Friday, September 29, 2006

Review: "Company of Heroes"

PC Gamer 96%
Best of E3 2005
Best of E3 2004
Best presentation of E3 2005
Eurogamer 10/10

Some call it "A Legend".
Some say that it is the best RTS since StarCraft.
Some say that it is next-generation RTS.

All the hype made me desperate for this game. 3 days of it on my com, however, and I'm already getting really bored of this game. I can see why some think that it is a revolution for the RTS genre, but to me, it is waaay too far to be considered 'Revolutionary'.

Company of Heroes is an RTS based on WW2. Like all World War 2 games, we start of at Osaka Beach. The single player campaign of this game is very well planned and very cinematic. In fact, CoH has probably one of the best single player mode compared to other RTS's. But I don't play RTS for the campaign. I play RTS for the multiplayer, the competitiveness and anything else regarding that line of stuff. If I wanted single player games, I would look for RPGs.

The Essence Engine created by Relic is top-notch. By far the best RTS engine ever. Mechanics of the game is more or less copied from its predecessor: Dawn of War. Things like heavy cover and exposed are in. Supression and Pinned Down is just some other form of morale. Some of the unit's ability to deploy and only being able to see things at around 120 degrees axis is also something new.

Okay let's stop the mechanics and head straight to gameplay. CoH IS the ULTIMATE take-and-hold game. Imagine Dawn of War with 5 times more control points, and resources generated by the control points itself (no generators for Power, you sort of like capture points to generate power). Not to mention there are 3 resources.

The strategy of a player replies heavily on the map chosen. Some think that this idea is great and 'revolutionary'. Me? I feel that a strategy relies too heavily on the map chosen. I think it is a con more than a pro.

More cons: 50% of the units from each side is the same. The variety of things for each side is already incredibly few. Sniper, MGs, standard infantry...all the same. The only difference is that some can do what others can, but as far as combat and overall use, it's very hard to tell the difference. Oh sure, riflemen can build observation posts. Oh sure grenadiers can shoot AV stuff. Oh sure, riflemen can do supression firing. The abilities is what makes units different, but other than that, that's all. Both races have the same starting crap, used to do the same boring crap.

Look at Starcraft: zealot, zergling and marine is 3 completely different stuff. You send a marine to squad to look for stuff, well, watch the zealot rape your squad within seconds. Look at WC3 : ghouls and footman. Look at DoW: Scouts and Guardians. CoH just cap cap cap and ninja decaps. It's utterly boring. Boring. Heck even Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends has more than just that crap.

If that's not bad enough, in multiplayer, there are NO mirror matches. I dunno what the hell is Relic thinking. The whole game only have 2 friggin comparatively boring sides and NO mirror matches. I downloaded the interview from Buggo who asked why isn't there mirror matches in CoH to the lead designer. The reason is not worth remembering at all. The reasoning has something to do with adding realism into it. Kinda dumb seriously. It just simply don't make sense why wouldn't they want mirror matches.

Overall, the game introduced a nice new way of playing, but the gameplay, the sides, and all that crap is just bad. Tiering is very shallow. Practically everything in this game is about teching and right now, the game is a race to the first tank.

I give Company of Heroes my utmost humble opinion: 6/10

Where the 6 comes from great engine, great single player, nice sounds and music, and awesome graphics. Multiplayer is below average meh.

No comments:

Post a Comment