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Cold Soldier: What's New In Company Of Heroes 2

This shot's taken straight from gameplay footage, but it looks so artsy!

According to the surprisingly sobering (and unsurprisingly incessant) Christmas jingles currently spewing out of every speaker-endowed device on Earth, the weather outside is frightful. And while a veritable barrage of slight breezes has indeed caused me tremendous hardship during my trips between warm places to buy $6 cups of coffee, I think perspective’s important. For instance, soldiers on World War II’s Eastern Front braved inclement weather that was nearly comparable to my own. Forecasters, I imagine, declared it snowy with a chance of bullet blizzards and mortar hail. Then they got run over by tanks. Company of Heroes 2, meanwhile, is aiming to recreate that particular horror of war, and it’s looking like a pretty miserable time (at least, for your tiny popsicle army men) indeed. I bet their coffee was cheaper, though.

So yeah, there goes my plan for Authentic Soviet Tanks on Ice: The Primetime Television Special. Oh well. CoH 2 looks great, though, doesn’t it? The cold certainly seems like it’ll open up some intriguing strategic possibilities – for instance, the aforementioned ice-busting, and also harassing troops just enough to let the elements finish the job – and the bone-chilling brutality’s definitely there.

Line of sight and vaulting, on the other hand, seem a bit more understated, but perhaps even more important in the grand scheme of things. Oh, and just imagine the devious possibilities line-of-sight-powered sneak attacks enable when frozen, huddled-together enemy troops are involved. Ah, war! In which effective strategy is defined as “being the biggest jerk.”

Aside from those things, though, it sure does look like a Company of Heroes game. Not that there’s anything terribly wrong with that – the original’s sort of one of the greatest RTSes ever – but I do worry that Relic might be playing things a bit too safe. We’ll see, though. And then we’ll pull no punches in letting you know, because RPS’ critical eye has no fog of war. Or something.

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Nathan Grayson

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