Company Of Heroes 2 Multiplayer Standing Alone In June

By Alice O'Connor on May 9th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Turn your head and CoH

Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies is a curious release. It’s a multiplayer-only expandalone spin-off from Company of Heroes 2, but with two different armies–the new US Forces and Oberkommando West–and 8 new maps but still able to play on CoH 2 maps and against plain old CoH 2 players. But who’s it for? Perhaps we’ll answer that question come June 24, as publishers Sega have announced that’s when it’ll launch.

The Western Front Armies costs £14.99, but to make things weirder will also sell each army individually a little cheaper as its own standalone. However, CoH 2 is regularly on sale for cheaper than this and comes with a single-player campaign too. Why, it was £10.19 only a fortnight ago. So the main interest The Western Front Armies will presumably come from CoH 2 players who want the new maps and armies, but then why’s it a standalone?

Sales of CoH 2 were stopped in Russia and Eastern Europe due to controversy over some of the Red Army’s actions during CoH 2′s single-player campaign, and this is a huge PC market to be out of. I suppose to people who don’t really research prices it’s a more enticing entry point to multiplayer, and appearing to be a newer game might help sales a little too. Perhaps it’ll be an easier sell as an ‘eSport,’ which is all the rage nowadays. And who knows, maybe some people hate snow so much they won’t even condone it virtually. But it is still a bit weird.

Here’s a trailer you’ve seen before, which now has a little “Pre-order now” notice on the end:

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27 Comments »

  1. Mittens89 says:

    COH 2, which was very similar to COH 1, has a new expandalone, which is very similar to COH 1.

    Ummm….

    • Volcanu says:

      Yeah this is what confuses me too.

      A nice North Africa, Italy or Pacific expansion would have been something new for the series at least. But it’s probably Western Europe that will shift most copies or something.

      Anyway, hopefully they can get this out of the door and get on with making a DoW III – which feels like something of a no brainer.

      • FhnuZoag says:

        I don’t feel like Relic has what it takes to make a DOW III any more.

        • Syra says:

          Explain thine self cad.

          • FhnuZoag says:

            I just don’t really see Relic as being a very healthy studio, at this point. Their last major project along the lines of DOW III would be DOW2, five years ago, and their last really good game is arguably 2006′s DOW:Dark Crusade. Since then, there’s only been a procession of expansions and missteps. Ultimately COH2 feels like an incremental update over COH1 that broke about as much things as they added, and the Western Front expansion feels like more of the same.

            Would a COH2 equivalent for DOW really be a satisfactory continuation of the franchise? I don’t really think so.

    • battles_atlas says:

      Not true, they are very different. COH 1 had a lobby system for multiplayer which allowed you to play annihilation mode (aka the mode most people prefer). COH 2 doesnt have a lobby system, because apparently some trolls abused it in the first game, so now no one can play the good mode, and we’ll all stuck with shitty Victory Points mode.

      • Mittens89 says:

        No annihilation mode? VP is ok, but annihilation was always the game mode of choice.

        COH 2 could and should have been much more.

        I need to start playing Wargame.

        • Vandelay says:

          Been playing a fair amount of Wargame: Red Dragon (albeit in single player – I struggle enough just playing against AI,) and can definitely recommend it. I didn’t really get into the previous game and promised to myself that I would play more of this. I haven’t been disappointed.

          Speaking of this, were we not told that Red Dragon would get a WITing? You can’t ignore a third Wargame game RPS! You did a gret job of covering its pre-release material though.

  2. BobbyDylan says:

    TBH, I was quite disappointed with COH2. I get that it’s trying to tell a story, but I wish it would piss off with it’s lame shoehorned exposition when I’m trying to be a bad-ass general.

    Not interested in the MP. I don’t even MP the Wargame RTS’s.

    I do like the idea of other theaters though. Burma, and Singapore, and the Pacific campaign… yum.

    • Thurgret says:

      Never mind that it was trying to tell a story – the single-player campaign was just plain rubbish. It reminded me of the general trashiness of the single-player in the original CoH expansions. The original campaign in the first game was pretty good, at least.

      You don’t play multi-player Wargame? I … Really? I find the single-player Wargame to be abysmally poor compared to multi-player. But okay. And the CoH 2 multi-player was rubbish, in any case, unless they’ve made massive moves to fix it.

