Company of Heroes Online Keys Giveaway

The guns of August, right here.

Attention, soldier! Stand up straight! Take your hands out of your pants! Both of them, God dammit! Fileplanet are giving away beta keys for Company of Heroes Online, Relic’s free-to-play reinvention of its award-winning RTS with added hero units and persistent development of your army. I’ve got my key and word on the heavily-shelled street is that this is really quite good, so I’ll be posting a more detailed investigation later in the week.


  1. CMaster says:

    See, word I’d heard was that it was worse than CoH. As in it was still a good, solid game, but you could get owned simply because your opponent had better units than you, even if you outplayed him.

    • vanarbulax says:

      :( and I thought Tales of Valor was bad enough.

      Oh well I’ve been picking up boxed copies dirt cheap at physical stores whenever I see them. It’s funny how games can drop from $99 to $9 here.

  2. Tei says:

    What age I have to put on the form of that website so I would be a 21 years old in battle to take the omaha beach? Imagine the oneupmanship. “He.. I played this thing from closed beta. ” and my reply (lies) “Look at my age in profiles, I fighted on the real damn beach”.

    • Sir Derpicus says:

      landing was in ’44, that means 1923 or 87 years old.
      I recommend that you pick 1928 so you sound like a 16 year old who faked his age to fight in Europe.
      Also, what the hell is with the space requirement? 30GB free space required?

  3. cliffski says:

    I’d much rather just have a company of heroes 2. Apparently it just didn’t sell to actual paying punters, so this is the response. The only way to ensure people pay for it.
    A pity.

    • rocketman71 says:

      The first one sold more than enough. Then came the second one, with the stupid DRM, the shitty Relic Online which would be online 1 day in 3, the installing that took 3 hours because it would download (at 5Kb/s seemly) and apply the patches ONE BY ONE, and, what was worse, the complete and utter destruction of multiplayer balance. Then, years waiting for patches for bugs that completely broke the game and should have been identified with 2 hours of QA, plus stupid balance changes that broke more than they fixed. And finally, Tales of Valor, the ripoff that should have been completely free (the units at least): 8 new units, and 3 campaigns that you could finish in 3 hours, at almost full price.

      While in theory I’d love to see CoH2, if I think about it I’d prefer to see what comes from Smoking Gun Interactive, i.e., the guys that left Relic between Company of Heroes and CoH: Opposing Fronts. It certainly looks like THEY were the ones that knew what they were doing.

    • cliffski says:

      well its my favorite game, and I don’t understand the idea ‘that should have been free’ being applied to anything game related.
      if you dont want it, don’t buy it, but games cost money to make.
      I guess the ‘it should be free’ mentality is what has helped kill off single player games on the PC :(

    • cliffski says:

      BTW it sold 180,000 ciopies, which apparently is not a good number for a game of that budget.

    • Jockie says:

      I don’t think it should have been free, but I know from the perspective of myself and friends who play COH on a fairly regular basis that Tales of Valor didn’t represent value for money. It used gimmicks like direct fire in a way that the game presumably didn’t originally intend instead of expanding the game in any meaningful way.

      “if you dont want it, don’t buy it, but games cost money to make.” That’s pretty much what happened, on a large scale from people who’d consider themselves to be fairly hardcore CoH players. I think ToV was pretty wide of the mark in terms of providing the fanbase what they wanted. After such a long gap between Opposing Fronts & ToV we expected/hoped for something at least as big in scale as the previous expansion, not a sort of gimmicky simplified version of the game we’d alreeady been playing for years.

    • Cigol says:

      Where are you getting those figures from, and are they for Company of Heroes – because they sound laughably low!

    • Jockie says:

      Presumably for Tales of Valor (the second expansion).

    • Tei says:

      The elefant in the room is Starcraft. So judging by his popularity, maybe a big % of the players want a “click per second” based game. A simple game with lots of micro (simple as in: limit the number of units in a group, limit the angles a unit can view to 8, limit, limits..). So maybe a true RTS like CoH is niche market now anyway. Maybe making games with a huge budget for a niche market is not a good idea.
      Maybe managers have to manage *his own* expectations too.

    • Tei says:

      I see Starcraft has somewhat like Plants vs Zombies. Strategy with micro added for not reason. Both are brilliant games, but eons away from the games of old. RTS used to be a evolution of wargames, that use to be abstract and historical. Now we get Starcraft and Plants vs Zombies that are again abstract, but on the other side of the spectrum.

    • Meat Circus says:

      It sold well enough to merit two expansions, so it can’t have done that badly.

