It is said that war never changes; war's intensity, its perils, its world-shifting consequences remain unflinchingly true. Company of Heroes 2 demonstrates this weary axiom by overwhelming your senses with the heat and light of battle--battle that closely recalls the kind of skirmishes you once triumphed over in the original Company of Heroes. This is not a real-time strategy revolution, but a fun revival iwin of enduring mechanics that pulls you into the trenches of the eastern front.

There is no shame in retreating so that you may live to fight another day. Unless you are Russian.

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Given the series' penchant for explosive multiplayer confrontations, you might be inclined to overlook Company of Heroes 2's campaign, though you would be missing out on some of the game's better moments in doing so. The narrative is not, however, a return to form for developer Relic Entertainment, whose Homeworld games brought RTS storytelling to great heights. Given the excellence of many of the campaign missions, it's disappointing that the surrounding cutscenes can't meet their levels of excitement, try as they might. It's best to ignore the decidedly old-looking cinematics, the cast's uncomfortable accents, and the cliched attempts at dramatizing a strained soldier-commander relationship. Instead, game iwin cho android let the missions themselves do the talking; the best ones communicate the hopelessness and despair the cinematics fail to capture.

Even early missions impress upon you the disposability of your troops, frequently commanding you to retreat when you are overrun, all while you order in one nameless conscript squad after another. Interesting new mechanics, too, effectively communicate the helplessness of an individual combatant, and not only during the campaign, but in AI skirmishes, online multiplayer, and elsewhere. On snowy maps, the fearsome rush of cold and wind don't just make for a chilly sight, but also make for chilly soldiers. Soldiers feeling the frosty sting need a warm fire (provided by a resourceful engineer or pioneer) or the confines of an available structure to avoid succumbing to a frigid death. Infantry trudge slowly through drifts of snow, and crossing an icy pond could prove fatal if the weight of a tank--or the eruption of game iwin cho iphone a grenade--proves too much for the flimsy ice to handle.

And so you don't confront just the forces of the enemy, but the forces of nature too, and make important tactical considerations in the process. Do you risk sending unprotected soldiers to a desolate capture point, hoping they can make the trek without freezing to death? If it's later in a skirmish or multiplayer match, you might have half-tracks for transport purposes, but the possibility of an early lead might make it worth taking a gamble with a few squads. The weather is not an issue on every map, but when it's a concern, your usual tactical approach (say, leading a few squads around the map to capture victory points while advancing far enough to build heavy tanks) may not work well, if at all.

The campaign excels when making you feel the heartlessness of your commander's orders. Voice-overs frequently remind you that you are sending troops out to die for the motherland, and the endless stream of free conscripts most missions gift you on medium difficulty reinforce the idea that no one individual is indispensable. Unfortunately, this huge supply of free infantry makes it too easy to win by steamrolling across the map using sheer numbers. It's far more satisfying to win a mission by sending out multiple, carefully constructed control groups across the map and micromanaging their abilities. (Some infantry can toss Molotovs, and snipers can fire debilitating rounds, for instance.) Most campaign missions don't require that kind of high-end strategizing, however.

Even with the use of free soldiers, campaign missions still tai game iwin bang sms manage to be varied and intense. Some of the intensity comes from the chaos of tanks lighting up the map and artillery demolishing entire buildings that then collapse before your very eyes. These are spectacular moments from a visual perspective in a sharp-looking game, but rarely are such sights just for show. When a squad hits the ground, pinned by oppressive fire, it looks authentic, of course, but it also hinders your progress. A Katyusha's rockets might hit a structure and make a grand fireworks show, but that structure may be in the way of your actual target, forcing you to fully destroy it so your rockets can reach their mark--or to find a better position. Company of Heroes 2 is a one-two punch of powerful production values and nail-biting confrontations. Just bear in mind that you can't experience the fireworks if you are still using Windows XP, because the game doesn't support that operating system. Nor, for that matter, does it support dual video cards in Crossfire or SLI configuration.

Company of Heroes 2 excels when it sticks to its standard strategic formula. In a typical match, you start with a squad of engineers or pioneers and construct the necessary structures to pump out new units. You don't send out resource gatherers to collect wood and iron as you might in a traditional RTS game, but rather move infantry quickly across the map to capture victory points. At such points, you might build add-ons that increase your flow of fuel and munitions, which are the resources, along with manpower, required to create units. It takes a lot of time for the campaign to introduce its resource-gathering mechanics, however, so if you're new to the series, don't expect the campaign to do an entirely great job of getting you prepared to take on human opposition.

The campaign, however, isn't the only way to get in some offline practice. As is usual for an RTS game, you can play skirmishes against the AI, but there's another suite of options called the Theater of War. The Theater includes a number of cooperative and solo challenges, which are typically much more challenging than the campaign. While the campaign is focused on the Russians, the Theater includes both USSR and German missions, some of which are wildly intense and entertaining.

 


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