Company of Heroes

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Company of Heroes
Companyofheroes pcboxboxart 160w.jpg
Developer(s)Relic Entertainment
Feral Interactive (iPad)
Publisher(s)THQ
Feral Interactive (iPad)
Producer(s)John Johnson
Designer(s)Josh Mosqueira
Quinn Duffy
Erin Daly
Brian Wood
Programmer(s)Drew Dunlop
Artist(s)Angie Radwan-Pytlewski
Writer(s)Duane Pye
Paris Qualles
Composer(s)Jeremy Soule
EngineEssence Engine
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, OS X,[1] iPadOS
Release
  • NA: September 12, 2006
  • EU: September 29, 2006
  • iPadOS: February 13, 2020
Genre(s)Real-time strategy
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Company of Heroes is a 2006 real-time strategy video game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ for the Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems. It was the first title to make use of the Games for Windows label.

Company of Heroes is set during the Second World War and contains two playable factions. Players aim to capture strategic resource sectors located around the map, which they use to build base structures, produce new units, and defeat their enemies. In the single-player campaign the player commands two U.S. military units during the Battle of Normandy (Operation Overlord) and the liberation of France (Operation Cobra). Depending on the mission, the player controls either Able Company of the 29th Infantry Division's 116th Infantry, or Fox Company of the 101st Airborne Division's 506th PIR.

Company of Heroes received widespread acclaim, winning multiple awards for the best strategy game of the year. Two expansions were released: Opposing Fronts in 2007 and Tales of Valor in 2009. A free-to-play massively multiplayer online version of the game, Company of Heroes Online, was briefly released as open beta in South Korea in April 2010,[2][3] before being cancelled in March 2011.[4]

The success of the game led to a sequel, Company of Heroes 2, which was released in 2013. As of January 2013, the Company of Heroes series has sold more than 4 million copies.[5] A film adaptation, also titled Company of Heroes, was released in 2013.

An iPad version, developed and published by Feral Interactive, was released in February 2020.[6] A version for Android and iOS mobile devices is scheduled to release later in 2020.[7]

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay screenshot

Multiplayer[edit]

Company of Heroes allows multiplayer matches of 1-8 players via LAN or the Internet. Company of Heroes allows players to fight as both the Allied and Axis forces in multiplayer matches.[citation needed]

For Company of Heroes, developer Relic Entertainment used a new online matchmaking system called Relic Online. Previous Relic games had used GameSpy Arcade or World Opponent Network services. This system includes many features that the previous systems did not have, including a built in automatch and ranking system.[citation needed]

Relic Online matchmaking has been shutdown.[when?] In order to play multiplayer users must transfer the game to Steam. The Steam version does not allow for LAN matches.[citation needed]

Game modes[edit]

Victory Point Control[edit]

These games focus on controlling several victory points around the middle of the map. These victory points can be captured similarly to strategic points. When one side has more victory points under their control than another, the other side's "points" start to decrease. When one side's counter runs out of points, they lose. Alternatively, the player can simply destroy all enemy structures to win the game. Before the start of the game, the host can choose between 250, 500, or 1000 points. The point function in Company of Heroes works much like the ticket feature in the Battlefield series.

Annihilation[edit]

Annihilation games lack the victory points of the VPC game mode. To win, the player needs to destroy all enemy buildings excluding observation posts on points.

Plot[edit]

The single-player campaign puts the player in some of the major American operations during the Battle of Normandy.

Development[edit]

An M10 Wolverine and American troops in the Essence Engine.

Company of Heroes is Relic's first title to use its Essence Engine, which allows various graphical effects, including high dynamic range lighting, dynamic lighting and shadows, advanced shader effects, and normal mapping.

Company of Heroes also uses the Havok physics engine, giving it a more realistic physics system than previous RTS games. Parts of buildings can be destroyed by grenades, satchels, or mortars, and tanks can drive through sections of walls or other barriers. Smoke created from explosions behaves realistically as possible, including its behavior in wind. Debris is also influenced by explosions; a blast can send barrels flying and shower troops in dirt, while leaving behind a large crater. When infantry are bombarded by artillery, body parts sometimes detach and are dispersed over, and some units are thrown about in the immediate area. Bridges and buildings can be destroyed by engineers using demolitions.