    • Dave L. says:

      You’ve got the order of events hilariously wrong there, rocketman. The piracy rate of CoH vanilla was something like 8 times higher than the sell-through (they had something like 6 million unique IP hits for downloads on the first patch, and while it sold well, it didn’t sell anywhere near that well. Multiple installs of legitimate copies on PCs owned by the same individual wouldn’t have accounted for a disparity that high). The Relic Online integration with Opposing Fronts was a direct response to that.

      The development of CoH:O was also a response to that, since most of the piracy was in the Asian market, and CoH:O was originally developed for China (and it’s done well enough in China and Korea that the decision was made to roll it out in NA/Europe because why limit a revenue stream to one continent when it only takes minor tweaks to bring it out worldwide?).

  4. Damien says:

    I’d love to try it out, but I can’t seem to get the launcher to launch.

  5. Llama says:

    Downloading the game now but its so… freaking… slooooow… by this time next week i’ll probably be playing :|

    • Heliocentric says:

      Coh online will actually copy the files from an install of company of heroes on the machine massive speeding the process up, but yes. Its a bloody mare to install either way.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    All of the hero units and unit boosts are somewhat good, but easily forgettable(and limited in number of uses without paying money). The real critical difference comes in the persistent skills you unlock. Say as defensive doctrine i can deploy (once i’ve charged my command bar to level 2) special engineers who can build bunkers with preloaded mg42’s with no munitions cost. So if i choose grenadiers (however you spell it) I’ll have a 50 more munitions but 50 less “manpower” resource, meaning more panzershreks. Or maybe i choose the stealth skill which can be upgraded so it can be used right at the start of the game and can even make tanks invisible… All the tanks you have. Which could lead to some truely epic ambushes.

    Its not better, but it is different and free meaning a more varied level of skill and persistent meaning less munchkin players starting new accounts and stomping you while you learn to play the game.

  7. Jake says:

    What is this exactly? I can’t seem to find out how it works except it has hero units, some more tech trees and micro transactions. Does it have more maps? Or new units? What do you have to buy? I’ll try it out if the beta ever downloads, but it sounds actually worse than the original game, if it’s basically just multiplayer CoH with unbalanced (and unwelcome) hero units.

  8. Bossman says:

    I enjoy it more than regular CoH because it has that addictive MMO style loot system where after each battle you get all kinds of goodies (heroes & equipment) as a reward. The game also has the full singleplayer campaign so you can play that as well if you haven’t finished it yet.

  9. Rich says:

    I just want a hill covered in artillery. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

  10. Jockie says:

    Going to give this a go, fortunately it seems to have recognised my steam install, meaning I don’t have to download all 9 gig of the game. Still a little confused about why this game exists, or why I’d pay for it (via microtransactions), considering I own all the previous CoH games, but I’m desperate enough for a new CoH fix that i’ll give it a go.

  11. BooleanBob says:

    Christ, that screenshot makes me wince.

    Okay, so in Company of Heroes, an artillery piece is a Queen-level unit. It can strike within a huge radius on the field, gives little-to-no advance warning of a barrage to the opponent, and really chews up units that fail to get out of the way. Subsequently it is expensive, and really only comes out in the late-game (you can try to rush one out, but doing so will compromise the fighting strength of your main force – ie, either no anti-tank guns or light armour, and certainly no tanks). It’s also fragile and a sore-thumb target for the enemy. Building more than one in a game in which you aren’t basically toying with an enemy is unthinkable.

    What to take, then, from the aforementioned screenie? For me, one of two things. Either that Relic’s marketing department are misleading former players and newcomers with the promise of ‘epic’ massed artillery, which should they pursue in-game will cause them get thoroughly pasted (in much the same way that Kotaku’s hands-on shows Crecente trying in his excitement to play a tank-heavy game, only to find to his bemusement that that’s simply not how things work, regardless of how the game was sold to him).

    Or – and here’s what actually scares me – that this is a game in which you CAN shock and awe with nine f****ng howitzers, in which case any semblance of balance from its dearly-loved predecessor has been discarded out of hand.

    I’m leaning towards the latter suggestion, given that we know you can also build hero snipers that can
    a) be built from a tier-1 factory,
    b) stealth at full speed all the way into the enemy base,
    c) one-shot production buildings with demolition charges while attention is focused elsewhere, and
    d) jog back home, never having broken camouflage!

    CoH never really enjoyed Starcraft levels of balance, but the factions were still elaborately poised, and going into a battle knowing that the toys in his war-chest were essentially equivalent to that of your own was the only thing that validated it – or any strategy game – as a genuinely competitive affair. I can’t for the life of me see how the route this game takes isn’t the equivalent of an FPS having pay-only guns with extended clips or higher damage, which presumably would cause more than a few to bat the proverbial eyelid.

