Company of Heroes 2 Brings Extreme Cold to the RTS

Published on July 24th, 2012

Another new frontier forged by expert strategy game creators Relic.

Company of Heroes 2 Brings Extreme Cold to the RTS

Soldiers struggle to traverse deep snow, plodding their feet forward while succumbing to the cold even faster.

Company of Heroes was renowned for its attention to detail and its visceral take on the World War Two era. Sure it was an real-time strategy game which involved generals sending hundreds of soldiers to their deaths during any given mission, yet the acclaimed release still had an authenticity which other games lacked – due specifically to its in-depth cover mechanic. Crazy to think that cover was a new fangled gameplay device back when this series began in 2006, but trust us it really was!

Company of Heroes 2 Brings Extreme Cold to the RTS

Infantry huddle together at capture points, looking to get warmer next to the flames.

In Relic is taking that element to the next level with a new innovation they’ve lovingly dubbed, ‘ColdTech.’ The new mechanic means that every infantry unit on the battlefield has a temperature gauge next to their health meter and whenever they’re left open to the elements, either by moving in deep snow or being exposed to harsh winds, they’ll quickly succumb to the extreme cold resulting in slower movement speed and eventually death.

This new mechanic may sound risky, especially for an RTS which is traditionally known as being very fast paced, but it ties into the historical validity of the period this sequel is emulating; namely the Eastern Front during 1941. The winter of that year is known as one of the most inhospitable of the conflict with temperatures dropping to -40°F, so it’s only fitting that Relic do their part to emulate the impossible conditions soldiers were faced with.

Company of Heroes 2 Brings Extreme Cold to the RTS

Icy lakes represent a good opportunity to take an enemy by surprise, but hold great risk.

“Company of Heroes 2 is all about authenticity and no game based on the Eastern Front would be complete without extreme weather conditions. Thanks to the enhanced technology offered by the new Essence Engine we are able to accurately portray the bitter Soviet winter which crippled the German army,” stated game director Quinn Duffy.

It’s worth noting that any forces in vehicles or buildings aren’t vulnerable to the elements, as they’re affectively in cover.

Another factor to consider during battles is that the weather on any given map will change with slight snowfall giving way to full on blizzards, which will drain infantry health even faster, and the risky poetential of frozen lakes. The fragile ice can open up new tactical avenues into enemy capture points, but be careful as any arms fire can potentially shatter the ice and plunge your infantry and tanks into a cold watery grave with no hope of rescue.

Company of Heroes 2 will be released next year exclusively on PC, and we have a sneaking suspicion that Relic has plenty more exciting announcements up their sleeves.

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