Muddy Hell: Company Of Heroes 2 – Southern Fronts

The trailer for Company of Heroes 2’s most recent DLC ends on a sombre and slightly surreal note. Men trudge through mud, done down by the weather as well as the enemy. They are all fashioned from the same model, all have the same animation, cookie cutter quarry in a nightmare landscape. Intentionally or not, it’s a scene that uses the apparent limitations of the character models to great effect and makes a refreshing change to the explosive way that war is often depicted in a short sales pitch. Edit: this isn’t a sales pitch at all though – the DLC is free I misread the press release, sorry. The free part of the DLC includes two new multiplayer maps, base game improvements and Steam Workshop integration for maps made in the recently released World Builder. For three quid, you’ll also receive several solo challenges and AI battles.

This was one of two big strategy sequels this year that didn’t live up to my expectations. I plan to revisit both – t’other is Rome War: Totally Two – but probably won’t have time until January.

I found a lot to like in Company of Heroes 2 but there was a sense that the long wait had been for a prettier but less effective version of the original. With snow. COH 1 is among the few RTS games I’ve ever enjoyed for any length of time in multiplayer – the slower pace suits my ageing wits – and I’ll hopefully find a spare weekend to join one of the several Fronts in January.


  1. ALJA says:

    I wouldn’t worry about not playing Rome 2 until January. It might actually be playable by then.

    • Zenicetus says:

      CA has been promising to write a guide to the political system (such as it is) for months, and they finally said they’ll release it towards the end of January. TWR2 players are hoping that means they’re actually changing the political system to explain the delay, and not that it’s taken them this long to scratch their heads and figure out their own design.

      Ssiege AI is still not working, but an upcoming patch promises to…. er, improve it. More torches for the gates, I guess. Anyway, taking another look in late January or February is probably a good idea. The battles are getting better, but there are still many unfinished or just broken parts of the game.

  2. mukuste says:

    Free DLC?! That’s just crazy. What’s next? Free-to-play games?

    • shagohad says:

      However there are a number of silly DLC options for this game that are not free. I loved CoH 1 but after seeing that some of the commander trees were day 1 DLC I decided I’d rather not buy this at full price. Has anyone who played the original game felt that they were missing out because of the extra content in those DLCs? Im curious because it is a game I would like to pick up at some time.

      More on topic, in the original CoH the best maps were the community created ones, and so naturally were free. The 2 DLC they did release unfortunately completely broke the balance of the game and it took soooooo long for Relic to fix it. I hope if they do more comprehensive DLC (for example adding new “factions”) that they learn from Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valour.

  3. bob. says:

    Aww, when I was reading “Southern Fronts” I was already kind of hoping, this would maybe be something with the Germans’ allies.
    Won’t complain about free DLC though.

    • shagohad says:

      wrote something similar above but thought id chime in here as well, in CoH 1 the addition of new “factions” kinda broke the balance for a very long time. I think if Relic does add new groups they should split the game into separate theaters of war. As an asymmetrical RTS it works best with 2 sides from a balance perspective.

      • Werthead says:

        What was amusing about the original CoH was that the Panzer Elite and British were unbalanced, awful additions to the game. Far superior was the addition of, er, the Russians in the superb EASTERN FRONT mod (which would also challenge CoH2 itself in quality terms, except no SP and EF’s T-34s seem rather underpowered).

  4. Syra says:

    Well it looks like it’s only a reskin of the snow anyway, the trudging through the mud animations are identical, perhaps they will do away with the warmth mechanic or maybe not.

  5. Volcanu says:

    Can they get on with making DOW 3 after this please? It’s not like GW licenses are hard to get these days…

    On a serious note, does anyone know how much DLC Relic are planning on making for COH 2?

  6. DirtyDivinity says:

    It’s… S.T.A.L.K.E.R.I.S.H. !

  7. Gap Gen says:

    Reminds me, I still need to try Black Turn.

  8. Warlokk says:

    Wait a minute… it’s not free for me, they want a fiver for it (-10% till 12/7)… I’ve had CoH2 since release.

  9. mtomto says:

    Have they fixed the lack of a Annihilation/lobby/browser etc, instead of the boring Victory Point setup? That’s the only thing I’m waiting for. Last time I checked I, they had some sort of bastard system that tied into steam friends – that isn’t working as well as the old CoH1 formula.

  10. DarkLiberator says:

    I very much enjoy the game, but this influx of dlc is just dumb. There’s just tons of the store page. Probably better to wait a year and get the GOTY.

  11. DatonKallandor says:

    Company of Heroes 2 is basically a worse Company of Heroes 1 with price-gouging microtransactions on top. The worst parts of Company of Heroes Online got grafted on to CoH 2.

    • shagohad says:

      what are the microtransactions for? I used to love CoH but those kinds of things drove me away. Im wondering if this game is worth picking up

      • DatonKallandor says:

        You know those cool commander trees in the first game? Off-map call-ins and special off-map attacks. In CoH 2 they’re locked behind micro transactions. Also most of the singleplayer and coop content is micro transaction locked.

  12. Fergus says:

    On the subject of new DLC for RTS’s Wargame: Airland Battle’s just had its 2nd free DLC out, and it gives the British faction even *more* tanks. Hurrah!

    • Vinraith says:

      It also provides some truly, epically massive new maps. Looking at the additions I was all prepared to drop $5 on it, then I scrolled up to do so and saw it was free. I love those guys.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Also some hilarious trolling of the US Fanbase, by including a new US Anti-tank team, and not making it a TOW team.
      Eugen really knows how to handle their franchise – free DLCs only, yearly upgrades to the base game with heavy discounts for owners of the previous version. Effectively, if you own the old game, the new one is priced as an expansion (and has content like one), but everyone also gets one year of DLC for free.

  13. Kollega says:

    This trailer seriously reminded me of war segments from the old “Peace on Earth” cartoon. That was WW1, not WW2, but it still looks awfully similar. War is hell, I guess, no matter which one it is.

  14. Ephant says:

    I was banned on the steam forums for saying why and that the new DLC policy sucks (Reason: “Offensive language.”). I don’t have much respect left for Relic, which was one of my favourite devs.

    • Universal Quitter says:

      Be honest, were you cussing and ranting? Cause you have to know what’s going to happen based on the environment you’re in. Steam doesn’t put up with a lot of bullshit. Neither do EA or Ubi.

      If it really bugs you that much, stop giving money for these kinds of services. I know they didn’t take your single-player games away, so as long as it’s not a permaban, you haven’t really lost anything. Doing something other than playing a repetitive online strategy game is probably healthy, anyway. Turn those twitchy finger reflexes into playing guitar or keys or something.

      Griping about it is only going to make you think about it, and then you might even start to feel bad. Don’t do that. Distract yourself, man.

      • Ephant says:

        The “most offensive” word I used was “sucks”. And I wasn’t banned from the whole steam forum (sorry, my mistake). Only from the CoH2 forum by a Relic developer.

  15. CookPassBabtridge says:

    This is in my ever increasing steam backlog to play at some point. I recently genre jumped to RTS from FPS after many years of ignoring the former, and now have a lot of catching up to do

  16. wodin says:

    For single player Graviteam Tactics is the best RTS game I’ve played..infact I normally hate RTS games due to them being click fests..the only series I enjoyed was Close Combat. Well Graviteam has finally knocked CC of my No1 rts slot. The fact it’s an RTS and is easy in my fav games list speaks volumes.