Relic Entertainment is reviving the Company of Heroes series. To fans of RTS games from the mid 2000s, those words offer a tangible level of excitement. It’s been 15 years since the original Company of Heroes was released, and eight since the sequel dropped in 2013. Both are regarded as RTS greats, though the sequel’s campaign delivered a far weaker affair. With Company of Heroes 3, developer Relic Entertainment is aiming to build on the series’ best aspects, while expanding the single player to a grander scale.
The original Company of Heroes took us through the Western Front of World War 2, while its sequel moved to the Eastern Front. For CoH3, Relic is taking us south, to Italy and the northern coast of Africa. Check out the CGI reveal trailer below:
Company of Heroes 3 will feature a Total War-style campaign map, allowing you to direct forces across the land in turn-based strategy before zooming down to play out real-time battles. Capture territories on the campaign map and you’ll bolster the resources available to supply your forces. Take control of an airbase and you can call in strikes or paradrop troops in nearby regions. Command a naval base and you can bombard coastal regions mid-fight. Supply lines are vital, however. If your troops are cut off on the main map, they’ll suffer heavy penalties.
The US and British forces form the core of the allied forces, bolstered by support from Italian resistance and commonwealth forces. On the Axis side? German and Italian forces. Each company has its own subdivisions players can take into matches, shifting the available buildings, troops, and tanks available. Unlike previous titles, you won’t be limited exclusively to one nation. Armies can be composed of both British and American forces during the campaign, and you’ll also have various subcommanders advising your choice of approach across different scenarios.
Company of Heroes’s real-time battles are notoriously fraught, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed as shells rain down and your squads begin to buckle. Company of Heroes 3 will introduce a tactical pause to make the game more accessible to all players, allowing you to stop the action in singleplayer to assess the battlefield and direct your forces under pressure.
Company of Heroes 3 is currently planned for a 2022 release. Relic Entertainment is keen to involve player feedback in the development. There’s a pre-alpha build available right now for anyone who signs up and links their Steam account on the game’s community website. Sign up and you'll be on the list for all future tests and pre-release trials.