E3 2006: Company of Heroes first impressions

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