Company of Heroes 2 (Preview)

All opinions and pictures are from the closed beta of CoH2. as such the game will likely change, hopefully get better, and so on. Take everything written here with a pinch of salt.
There used to be trees and stuff here. Then the mortars and tanks showed up…

Company of Heroes (as a series now I suppose) has always been one of those games I wish I could play. Its a wonderful RTS filled with incredible ideas and design choices which just make sense, its also a game filled with so many genius strategical opportunities that I am completely unable to play it to any degree of confidence.
Being let loose in Company of Heroes 2 feels similar to being allowed to climb Ayers rock – Can I rock climb? Sure! Will I die climbing Ayers rock? 100%

CoH2 introduces some new mechanics, brings back the stuff from CoH which made sense, and adds in some new age leveling systems which seem to be prevalent in more and more online games nowadays.

Old Stuff:
Engineers building stuff, reinforcing, retreating, suppression, directional armor on tanks, mortars, snipers, cover mechanics, garrison, actives on most units, breaking down walls…

New Stuff:
– Snow and Freezing – Russia being the frosty deathtrap that it is, there are now blizzards which limit sight and movement, as well as slowing infantary left out in the open. Infantary will have to maintain body temperature by sheltering or going near fireplaces. There is also ‘deep snow’ which will slow units and leave tracks, and iced lakes which will break if bombarded or if tanks cross.
– Line of Sight – Not that this wasn’t a thing in the original, but LoS seems greatly emphasized in this game, and it feels like most units have had their sight range reduced – this allows for lots of clever trapping and ambushes, though as a League of Legends player I always feel worried going into fog of war constantly.
– Tank stuff – Tanks are now able to do things other than be tanks, crew can stop manning the weapons and capture points, or come out of the top to increase vision for example.
– Commander points – seem more important now. Still allow for cool shit.
– Leveling Stuff –
– – Gain XP for playing, access more commanders, perks, skins
– – Loadouts for commanders
– – Loadouts for perks, unlock more perks by doing X of Y (similar to CoD style unlock stuff)

Notice the blue bar on the side of the unit shield, showing its temperature. Units can freeze to death on the field if not protected
Commander loadout selection, You can select a few commanders, then choose which to actually use once you get your first commander point a few minutes into the game – Which is a nice opportunity for strategy counters
‘Bulletins’,  another way of saying perks. You can unlock a ton for all the different unit types, provided you can complete the challenges required.
Postgame screen, showing a ton of unlocks and buzzwords to make me feel cool.
The game itself seems a fantastic RTS experience with a very VERY high skillcap – So high that I feel barely able to play it or keep up, despite experience in AoE/SC/War3/DoW2 etc.

If there was a way to play the game at half speed. I would do that.

I’d love to talk gameplay balance and whats overpowered etc, but fuck if I know. The game runs on such a hardcore rock paper scissors format that everything seems counterable, I’d run in a tank and take out 2 squadrons, only to be completely shut down by a 3man anti-tank gun crew, Similarly my snipers would ruin shit from miles away, only to be taken out by a mortar crew I couldn’t even see.

I’d also like to add that the game doesnt actually feel THAT different to the original CoH, but rather a refined and polished version of the free CoH they put out towards the original’s end