On May 29, 2007, Relic released the Company of Heroes patch v1.70, which included a new DirectX 10 rendering mode with better terrain, more world objects, and improved shadows and lighting. This patch made Company of Heroes the first commercial video game to support Direct3D 10.

Expansions[edit]

Opposing Fronts[edit]

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts is a standalone expansion pack. It contains two factions; the British Second Army and the Panzer Lehr Division (German Panzer Elite). Owners of Opposing Fronts are able to play against owners of Company of Heroes and vice versa, although only using the armies from the game they own. Owners of both games are able to play all four armies in multiplayer. Opposing Fronts was announced on April 5, 2007[8][9] and was released on September 24, 2007.[10] Opposing Fronts was later re-released along with Company of Heroes as Company of Heroes Gold and later as part of the Company of Heroes Anthology (together with Tales of Valor).

Tales of Valor[edit]

Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor is a standalone expansion pack. Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor was announced on November 3, 2008 and was released April 8, 2009.[11][12]

Reception[edit]

Company of Heroes received a "Silver" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[13] indicating sales of at least 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[14]

Reviews[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankingsPC: 94%[15]
MetacriticPC: 93/100[16]
iOS: 85/100[17]
Review scores
PublicationScore
1Up.comA+[18]
Eurogamer10/10[19]
GameSpot9.0/10[20]
GameSpy5/5 stars[21]
GamesRadar+10/10[22]
IGN9.4/10[23]
TouchArcade4.5/5 stars[24]
Awards
PublicationAward
IGN(2006) PC Game of the Year[25]
GameSpy(2006) PC Game of the Year[26]

Upon its release the game received wide critical acclaim. On the review aggregator GameRankings, the game had an average score of 94% based on 57 reviews – making it the fourteenth highest rated PC game of 2006.[15] On Metacritic, the game had an average score of 93 out of 100 based on 55 critic reviews – considered "universal acclaim" by the site.[16] As of 2012, it remains the highest-rated real-time strategy (RTS) game and the highest rated strategy game.[citation needed]

In June 2011 the game was ranked #51 on IGNs Top 100 Modern Games.[27] Edge ranked the game #30 on its list of "The 100 Best Games To Play Today", stating "From its lofty perch above an RTS battlefield, Relic gets to the heart of WWII, turning the genre's plusses and minuses into salvation and sacrifice. If only the same could be said of countless first person shooters."[28]

Awards[edit]

The editors of Computer Games Magazine named Company of Heroes the overall best computer game of 2006, and presented it with their special awards for "Best Strategy Game", "Best Sound Effects", "Best Multiplayer" and "Best Voice Acting". They summarized it as "an ideal real-time strategy game", and as "a perfect storm of visuals, sound, and gameplay."[38]

Sequels[edit]

Company of Heroes Online[edit]

Company of Heroes Online logo

Company of Heroes Online was a free massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ. The open beta for the game started on 2 September 2010, and the game was cancelled on 31 March 2011.[39] The game has no link with the original Company of Heroes multiplayer system and is a stand-alone game, unlike its predecessors. The game uses the same graphics engine as the retail release of Company of Heroes. Relic also released a Chinese and a South Korean version of the game. The Chinese version was co-developed and published by Shanda while the South Korean version was published by WindySoft and developed entirely by Relic Entertainment. The Korean and American versions featured the entire single-player campaign from the retail release while the Chinese version did not.

Company of Heroes Online was a real-time strategy game which was based on Company of Heroes. Company of Heroes Online gameplay placed emphasis on usage of varying degrees of cover which together with a destructible terrain. Another departure from mainstream RTS's was the implementation of sector supply whereby the resource income of a player is linked to the sectors under that player's control. A unique feature of Company of Heroes Online was the bewildering amount of combination of hero units, special abilities and doctrinal abilities a player could utilize, giving the potential for very diverse yet equally effective strategies emphasising on creativity.

