bridge map.

  4. Mordsung says:

    “Unlike other RTS games, you can’t look at a unit and work out that you do so much DPS and that unit has X health, so it will take so many shots to kill it. But, no! It could take that first shot to the face and also be crippled, or you could miss a few times, it could get to cover.So there is a lot of variance in the game and in the pacing and in the way the tactical depth works together.”

    And that is why the CoH/DoW games are the best RTS games ever made.

    It’s not just a macro race into a mathematical micro-shuffle, it’s a battle with real chaos.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Let it fly!

    • nibbling_totoros says:

      True, but that also means the game will be relatively short-lived because it won’t have a competitive scene. I enjoy playing CoH because it’s like playing a movie, but sometimes it feels its too slow for someone also used to playing Starcraft II.

      • Mordsung says:

        There’s actually always been a significant competitive scene in CoH, it’s just not as popular as SC2.

        I believe CoH’s lack of popularity is mostly based on its difficulty. You can look competent in SC2 after a few hours, but it takes weeks to even play at a low competitive level on CoH without getting utterly destroyed.

        It’s a more strategic game as opposed to the macro race of SC2.

        • Sassenach says:

          Random chance is corrosive to competitive games. Because people don’t like losing, if they get a bad roll of the dice they can blame doing so on that. This makes the whole thing seem exaggeratedly arbitrary.

          The only competitive scene I can really think of that incorporates random chance is poker, which is necessary given the nature of the game. i.e. interpreting the reaction of your opponent to their cards, which are not known to you (because they are randomly selected).

          This is not to say that CoH is literally a coin flip about who wins, likely if you could do a controlled analysis of a close game you’d have little variation between instances. The problem is psychological rather then mechanical.

          • dsi1 says:

            So why isn’t there more psychological competition in games?

            There’s hints of it everywhere, feints and what not, but most competitive games are just logic puzzles, whoever is the fastest, most accurate, regardless of genre, wins.

            Then there are games like CoH where players are leaders, not glorified controllers. Your men are well trained, but like any other man they do not hit every time they pull the trigger. They suffer from incoming fire, they aren’t stone-faced machine men who fight perfectly, unflinchingly, until they die.

            Games like SC2 are cool, they’re like chess, a fine game of logic. But CoH is like a game of poker, a game of cunning wit, even if you know all the stats, can count all the cards, you still have to make due with what the game deals you. You’ll win a lot but every game will be different, even more so than your opponent responding differently as in logic games. It’s a different kind of randomness, it isn’t like in FPS games where you have a magical cone of fire that can decide on a whim if you score the winning shot or not. All it does is add variety to the action, there’s so much going on that one single variation due to randomness cannot decide the outcome of the match.

          • syndrome says:

            @dsi1
            Agreed.

            As a COH player since 2006, I can say that a single ugly die roll is very extremely abnormally rarely the cause of a lost game. I don’t even know why would anyone bother with such a misconception.

            More often than not a real cause for losing a game is a cumulative player error (cumulative dice errors are statistically impossible), some kind of player stuborness / tactical rigidity or laziness / not thinking ahead strategically, mental pressure and fatigue, or a single tactical fiasco (losing an entire squad cheaply, something which could’ve been easily avoided). NOT dice rolls per se, don’t forget that these can save you at times as well.

            To work around and anticipate these sorts of fails, that’s the true skill in CoH.
            Not CPM. Not Macro (although there are opening strategies, which just adds one more layer to the game).

            This is the game of wits, integrity, and tactics, not lazer mice and overworked build schematics.
            Because I like to watch what’s going on while I play.

            Also I like the slow tanks and everything slow really, because you usually can’t REACT — your reflexes don’t mean squat in this game — it’s the awareness, it’s the anticipation of the opponent’s move, 1, 2, 3 steps ahead, it’s the timing, and everything has to be done ahead of time to be in sync with what’s going on right now.

            So if you fail at that, it figures why the game seems so random at dealing damage. The player is supposed to prevent that damage from occuring in the first place, to control it by taking the appropriate measures (to scout, to lay mines, to make killzones, to confuse and distract, to attack and retreat as if the battle is breathing), and making choices that will minmax the situation, most of the time.

            The player who’s capable of taming the moment — not just NUMBERS, but unit orientation, composition, cover, adequate support (suppression, artillery, camoed units etc), map control, and of course micro — WINS.

            Dice rolls are simply too much atomic in an equation of this magnitude, to be a valid excuse for losing.

            In fact, I’ve found out that the majority of CoH players heavily dislike the instant-gratification culture that’s overwhelmingly present in the majority of popular AAA titles. Perhaps it’s the age thing, perhaps it is the maturity of the player base, or it’s just the taste. Hey, somebody likes Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, ffs.

