Company of Heroes 3 Pre-Alpha Preview
Company of heroes It has come a long way. The original entry in the series improved the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War formula in every way but one: some questionable DLC. Company of Heroes 2 He promised the untold story of the Eastern Front, then regurgitated all the Nazi myths. The sequel also came with a lot of DLC culminating in Assault of the Ardennes (everyone likes it except me). The trip was… bumpy. Then how Company of Heroes 3 rate? We have a preview of the pre-alpha.
This game is set in the Mediterranean Theater, which is a quick way of saying “North Africa and Italy”. But the pre-alpha only includes part of the dynamic allied campaign that focuses on the push from Naples to Monte Cassino.
Stepping on italian soil
While the Battle of Monte Cassino and the attacks on the Winter Line generally involved 240,000 Allied soldiers, this is Company of Heroes 3 and no Hero Division. As such, you will only be pushing companies on the command map. They are the stars of the show, accumulating experience, unlocking units, have their own special abilities, and can initiate real-time strategy (RTS) battles. They are backed by detachments with no experience levels or unlocks.
However, detachments can fight on the strategy map, use their own abilities, and add a bit of support when in range. For example, medical detachments can heal other units (and provide ambulance calls in RTS), while engineers can remove obstacles (an important task as the pre-alpha campaign demonstrates). Company skills are more variable and powerful, such as artillery companies that can engage enemies at a distance, or special forces companies that disrupt enemy supplies behind lines. There really is a surprising amount of depth and mechanics at play on the strategy map.
Now, if a company is attacking a special city occupied by enemy forces, you could even develop a custom scenario. This ranges from regular base-building battles with special maps and cool objectives (like stealing a German AA gun to stop periodic machine-gunning), to the crowd favorite “no base, just a handful of troops; I hope you do well. “But if you do run into an enemy company on the field, you could face yourself in a skirmish battle (with some fun objectives). This latest game is trying to find a middle ground between the actual campaign we had in Company of Heroes 1 and the enhanced dynamic campaign of Assault of the Ardennes.
The Company of Heroes 3 The pre-alpha campaign includes two types of British companies (armored and Indian artillery), as well as two American (paratroopers and special forces). Battles can unfold very differently depending on the forces you bring in. Taking an airport and defending it from an armored counterattack (the first special battle you will encounter) is much easier if you are British and have the support of the Archer tank destroyers. Fun fact: archers only entered the public consciousness after being so ridiculous in War thunder. Taking advantage of heavy Churchill tanks is another huge advantage for British companies compared to American paratroopers who can at best gain support from Chaffees (who hadn’t even been introduced at the time of the war).
Battles also depend on the experience of the units. Companies unlock units, skills and abilities by gaining experience on the campaign map. Skill and skill unlocks (which are there for RTS battles) also have mutually exclusive updates. Not all of them were available in the pre-alpha version, but there were enough to show why you don’t want to lose your armored company.
By the way, if a company with less than perfect health on the strategy map engages in a real-time strategy battle, you can expect to see infantry units with fewer troops than the total number of troops.
Finally, a decent coverage system.
When it comes to the actual battles, well … it’s Company of heroes! There is some micro, there is some immobilization, tanks apparently now have a side armor value, US units can choose between two upgrades when leveling up, and so on. Nothing devastating happened, and there are fun new things, like units raiding a garrisoned building to evict the inhabitants. The assault mechanic feels like a way to simply kill enemy units and destroy the enemy strongpoint while keeping the building intact (or I just haven’t seen the dislodged leave), but that’s a matter of balance.
The infantry being more fragile than I would like could also be just a Company of Heroes 3 something that will change with user comments, but we’ll see.
Other than that, the only thing that makes people horny and annoyed is the Full Tactical Pause, which is a fancy way of saying that you can command units while the game is paused. It only works on one player, so in that sense the only difference between it and the timing controls in the Play of war or Total war franchising is determination. There are special markings to display orders during the break, and even a timeline that records them. This is all so that you can more easily formulate a plan. It’s great because it reduces the mic in a single player, because Company of heroes I always had too much mic.
For me personally, it just shows that a continuous turn-based solving system is the way to go. It is already the main way to play Combat mission series, and there’s a good reason why Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock It is mentioned in every review I write. It would be nice to see this kind of “near” in real time in a AAA multiplayer RTS, as it would make battles focus more on being the best commander than the fastest clicker.
All in all, Company of Heroes 3 pre-alpha looks and plays great for a pre-alpha build. Many of the artistic assets were lacking, British units pose in T before firing rifle grenades, and Coldstream guards have the Soviet Guard icon of Company of Heroes 2, but … it’s a pre-alpha. Those are the things that can be expected of him. But do they make me expect great things from eventual full game? Yes.