Company of Heroes 2[edit]

A sequel, Company of Heroes 2, has been released on June 25, 2013 in North America and Europe.[40] The game features the USSR's Red Army as a new faction and takes the player on various stages of the Eastern Front campaign, from Operation Barbarossa to the Battle of Berlin. It uses the Essence 3.0 engine which includes environmental effects and the "True Sight" and "ColdTech" systems mimicking unit line of sight and weather effects such as snow and mud as well as blizzards.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Company of Heroes Complete Campaign Edition coming to the Mac". Aspyr Media. February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  2. ^ "THQ Partners with Windysoft to Bring Company of Heroes Online to South Korea". Relic Online. September 8, 2009. Archived from the original on February 3, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
  3. ^ "[안내] OBT 오픈 시간 안내". Windyzone. April 27, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Company of Heroes Online blog". Relic. March 25, 2011.
  5. ^ "Notice of SEGA's Acquisition of Relic Entertainment and Some IPs Owned by THQ Inc". Sega. January 24, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  6. ^ "PC RTS Classic 'Company of Heroes' Is Finally Available on iPad Worldwide". Touch Arcade. February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  7. ^ Aguilos, Pia. "Company of Heroes Will Arrive on iPhone and Android Later This Year". whatoplay. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  8. ^ Adams, Dan (April 5, 2007). "Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Announced". IGN. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
  9. ^ Surette, Tim (April 5, 2007). "Company of Heroes takes on Opposing Fronts". GameSpot. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  10. ^ "Shipping Out September 24–28: Halo 3, Opposing Fronts". GameSpot. September 24, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
  11. ^ "THQ Announces Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor for Windows PC". Business Wire. November 3, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
  12. ^ Faylor, Chris (November 3, 2008). "Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Announced". ShackNews. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
  13. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Silver". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009.
  14. ^ Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Company of Heroes for PC". GameRankings. Archived from the original on December 9, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Company of Heroes for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  17. ^ "Company of Heroes for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  18. ^ Peckham, Matt (September 19, 2006). "Company of Heroes Review - 1UP". 1UP. p. 1. Archived from the original on January 5, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2008.
  19. ^ Gillen, Kieron (September 25, 2006). "Company of Heroes Review - Eurogamer". Eurogamer. p. 2. Retrieved July 9, 2008.
  20. ^ Kasavin, Greg (September 11, 2006). "Company of Heroes Review - GameSpot". GameSpot. p. 2. Retrieved July 9, 2008.
  21. ^ Raush, Allen (September 14, 2006). "Company of Heroes Review - GameSpy". GameSpy. p. 3. Retrieved July 9, 2008.
  22. ^ Stapleton, Dan. "Company of Heroes Review - GamesRadar". GamesRadar. p. 3. Retrieved July 9, 2008.
  23. ^ Adams, Dan (September 11, 2006). "Company of Heroes Review - IGN". IGN. p. 3. Retrieved July 9, 2008.
  24. ^ Madnani, Mikhail (February 24, 2020). "'Company of Heroes' for iPad Review – Excellent Portable Real Time Strategy". TouchArcade. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  25. ^ "Company of Heroes - Game of the Year (2006)". IGN. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
  26. ^ "Company of Heroes - Game of the Year (2006)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on September 14, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2008.
  27. ^ "Company of Hereos ranking on IGN Top 100 Modern Games". IGN. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  28. ^ Edge Staff (March 9, 2009). "The 100 Best Games To Play Today". Edge Online. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  29. ^ "The 13th Annual PC Gamer Awards Reveals The Best Of The Best For 2006" (Press release). South San Francisco, California: Future US. February 2, 2007. Archived from the original on June 17, 2007.
  30. ^ "Best PC Game 2006". Gamespot.
  31. ^ "Best Strategy Game 2006". GameSpot.
  32. ^ "PC Game of 2006". IGN.
  33. ^ "Best PC Strategy Game". IGN.
  34. ^ "Best Use of Sound on PC". IGN.
  35. ^ "Best Online PC Game". IGN.
  36. ^ "2005 Winners". GameSpot.
  37. ^ "Mod Hall of Fame". Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  38. ^ Staff (March 2007). "The Best (and Worst) of 2006; The 16th Annual Computer Games Awards". Computer Games Magazine (195): 46–51.
  39. ^ "What are the Top World War II PC Games?". about.com.
  40. ^ Robinson, Andy (March 6, 2013). "Sega confirms 'later than expected' Company of Heroes 2 release date". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved March 11, 2013.

External links[edit]