To be honest, while Relic was working on the 4th game of Age of Empires, which is currently one of the most cult series in strategy history, I never thought that they would make a new Company of Heroes game. That’s why I wasn’t too excited when I saw the countdown news in the editorial group. Even when my expectations were high with the Italy map and battle footage in the countdown broadcast, I wasn’t expecting more than a short cinematic announcement video; At best, since the release of AOE4 is approaching, the new project would be announced without giving much detail, and small details would be shared in 2022…
It turns out how wrong I was, dear Oyungezerler. At the end of that cinematic video, when they saw the 2023 text and waited to close the broadcast, they messed with my mouth first with the bloody live gameplay footage, and then with the pre-alpha test, which will start the same evening. Company of Heroes, one of the cornerstones of the GZS genre, will take us to Italy and North Africa with its new game. It was already said that when the Western Front in the first game and the Eastern Front in the second game were handled, it was already the turn of Italy, in the new game, the producers included North Africa in this and put the conflict around the Mediterranean at the center.
It is necessary to quit work and settle in the Mediterranean
Although we couldn’t see anything about North Africa apart from the short desert scene at the end of the promotional video, I had the chance to taste Italy to the fullest in the test version and I can say that the work that came out was simply delicious. The colorful streets of Italy and the deep blue Mediterranean are refreshing after the gloomy atmosphere of the 2nd game. Of course, the only thing that has changed is not the country we are fighting. Company of Heroes 3, despite the fact that the first game is over 15 years old, still preserves the classic gameplay system and manga-oriented control structure, but it contains important innovations.
Company of Heroes: Total War
Once again, a brand new strategic map has been added that radically changes the single player progression in the game. Although we have seen a similar system in the Ardennes Assault add-on package of the 2nd game before, this time we have a much more detailed campaign map, which includes cities, bridges, supply lines, resistance centers, reminiscent of Total War games and covering all of Italy. Unlike the classical gameplay, in this map, where we act on a tour basis, we train the troops we want, perform various tasks and save the cities one by one from occupation.
There are not only companies on the map, but also planes that you can use by capturing airports, destroyers that will support you from the sea, and sidekicks that you can do small jobs on the map. For example, you have to repair ruined bridges with engineers, heal wounded companies with medics, harass enemy units with planes before engaging in combat. As you can see, a single-player campaign is waiting for us, inspired by the classic CoH experience, which will rival even the Total War series, which we can say unrivaled in this regard. Although only the Naples region is included in the test version, I understand that in the full version we will have a chance to lead the entire Italian operation of the allies. In fact, this operation may be a single part of a huge scenario that will include operations in North Africa and Sicily.
Clicks per Minute terror
Of course, this is still a Company of Heroes game. Even though we shape the big picture with our moves on the strategic map, when our units go into conflict with the enemy, we leave the strategic map and switch to the conflict map, and we personally command our soldiers in the RTS system we know. While some of these skirmishes are won in the form of classic CoH matches, collecting points by holding key points on a large map, many of them require special conditions and a more dynamic mission system to be played. It should be noted that the moves made on the strategic map directly affect these wars. If you are within range of the navy, you can request fire support or if there is a firefighter nearby, you can call them into combat.
The most important innovation in the RTS part is undoubtedly the Tactical Stop option. Thanks to this mode, which you can activate by simply pressing the Space button in the chaos of the war, the whole game stops and you have the chance to calmly scan the entire map and decide on your moves. It is even possible to give orders to your soldiers sequentially in this mode. After making all your moves, you can continue the fight from where you left off by pressing Space again. Frankly, this mode was one of my favorite innovations, especially when playing CoH 2, after a while I couldn’t keep up with what was happening on the map, I was getting stressed and losing my interest in the game. I don’t know if I need to specify, but of course, this feature will be only for single-player matches, so professional RTS friends who can give 100 orders per minute and understand where and what is happening with a single glance on the minimap should not worry.
This is how city clash happens!
Another important innovation is the structure of the maps. The height/level difference had an effect on the gameplay in the previous games as well, keeping a high hill gave a certain advantage, but to put it plainly, the whole map was “flat”. In the 3rd game, there are obvious floor differences and stairs between roads and streets. While the soldiers you deploy on a terrace have a great advantage against the infantry passing through the lower street, tanks and armored vehicles are not as comfortable on the map as they used to be. This innovation has brought a brand new breath to urban conflicts.
Apart from these, there are also many small innovations, I especially loved the feature of being able to press and clean the houses with enemies with a flamethrower without having to wear them for a long time. However, I don’t think I need to explain everything so broadly on the first impression. It is also worth remembering that the game is still in the pre-alpha stage; Many annoying bugs aside, even some icons and icons were taken from CoH 2 (probably to train the test version) even though I haven’t encountered anything that will trash all my progress yet. In fact, for the first hour, I felt like I was playing a slightly biased and embellished CoH 2 expansion pack.
However, as my gameplay time increased, Company of Heroes 3 managed to impress me. While preserving the classic gameplay and familiar CoH feel, Relic has managed to create a brand new game with great additions. As someone who has always felt distant from CoH 2, this game, even with its test version, managed to make me feel that air of the first game that I missed. I also think that Relic deserves special credit for this announcement strategy. Announcing a game that many strategy players have been eagerly waiting for, along with a 3-week, free and open test version with about 10 hours of content, was one of the best gestures we’ve seen in the gaming world.
2. Italy in World War II
On the one hand, the Normandy Landing and the Ardennes Offensive and the Western Front, on the other hand, the Eastern Front, with its many legendary battles such as Operation Barbarossa and Kursk, Stalingrad, occupied an important place in World War II Europe (and related productions), while the operations and operations in Italy were combined with this duo. It can be said that he was a little modest in his opinion, but still Italy was the scene of remarkable events during the war.
The combined Allied armies headed for Italy following the defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa, quickly regaining control of Sicily and Southern Italy (with the help of heavy naval support) as a result of the landings in the summer and autumn of 1943, but both the recovering German defenses, and with the effect of the winter season, this advance was stopped at the Gustav Defense Line (“Winter Line”) established in the Apennine Mountains.
The Monastery of Monte Cassino on top of a mountain, which had dominance especially on the road to Rome, was the scene of fierce battles. As a result of the attacks that continued for about 5 months, the German resistance in Italy was largely dissolved with the capture of the hill, and in the following months, the Allied forces continued the German defense to the Italian Alps.
One of the remarkable features of Italy was that it was one of the most colorful regions in terms of troop diversity in the war. In this operation, in which approximately 2 million people died, American, British, French, Polish and British Colonial Soldiers, together with the Italian Resistanceists, fought against the Italian and German army on Italian soil.