            SC2 is way better than that.

        • pkt-zer0 says:

          I think the lack of randomness in SC, its mathematical precision, is one of its beauties, actually. It makes the competition more… direct, I guess? Everything is in your hands, nothing is left to chance. If you lost, then it’s you who fucked up, not an RNG that screwed you over.

          • Mordsung says:

            I definitely understand the benefit of no RNG (I personally despise RNG in shooters/MMOs), but I feel that in the case of SC2 vs CoH, SC2 is too strile. It’s almost surgical, which I’m sure is great for competitive play, but man is it boring to watch.

            CoH, on the other hand, may have a bit more RNG than it should, but that RNG makes it a spectacle. It’s like watching a war movie unfold. The guns are deafening, the tanks rumble along, physics throws everything about. It’s almost majestic in comparison.

            Not to mention that your strategy and position can turn a battle so much. You can kill a guy with an army twice the size of yours just with positioning, not even with proper counters.

            With elevation differences, there’s some positioning to SC2, but not at the same level as with the cover and suppression system of CoH.

          • pkt-zer0 says:

            “Boring to watch”? Have you seen the Korea vs The World team matches on GOM.tv? That was fucking amazing by my reckoning. If even that leaves you cold, then I guess SC has failed in a sense. For you, anyway.

            It’s like watching a war movie unfold. The guns are deafening, the tanks rumble along, physics throws everything about. It’s almost majestic in comparison.

            Amusingly enough, nothing you mentioned there requires an RNG. You’re thinking of something else, it’d seem.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        CoH just got a huge update! How’s that for “short lived?”

  5. stevendick says:

    Yes to base building. I don’t see how anyone who liked CoH 1 would want to go down the DoW 2 route. I tried it and didn’t like it.

    I’m still playing CoH 1 online and enjoy watching replays from game replays. No other game has given me so much fun over the years.

    Really looking forward to this, but I hope we don’t carry over any of the mechanics introduced in Tales of Valor.

    I personally detest the bridge maps in CoH 1 (Hochwald, Scheldt, …), but they are very popular with players who like to bunker down and spam arty and tanks. The game should cater to different tastes where possible.

    And no mirror matches.

    • Bhazor says:

      I still say DoW2 wasn’t a strategy game. It was an ARPG.

      Nothing wrong with that except that DoW2 was a crap ARPG. It had a tiny move/skill set and absolutely crippling repetition as a result.

      It wasn’t even that tactical because you could just spam retreat and respawn tactics.

      • Ultra Superior says:

        Wow, spoken like a true ignorant. What exactly isn’t tactical in DoW2 ? Please enlighten me, I only played 1500 multiplayer hours of that game.

        • Bhazor says:

          I’m talking about single player where it really was just the exact same tactic over and over and over again. Assault marines pulling aggro, lead mob to heavy weapons guy, engage mob in melee with force commander. Rinse and repeat. No need to vary the tactic, no new skills to improve the tactic, just the same fight over and over.

          Multiplayer DoW2 is basically just DoW1 with a paint job. Which is great.

      • TormDK says:

        Why would you purchase an RTS only to play the single player?

        That makes no sense to me.

        But the multiplayer on the other hand is ace. Along with Civ5, DoW2 is on my most time spent list on Steam. It can be a bit brutal though if you’re just starting out because there’s so many things you need to know about (Suppression, weapon damage types vs different armour types, unit abilities, etc. etc.)

        So while I am looking forward to CoH2, I am only looking forward to it because I know DoW3 will come after :P

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          “Why would you purchase an RTS only to play the single player?”
          Because it’s an amazing single player game? Such is true of CoH.

        • Ateius says:

          I, and many people, purchase RTS games solely for the single-player experience. I enjoy well-made campaigns with their consistently mounting and sometimes innovative challenges and exploring the game systems fighting against AI that I can customize to my personal skill level far more than I do the high-pressure arena of competitive multiplayer. The prime reason I didn’t buy World in Conflict was because it was so desperately focused on multiplayer. From the demo I played, there appeared to be literally no enemy AI whatsoever, just basic “move wave X to point Y” scripting.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        The game was a tactical small-scale RTS. This is not up for discussion, it’s just a fact.

    • Mordsung says:

      With DoW2, it wasn’t so much that there was no base building as much as the base building was atypical.

      You have your main HQ, you had a generator farm over there, another one somewhere else, a small number of defensive structures peppered around the map.

      It’s just that the base was far less centralized.

      Base building fans definitely had options by playing Tech Marine/Mek Boy/Plague Marine/Imperial Guard in general.

      I was a Plague Marine fan myself and could create some hellish defensive camps using shrines of Nurgle and turrets.