    Rant over!

    • Thiefsie says:

      I count 10 howitzers – rejoice all is well!

    • cliffski says:

      This is a typical company of heroes screenshot. I’ve never seen a single official COH screenie thats taken from the locked isometric POV from which the game is actually played.
      I’d quite like to see trading standards people fine companies who to that tbh :D

    • Rich says:

      They always manage to make CoH look like World in Conflict.

    • CMaster says:

      “locked isometric POV”
      Next time you play, hold alt and move the mouse around. Also, use the scroll wheel.
      You’ll see that the view is anything but locked, although the need to change the viewing angle dramatically is rare (but does exist).
      It’s also not isometric, but actual 3d, but yes, lots of people call any view at that sort of angle isometric.

    • AndrewC says:

      I looked it u in a dictionary and it said this:

      Isometric – Adj: To be slightly above and to the side, looking down.

      So it’s official.

    • CMaster says:

      From the Oxford English Dictionary:

      Isometric adj, n
      A. adj.

      1. Of equal measure or dimensions.

      2. Applied to a method of projection or perspective, in which the plane of projection is equally inclined to the three principal axes of the object, so that all dimensions parallel to these axes are represented in their actual proportions; used in drawing figures of machines, etc.

      3. …

      Wikipedia has a more through explanation
      Basically, the point about isometric views (hence the name, “same measurment” I think) is that they are free of perspective. Everything appears as it’s “actual” size, regardless of distance from the view. CoH uses a genuinley 3D game engine with perspective – which is very obvious when you rotate the camera around to a shallower angle.

      It was just intended as a minor nitpick, really.

    • AndrewC says:

      I’m going to add my definition to the Urban Dictionary. We’ll see who wins.

  12. Mark-P says:

    “I’d much rather just have a company of heroes 2”

    Amen! I love CoH dearly. It’s the best RTS ever made. I still play it every week. It breaks my heart that it seems doomed to wither alongside the likes of Ground Control 1 as an evolutionary dead end. Game archaeologists will dig up their fossilised remains a million years from now, shake their heads, and wonder why we went the way we did.

  13. Turin Turambar says:

    Starcraft 2 campaign is brilliant (playing it right now), but… the gameplay itself? I prefer much more CoH. Thumbs up for this F2P version.

  14. Devenger says:

    The beta installer won’t work in the slightest. First, it tries to open up Internet Explorer (!?), then it just crashes. I am most displeased.

  15. Bas says:

    Launched it, beta downloaded at a very slow 100 kb/s, so I gave up. One key wasted!

  16. Ginger Yellow says:

    Even with CoH and all the expansions installed, it’s telling me I’ve got between 8 and 24 hours to wait while the rest downloads. Ho hum.

  17. Heliocentric says:

    I’d honestly suggest that unless you intend to write about it or have some crazy future internet you just play coh (or the demo if you don’t own it).

    Its of note that coh online includes all of the singleplayer content of the original game and actually allows you to level up your commander somewhat playing it.

  18. Gr1nd3r says:

    I don’t know if it’s me, but that launcher seems to block my internet. It’s downloading with 60-70 kb/s and having a 10mpbs connection i think it should open google or rps without problem… When i close it, everything’s back to normal…

  19. Alex says:

    Just finished COH Normandy for the first time ever. The game basically devolves into figuring out the cheapest way to blow up German tanks. Not sure if I can work up the enthusiasm to finish the other campaigns. Still, brilliant.

  20. Debby Downer says:

    That screenshot is a prerelease screenshot for the original Company of Heroes; it’s several years old at this point. I haven’t seen those snipers, and since the game is in beta I doubt they’ll go untouched if they’re as bad as you say.

  21. EBass says:

    Basically whats happened is that Relic made the best RTS ever in CoH, an RTS that should really be remembered as a “Half Life moment” in the evolution of the genre.

    But then for reasons unknown (but I have theories) the team that actually understood CoH and cared about it left the team. Relic then put a bunch of competent devs who understood nothing about what made the game great into trying to squeeze as much money out of the core gameplay mechanics the old team put in before everyone realised they had ruined what made the game great in the first place.

  22. nichevo says:

    I love CoH, but I don’t want to have to grind it (or worse, bribe it) to stay competitive.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Honestly you don’t need to do either. Its biggest effect is discouraging people using alts to farm lossless streaks against newbies and allowing a wider range of playstyles (with the disadvantage of letting you change only every so often as opposed to letting you pick every match like regular coh).