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Muddy Hell: Company Of Heroes 2 - Southern Fronts

Maps, challenges, workshops

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.

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