War never changes, but sometimes the developers of esteemed WW2 real time strategy games need help checking their servers are set up OK. To wit: the Company of Heroes 3 multiplayer Tech Test just went live, giving you 'til 10am PT/ 6pm GMT on Monday to blow up some tanks. It's a good chance to try the game out for free.
It's a hefty test. You can try out "eight different multiplayer maps set in both Italy and North Africa", "compete in 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4 matches", as well as "play Skirmish vs AI, Annihilation Mode and create Custom Games". You also get to try out "all four factions and the twelve Battlegroups". Battlegroups are sets of abilities, hooked up to an intriguing system that lets you choose three possible Battlegroups at the start of game then lock yourself into one while you're mid-match.
There's also a skippable tutorial mission, which will be handy if like me you haven't played any Heroes since COH2 came out in 2013. I played Age Of Empires 4's multiplayer for dozens of hours, but I'm not sure my French knight rush build order will be much use here.
They're not included in the test, but Katharine called the game's dual campaigns "a gripping mix of old and new" in her Company of Heroes 3 preview. It's "clear that Relic have put a lot of thought into making their sequel feel manageable and approachable for relative newcomers", she said.
Company Of Heroes 3 comes out on February 23rd. It'll cost you £50/$60/€60 on Steam.