      • Umbert says:

        CoH Singleplayer does feel wonky because it feels like a gimped Multiplayer IMO. It’s nice to have objectives and scenarios, but the behavior of the units and AI is somewhat off. It does shine in MP though. And if you haven’t tried MP since the “Elbe Day Update” (25th of April) you should give it another go. Many great improvements. But as history repeats itself this Expansion/Standalone will likely be the same as Opposing Fronts was to CoH1 I will nostradamus you. The game is in better eSports quality then ever and then comes two new unpredictable armies that throw all the tedious balance out the window. Working in the Patch/Balance departement of Relic must be a living nightmare (Keep up the good work Qumsieh!).

        • Thurgret says:

          An update, you say? I’ll give this another look one of these days. It’s a long time since I last played it.

        • sabasNL says:

          The press release of Western Fronts quite literally says it’s the *FIRST* expansion for Company of Heroes 2. This suggests there are more to come.

          I would get really angry if they even dare to think about re-introducing the British and Panzer Elite, then asking more money for it. The price/quality-ratio for CoH2 is much worse than it was for CoH1. Not sure whether Relic or SEGA is to blame.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      I can see a Pacific Theatre multiplayer expansion, but not a single player campaign. If the Eastern Front campaign had controversy, you can bet the Pacific will have more, considering the Japanese deny their war crimes and all. I agree it would be an interesting setting, but fighting in the Pacific islands would probably take a mass overhaul in the water department.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      The Pacific campaign is a good idea I think. All the island hopping could make for a simple metagame between the battles instead of the forced “story”. Like simple management of your fleet, choosing what island groups to go for in order to establish supply bases, support and all that other jazz (DoW2′s campaign has something a bit like the last).

      • Volcanu says:

        Yeah that would work well. Rather like the DOW: Dark Crusade meta map. It would certainly add a nice little layer, where ‘provinces’ or islands can lend tangible support to one side in missions. Like the Japanese forces having additional air support if you didn’t first take an island with the airstrip on etc.

        In a way it would be missing a big dimension to not have extensive naval and air units, but this would be less of a problem for an expansion where things have been freshened up with dramatically different terrain, armies and the style of fighting (being less ‘armour heavy’ etc.)

        It would be REALLY interesting to play a Burma campaign however. That’s something I cant recall in an RTS, or many games at all – bar the odd level in Commandos 2 and Hidden & Dangerous 2. They don’t call it a forgotten front for nothing I suppose. Fighting on very mountainous maps with rugged forest terrain would be pretty cool.

    • Pulstar says:

      CoH2 probably had the worst WWII story in a game ever.

  3. SuicideKing says:

    Which reminds me, how’s Graham liking Red Dragon?

  4. Cyrius says:

    The criticism is unwarranted I believe. A $15 expandalone is cheap as hell.

    That said, I would buy it if it was $150.

    COH 4 LYFE. Thousands of hours across all iterations of it (including COHO).

    • sabasNL says:

      $15 for 2 (re-introduced) armies and 8 maps?

      This isn’t Call of Duty. This is NOT acceptable at all.

      • Cyrius says:

        And probably a lot of free unannounced content as in the original. As far as I can tell, the armies are not going to be identical to the original games. Especially considering Oberkommando was the entire armed forces of the western front.

        Or take a look at Starcraft 2′s expansion, which was priced at $39.99 and you got 2 units per army, and no new armies at all. This is way better than that.

        Maybe it should just be free instead of a game at a cheap price that also integrates with an existing game. Would you be happy then?

        Back in my day expansions were $20.

  5. Hunchback says:

    Ok, every time there’s any talk about CoH2 just about everyone says that it sucks, period.
    I would really like to see some real, concrete, constructive criticism, explaining why it sucks so bad.
    I only played the SP of CoH1, since i didn’t have the cash to buy it original and play online, but i instantly loved the game mechanics (similar to the Warhammer games). I find these games SO much better than all other, traditional RTS (won’t call names, to avoid flamewars and silliness) in basically every aspect, that i honestly don’t understand why someone would dislike them. For me, the fact that there’s minimal base construction (but still existent!), minimal (but very important) research, and the focus is on unit control, positioning and map control is just the perfect gameplay. I haven’t seen another RTS that makes it so that battles are fought practically constantly, since the first 2 minutes of the game till the very end. The fact that unit placement, terrain, vision, distance, the movement state of the units, flanking, experience… and maybe other things i am forgetting right now, play such a huge role in the gameplay is simply brilliant. In CoH the “micro” is not clicking back and forth, moving a blob of units trying to snipe something, it’s so much more tactical…

