It feels a little odd to be talking about RTS expansion packs on the morning after the election night before. However, outside the window of my Seattle hotel room is a building site that looks straight out of Mirror’s Edge (complete with eye-catchingly red and yellow scaffolding), from which brickies stare at me with that particular malevolence that bemuscled men have fixed upon skinny men with spectacles since time immemorial, so I think “yeah, the world’s still the world” and turn my mind to Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor after all.
It’s the second Expandalone (yeah, I said it – whatchoo gonna do about it?) for Relic’s wondrous World War II RTS, and superficially it seems a little like Dawn of War: Soulstorm – an expansion released a loooong time after the original game, at a time when the playerbase is baying for a sequel rather than extra bits. In fact, it seems a little more about changing the nature of the game a little. There’s no new faction this time, but rather the concept, as hinted at by the hyperbolic title, is three new singleplayer campaigns rather than the usual New Stuff For Multiplayer focus. Which is unusual, and perhaps in line with Relic’s making Dawn of War 2 something that offers a little more to the lone player. Particularly being talked up is a direct fire feature that sorta hints this might, again like DOW2, be geared more towards controlling a handful of units rather than the usual mass construction rigmarole.
And that’s about all that’s being publicly discussed so far, bar a mooted Spring 2009 release. More news as we have it: the fact there’s no new faction, the standard inclusion for pretty much any RTS since forever, makes me suspect there’s something much more interesting going on here than the teeny-weeny info THQ has slipped out so far lets on. I do hope so – I adore COH, but a bunch of new units wouldn’t be enough to tempt me to this. So I’m eagerly awaiting more info-treats on this one.