      • wodin says:

        Base building can sort of fit into a sci fi game, WW2 though, a joke. Not sure when in WW2 they where able to quickly (i.e in the course of one battle) erect tank factories or whatever you can build in CoH.

  6. Jimbo says:

    Please have a Tech Level setting for skirmish, thank you x

  7. Kollega says:

    For the record, the name of the guy who jumped on a machine gun embrasure and became most famous for it was Aleksandr Matrosov. But i think the guy the developers are talking about was someone else. Wikipedia says that near Leningrad, it could be Aleksandr Volkov or Tuichi Erdzhigitov, but again, i’m not sure.

    And how i personally would do it is juxtapose the murderous irreverence of Stalin and his generals with the heroism of simple soldiers who fought for the future of their families, their people, and all of humanity. My description may be simplified and biased against Stalin, but that’s approximately how i do and would roll.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Your second paragraph sounds kind of like what they’re saying in the interview. I think it’s great that they can use this angle, but I really wish I could see more games with that sort of commentary about Western military leaders. We’re all human, one man’s Stalin is another’s Churchill… nearly every political leader sends lower classes to fight to the death while commanding from relative safety.

      • Erithtotl says:

        Wait, remind me of when Churchill and FDR sent millions of their own citizens to die in gulags, or excuted thousands of their own officers to keep their armies loyal?

        The world is full of shades of gray, and no doubt every leader in war makes some truly horrific calculated decisions to be sure, but this comment seems to be divorced from reality.

        • default_name says:

          That’s the thing with history. Maybe if there was no Gulag or Order 227 we would all be hailing some Nazi leader right now. Or maybe they didn’t change that much or there were better methods and all these people in camps and penal battalions died for nothing (except Stalin’s paranoia and ruthlessness). We will never know for sure.

    • cheshiren says:

      Don’t forget, among “his murderous irreverent generals” were Zhukov, Rokossovsky, Vasilevsky.

  8. Rattlepiece says:

    Homeworld *wipes tears*

  9. Wololo says:

    I have a feeling the game will be a blast. Hopefully they won’t stray too far from ‘nilla CoH.

  10. leeder krenon says:

    Will be a challenge to make a game that’s better than Men of War Assault Squad, but good luck to them.

    • dsi1 says:

      This comparison will always be drawn, much in the same way that Battlefield and CoD are compared to ArmA, but it’s a bit foolish of a comparison.

      MoW is a simulator, CoH is an action game. CoH does a lot of things that look realistic, that’s great, that’s a good thing, it also does a lot of things very simply when compared to MoW, which is also great, it lowers the skill floor required to compete, much less the barrier to entry. MoW simulates down to how many bullets each unit is carrying, CoH simulates down to the overall actions of individual units.

  11. CPLDANABD says:

    Cool, it’s set on the Eastern Front, I did Nazi that coming.

    • Mordsung says:

      I figured it would stay in WW2, but the fact that it’s Eastern front will have me Russian to get the game on release.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      They did a great job with the small scale in Company of Heroes, but I hope the sequel can show the epic scope of a world war, too.

    • Palehorse says:

      I am pleased to see another CoH coming out, big fan of the series. I still wonder, though, why are they Stalin on Homeworld 3?

    • theleif says:

      Damn ninjas.

  12. Kevin says:

    Here’s hoping that when Relic makes an expansion pack for this, they make the Armia Krajowa a playable faction.

  13. The Tupper says:

    I’m only getting around to playing the original game and expansion packs for the first time now. Without a doubt one of the best games I’ve ever played.

  14. Xardas Kane says:

    Relic, please, for the love of god, PLEASE… Homeworld 3…?

  15. Erithtotl says:

    CoH was the last RTS I actually bothered finishing, and spent any reasonable amount of time playing online. Even played the ill-fated CoH Online for a bit. I’m glad they are making a sequel.

    And yes, I echo the others in shedding a tear for the Homeworld games.

  16. wodin says:

    Base building means no buy from me, how are you supposed to portray a real war at a reasonable realistic level with base building in it? Bizarre.

    • dsi1 says:

      Base building is a bad thing now? Too bad, it’s a good thing.

  17. cheshiren says:

    “They fight for the people next to them, not necessarily for their country. They might fight with a red star on their uniform but that’s really not necessarily what they are fighting for.”
    I remember story told by veteran tank commander. He was telling about uselessness of radio on battlefield because tank crews were dying and couldn’t switch off their stations and whole air was full of moans and curses and blasts and all this mess. And I will never forget one moment in his story – about tank crew singing “Internationale” while burning alive in their machine…

    • Solanaceae says:

      Was this something you heard personally or something in a book? If it’s the latter, title please :)