Company of Heroes 2 Actually In Open Beta Now

By Jim Rossignol on June 4th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.


The Company Of Heroes 2 beta has been ticking along quietly for a while now, but news has arrived announcing that the open beta will actually happen (for real) later today. The beta will then run through to the 18th of June, with the game coming out on the 25th.

The beta is for the multiplayer mode, of course, and provides for co-op and competitive (compo?) play on six handsomely snowy maps. The beta contains the first 45 levels of the game’s progression and bulletin system, and if you play again on the same Steam account, having bought the game within sixty days of launch, then you get to keep all your unlocks and stuff from the beta period. Isn’t that nice?

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50 Comments »

  1. Discopanda says:

    Is the game more balanced yet? Mortars were way too crazy powerful before.

    • MrLebanon says:

      they’ve nerfed mortars. They’re still strong… but not “if I only build mortars I will win the game” kind of strong as they were before

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    • pupsikaso says:

      Well, better than in the original game. EVERYTHING was way too crazy powerful in that game, it just depended on which month you played it. Every patch brought more “balance” changes that would simply nerf the previous FOTM and create another FOTM.
      Honestly, in my opinion it was the least balanced multiplayer game I’ve ever played. (one that attempted to “balance”, anyway).

      • wengart says:

        I actually really enjoyed the swings in balance COH had. Every month a bunch of strategies fell out of favor and new ones were developed. Kept the game interesting.

      • Synesthesia says:

        Americans and Wehrmatch were quite balanced, imho. It was the brits that broke everything. I still hate them. Still broken.

      • drivebyhobo says:

        Vanilla coh units were not crazy powerful at all. Infantry and tanks took forever to die to the game’s detrimnent. It made using tactics useless and solely dependent on the Rock paper shogun balance formula. Thankfully blitzkrieg mod rode in to correct that problem and created the premier ww2 RTS experience.

        The BK mod difference.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt3wyKrRSlY

        • Cinek says:

          I would say something contrary – making units “pop” at the first shots fired is what breaks game and removes any tactics out of them. Everything turns into “who can execute Zerg Rush more efficiently” if you run BK mod.

          • Banjo-Tuesday says:

            You must be playing a different mod. Have you tried zerg rushing into a heavy MG42 in the Blitzkrieg mod beta?

            Fantastic mod IMO. Rewards many more real life tactics too. Knowledge of WW2 equipment definitely helps.

        • Werthead says:

          Rock Paper Shogun?

          What beats Shogun?

  2. Everyone says:

    I really want to like this … but all I feel is meh. The first one felt … bigger? But then started to get all “control this one tank” and it feels like CoH2 is running with that philosophy, which just does not gel with me. Granted, I am judging from the videos only so far.

    • Scroll says:

      From what I’ve played it feels almost too over whelming. 1v1 matches can end with quite a few tanks on the field and lots of infantry fighting on multiple fronts.

    • Fiatil says:

      Yeah the unit count feels just about the same as the first one. The soviets have an ability to call in two tanks at once for 600 manpower/200 fuel, and there are tons of tanks cheaper than that. I’ve had several massive tank battles in multiplayer, no reason to worry about that. They’ve always been bad at marketing the skirmish mode; they added Tiger Ace and all of that stuff to make the game “smaller” in CoH 1, but the multiplayer, as in CoH 2, remains the same.

      • Cinek says:

        If “3vs3″ tank battle is “massive” for you than I congratulate for having such a low requirements.

        • Werthead says:

          In CoH1 you could have a lot more tanks than that. As the Americans I think you can top out at 6 or 7 Shermans and maybe a Calliope in support, along with a few men. The Germans could get 1 King Tiger and 2-3 supporting Panthers going before hitting the cap.

          CoH never has been about massive battles of hundreds of units, though. It’s more medium in scale, allowing balanced forces from different disciplines to work together. I think it was wise of them to retain that focus and not go smaller (like DoH2) or too insanely big (like say SupCom).

          • Fiatil says:

            ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ What that guy said

            Massive in terms of the series scale, sorrrrrry! You can still have 6+ tanks fighting 6+ tanks, just like CoH. If that’s not enough for you, then sorry, go play some other less fun RTS.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      CoD2′s gameplay feels horribly dated when compared to the Wargame or Men of War series, what worked for Warhamer 40k just does not work for CoD any more. I´ve uninstalled the Alpha and I won’t be back.