    And CoH 2 does all this just as well as CoH1, imo. I bought CoH2 on steam, knowing that the reviews weren’t super optimistic, and most everyone online keeps bashing it. I decided to give it a try still, when it was on sale. And to be honest, i’ve been enjoying the game a lot, i find it really fascinating and interesting to play in MP. Granted, i haven’t really bothered with the SP, since it’s not what interests me in this game, so if that’s where the main problems of CoH2 are, i understand why i haven’t seem them.
    But in MP, the only real problem i have with the game is the balance between the two sides, during the different phases of the game. In what i’ve seen, the Russians are extremely OP early game, playing quite a bit like a “Zerg” (if i may), while the Germans tend to be OP in the end game. This has two negative sides :
    1. Most games tend to somewhat play in a very similar fashion – Early game the Russians dominate, constantly pushing and trying to end it fast. The Germans try to hold back, turtle and wait for “end-game” when they can roll out the huge tanks and destroy the Russians. – I’ve seen quite a few pro-play casts from tournaments and just random plays, and almost all games end up like that – Very late game, the Germans have very very few points left, it all looks hopeless but they manage to pull it off, capture the whole map and melt down a HUGE point different by suffocating the Russians who’s army is destroyed and can’t ever come back. Makes for breathtaking games, that change direction in the last few minutes, but it’s almost predictable.
    2. This makes no sense, in historical way, or atleast i think so. It should be the other way around, with the Germans rushing the attack, blitzckrieking and whatnot, and the Russians being a “turtle” nation who is much more defensive and relies on the German army wasting their potential early on, ultimately failing the attack.

    *shrug*
    Other than that, the game is really perfect, and as i mentioned earlier, i really don’t get it why people bash it that much. Now that they’ve patched in dedicated, official servers, it’s even better since there’s so much less (can you say that?) lag…
    I am not saying all that as a direct opposition to the general opinion, i am approaching the matter with the thought “i am a real noob with this game, i probably don’t know what the real problems are”, and i really interested to see why everyone things CoH 1 is so >>> CoH2.

    So, without starting any flamewars, no fanboys shit etc, would anyone explain this?

    • FhnuZoag says:

      Go listen to the Three Moves Ahead podcast.

      https://www.idlethumbs.net/3ma/episodes/stopped-at-the-gates-of-moscow

    • Umbert says:

      CoH2 is getting better with every patch. It was worse at the start because it was missing the so called “dance” as Bridger or one of his colleagues called it. It refered to the early game (as you described) where it was importatnt where those first 3 units were on the map how they moved around each other (hence the term dance). CoH2 was more blunt because it’s support weaponse were so effective that flanking was not rewarded and spamming MGs was a viable way to win.

      But now everything is a-ok. Not perfect but I would say eSport ready (until the Western Front breaks down on us). Cover is hightened in its importance and flanking is rewarded. Heavy Tanks are still a bit too “heavy” (looking at you, Elefant and ISU).

      Give it a try. Watch some replays or follow someone on Twitch: http://www.coh2.org/

      • subedii says:

        Yeah I’ve noticed that a fair few of the people on my friends list that disliked CoH2 on release in comparison to CoH 1. Recently they’ve been playing CoH2 more and more now, which kind of surprised me to see given how they felt about it when it first came out. I can only guess the balance situation and gameplay mechanics have been largely sorted out.

        • Pulstar says:

          CoH2 just pales compared to the excellent mods made for Opposing Fronts and even the original CoH. Add to that that you can’t fortify in CoH2.

          • Umbert says:

            Oh, yes, the big divider. The Compstompers and Sheldt-Players vs the MP-Purists. Oil and water! But Mod-Support is slowly starting, too. At least we have Steam Workshop integration and custom maps (with Worldbuilder Map Maker). It may be only a matter of weeks until the first mods arrive. Maybe some time after the release of the Western Front.