Published on November 19th, 2014 | by admin
Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault Review admin
Summary: Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault is an honest portray of World War II via a real-time strategy game
Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault
Format – PC Gaming
Genre – Real Time Strategy
Rating – MA15+
Game Developer – Relic Entertainment
Game Publisher – Sega
Reviewer – Peter Bourke
Welcome back to World War II in Relic’s latest real-time strategy (RTS), Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault that is a standalone campaign based on the Company of Heroes gaming engine. To the uninitiated, Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault is an RTS which uses real-time battles between the United States and the Germans in an attempt for one of these forces to get the upper hand in this heinous war. Needless to say, the developers have really captured this era well, especially the tension of your battles and moving your troops across Europe.
So what is the Ardennes Assault? Well according to historians and more importantly Churchill, he described this assault as “undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the War” and the Ardennes Assault is actually the Battle of the Bulge which has been made popular by Hollywood. In the game, players control the US Allied Forces in order to push pack the Axis and this standalone campaign revolves around three different officers as they attempt to gain the upper hand of the Ardennes region from the powerful Oberkommandos.
Each of these officers controls a different facet of the US military that include airborne, infantry and support which are all quite different to control and definitely a highlight of the game due to the different strategies that they use. Another interesting aspect about the game is that it’s not all about huge battles because the title also focuses on the valor of these brave soldiers such as being dropped behind enemy lines with limited supplies. It’s these missions which are the highlight of Ardennes Assault.
Like the previous games in the series, you also need to monitor the health of your troops because the more battles they win, the more experienced they become on the battlefield. So when you lose some of your top soldiers, it definitely makes your victories more difficult, especially with the level of your new recruits. However just like the real World War II, players have access to a strategic map in order to help plan your attacks and try to decipher your enemies manoeuvres. Add in some cutscenes and Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault really helps immerse the player in the high stakes of the war. The game is also quite non-linear thanks to its strategic map which allows you to move around the areas but with lots of random encounters thrown in for good measure.
The game gives the player a variety of units to navigate in the battles and at times you can call for additional support such as artillery strikes as you attempt to outwit your opponents because more often than not, you are outgunned by the enemy. However as you do win battles, your troops will gain valuable experience that makes them more hardened for their next battle. But your enemies also get more powerful which means they have access to better equipment such as bunkers, tanks or additional artillery support. With that said, the game boasts a variety of troop types from engineers to artillery and even snipers to name a few not to mention all the different vehicles.
Given that, Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault boasts a variety of missions with several additional activities to be found once you commence the mission which really adds to the nature of the game itself, especially those offering additional rewards. The player is also given a debriefing before the mission that focuses on our three main officers that include Derby, Edwards and Vastano which does put a human face on this RTS.
Another twist to this game is that each of the officers has the ability to specialise their troops but in order to succeed, you do need to monitor veterancy and fatigued. In terms of story, there is a loose narrative behind the game which does assist in the progression system of the game as it makes you more invested in not just your troops but the overall story. I also like how the player has access to a variety of tactics when engaged on the battlefield which may include all-out attacks or something more subtle such as an ambush against the Germans. This means that the game gives the player a variety of choices on how they complete the various missions.
Graphically, the title is quite detailed on the PC, especially with a high resolution setting and with all the detailed enabled. The environments look quite detailed and have this real 3D presence to them that when linked the trees, buildings and characters creates this great interactive environment. Add in the detailed troops, tanks and other vehicles and the developers have successfully recreated war torn Europe. The developers even added some great special effects in terms of its lighting and Hollywood styled explosions. Audios is equally impressive that when linked to the gameplay and graphics creates a very sturdy RTS experience.
Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault is fun standalone campaign to this franchise that successfully recreates the battles of World War II and more importantly each time you replay the missions, they can all be finished in a myriad of ways that definitely increases the longevity of this title. Developers Relic should once again be applauded for creating one of the most realistic and emotional World War II real-time strategies to date that does not glorify but highlights the atrocities and how those men involved in the war went above and beyond their call of duty.
- NON-LINEAR CAMPAIGN: Take control of a strategic meta-map covering the key locations of the Battle of the Bulge. Choose the sequence to play the missions to ultimately defeat the mighty German Force and turn the tide of war.
- 18 ALL NEW SCENARIOS: Engage in a dynamic campaign across the Ardennes landscape consisting of 11 missions and 7 engagements inspired by the events of the Battle of the Bulge. The campaign progresses with dynamic bonus objectives that change on different playthroughs, giving more replay options than ever before.
- 3 ICONIC COMPANIES: Take command of the versatile Airborne unit, the relentless Mechanized Infantry and the heavy hitting Support unit and choose which one to deploy for each mission. Each Company is under the authority of 3 different Officers; each with their own distinct style, perspective and Abilities.
- RESULTS THAT MATTER: Take care with your strategic decisions, as results and overall Company health persists between missions. Veterancy earned can help increase an entire Company’s effectiveness, while lost units are a hit to the Company’s overall health. Fail to manage resources well and you risk losing a Company for good. The decisions you make will ultimately shape the outcome of your battle!
- CUSTOMIZATION: Customize each of your Companies’ 4 unique Abilities with up to 6 selectable upgrades. The unique skill tree offers 72 multiple levels of improvement allowing players to specialize their commanders throughout the course of the campaign.