      • cjlr says:

        CoD, eh?

        Somebody got their acronyms crossed…

      • Smoof says:

        I actually agree with this. I played the original Men of War long before I ever tried CoH and I came away absolutely LOVING MoW, but couldn’t get into CoH. It was all too overwhelming and fast paced for me.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        As someone who enjoyed CoH (yes, with an H) a lot and doesn’t give two shits about MoW, can I just say how incredibly annoying all the MoW fanboys are? Systematically spamming how much better MoW is to CoH whenever CoH news is posted.

        I am sick of you all. Go play the game if you enjoy it so much, but leave those who actually enjoy CoH alone.

      • Everyone says:

        Men of War is … gosh. I want to like it, but several hours play time proved more frustrating than entertaining mainly because I became very tired of having to tell individual soldiers to put their helmets back on. I intensely dislike the kind of micromanagement that MoW entails and as such it’s not the kind of gameplay I’m looking for, which is a shame, because the base premise and technical execution of the game is fantastic. But your mans should be able to put their own helmets back on and they should be able to scavenge their own ammunition; saddling a battlefield commander with these micro-responsibilities is not really all that entertaining. YMMV of course.

        • Werthead says:

          As soldiers usually say, 90% of war is spent shivering in cold places or being bored out of your mind until the action actually happens. MEN OF WAR replicates that splendidly: it’s really impressive for 10% of the time and for the rest you’re trundling around quite bored micro-managing soldiers. I’m honestly surprised there isn’t a command telling them to go and take a dump.

          CoH isn’t very realistic at all (though it nods towards realism more than most RTSs, with much more emphasis on placement, fields of fire, flanking and even basic troops able to disable superior enemy units with the right equipment) but it gives the flavour and feeling of combat without the tedium that MoW sometimes gets bogged down in.

      • GenBanks says:

        Every CoH thread has at least one person comparing it to MoH and saying that it makes CoH obsolete.

        The games are worth comparing but it’s not an either/or scenario, they’re different from each other ON PURPOSE.

  3. das_fleisch says:

    Wow, how stupid can I be?

    Having never tried CoH, I thought why not give it a try tonight? After all, WW2 FPSes have given me so much joy in the past.

    So I downloaded it, started it, then started wondering “Why the hell is there no ‘Controls’ section in the settings panel”, but thought that maybe I can change my bindings later on. Then the next thing: “Huh? 1vs1, 2vs2? How could that ever be be fun?”.

    Right, this ISN’T an FPS.

    • sabasNL says:

      Haha, well for most RTS lovers this is quite a nice game. May I recommend Red Orchestra 2 (Rising Storm) if you want a good WW2 FPS?

    • TychoCelchuuu says:

      You’re not quite as stupid as you might thing: a lot of people were convinced Company of Heroes was an FPS game, probably because the publisher went through a lot of effort to hide the strategy stuff because they were under the assumption that strategy games don’t sell. So then everyone skipped buying CoH because most people are burnt out on WW2 shooters. Now it’s CoH 2 time and the same thing is happening! I think having awesome graphics is hurting the game because it makes people think it’s a shooter they can ignore.

  4. Phantom_Renegade says:

    Wait, a beta we don’t have to pay for? Now that’s novel.

  5. NathaI3 says:

    Is this beta automatically open to anyone who has the first CoH? It appeared in my steam library today but I didn’t sign up for any beta…

  6. Kaiji says:

    No ingame ability to remap keys in a 21st century RTS?

    Hilarious.

    Uninstalled.

    • Umbert says:

      Hm, albeit it is silly that the keys can not be remapped. There are two different layouts (classic and grid). What for example would you have remapped that this is such a dealbreaker?

  7. Captain Joyless says:

    So is this much different from Company of Heroes Online?

    • Umbert says:

      Hm, first it plays on the eastern front, Germany vs. Russia. The matchmaking is similar to CoHO that you can choose to search for all four available modes at once (1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4) or just 3v3 and 4v4s.

