E3 2006: Company of Heroes first impressions

PC: Forget the nukes; war is won one street at a time in this intense, small-scale RTS

Taking a quick detour to the main game map, we see why this particular area is so important. There are exactly three resources in Company of Heroes: manpower, munitions and fuel. Each of the 20 or so sections of the map generates one of these supplies, and can deliver it to any friendly territories it is connected to. This particular bit of land actually cuts right down the middle of the enemy's kingdom - thus, capturing it will carve a big hole in the supply lines.

In order to capture the area, we need to raise our flag at the lone control point. The problem is that the enemy has fortified it with a medical facility (they could have chosen a machine-gun nest or observation point as well), which must be destroyed before we can take over. A satchel charge does the job nicely.

Back in the square, the Crocodile has torched the entire building where the machine-gun nest was, but the enemy has countered by sending in two Panzer IV tanks, which have succeeded in blasting our Croc to inactivity. They then literally blew out the walls of the buildings in which we had garrisoned our own troops with machine guns of their own.

An artillery bombardment is blasting holes in the very asphalt of the street - which, in a very cool development, can then be used for cover by our infantry, who lie down in them as soon as the smoke and derbris spray abates. Finally, a quick airborne strafe lays down a path of explosive destruction and the Panzers creak to a stop. Their charred husks will now become yet another form of cover in what's left of the town square. No buildings remain, but the Allied flag waves in the breeze and the Axis forces are finally exhausted in this area.

Now for the next one.

Company of Heroes ships this fall.

May 10, 2006

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.
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