      There are no Hero units and no units that you keep between battles. But there are unlockabale Intelligence Bulletins which are unlocked by XP, gaind through number of games played and how well you did and accumulated actions of a specific kind. For example: There is a production bonus for Grenadiers and Conscripts (build 10% faster) if you build 80 of each. There are a lot of tose to collect, with varying degrees of usefulness and grindiness to obtain. Kill 5 Heavy tanks with Grenadiers for example, which is a rather difficult task and may be accomplished more easily in a closed 1v1 environment with a friend, much like TF2 achievement farming.

      Then there are different Commanders and Vehicle Skins which are unlocked via XP progression. The Commanders provide the Doctrines and Tactics which will be available to you in game (heavy tanks, off-Map units and artillery/air-support.

      New and not available yet are the Theatres of War which will be a Coop and SP Challenge.

      • BooleanBob says:

        Eww. Persistent unlocks? XP progression? Grind? That doesn’t sound good. What happened to the level playing field?

        Thanks for the information, it’s much appreciated. Will have to wait and see what the reviews/forums make of it.

        • Umbert says:

          Don’t be discouraged. The bonuses are minimal. And if matchmaking does what it is supposed to do you should be matched to equal leveled opponents. I for myself am also worried a bit about the grind but having played 100+ alpha and beta hours the bonuses do not help an outwitted opponent win. And don’t forget that you also get a compelling Single and Coop experience.

  8. Palindrome says:

    Its exactly the same as the original with the addition of a highly irritating cold mechanic, I’m a bit disappointed to be honest.

  9. Rudel says:

    So what changed since the last “closed” beta where you had to like one facebook page? Any major changes?

    • Banjo-Tuesday says:

      Slight changes to the UI and map sectors. Otherwise the same maps (actually one less). T34s seem to have been buffed slightly, esp. the 85 version.

      So far I have the performance a bit worse too. Hmmm..

  10. Cinek says:

    As for me – CoH 2 is a great game. IF you think of it as a Real time TACTICAL game instead of a Real time STRATEGY. Encounters are so tiny, even in 4vs4 games, that it hardly qualifies as a strategy, and the amount of micro-management is rather horrific for a strategy game.

    But if you forget that someone labelled it as an RTS – it’s actually quite a decent game. I did enjoy an Alpha version and pre-ordered it already.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Semantics aside, I always find these claims of COH being micro-intensive bemusing. At the peak of its multiplayer scene, the best COH players were posting replays with APMs (actions per minute) in the low 60s. A quick-n-lazy google search suggests that the average Starcraft 2 pro’s APM starts at 300 and goes upwards from there.

      True, you could argue that the numbers for these top players aren’t reflective of the everyman’s experience, but surely it scales.

      • Umbert says:

        And this is exactly what makes CoH and CoH2 so appealing to me. That I do not need crazy 400 APM skills to compete against someone with worse tactical skills but is better at at keeping 200+ Zerglings in line. To quote Helmuth on the Strategy vs Tactic part: “No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.” This is the beauty of CoH(2). You can have your BO set up, get the flanks right but then you underestimate your enemy and charge over a bridge you thought was secure and bam, it was charged with demolitions or guarded by an MG you did not expect.

        I rarely use hotkeys and I think that I still can play a decent game. I can even get by without using control groups…

      • Werthead says:

        Absolutely. I enjoy STACRAFT but it often feels like the battle is won or lost in the opening minutes depending on your build-orders, what counters you have and how fast you can expand. Make the wrong choice and you can just be wiped out on the battlefield.

        With CoH your units feel more versatile, and rarely is a situation totally irrecoverable. If the enemy gets tanks out before you can, you can usually deploy ATs, bazookas or grenades to slow them down to try to catch up. It feels you can adapt a bit better.

        Or more simply, SC2 feels like it’s won inside your base, whilst CoH actually feels like it’s won on the battlefield.

  11. Kamikaze-X says:

    Just tried a skirmish. My overall impression? “meeeeeeeeeeeeehhh”. The interface is TERRIBLE. In an RTS, you need to see what you are about to build easily. The pictures are too small, too detailed, and too inconspicuous. I miss the old CoH interface. This looks like its from something like the original DoW.

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