Real-time strategy games have been a PC mainstay for the better part of two decades, and most of them rely on players expanding their base of operations and then massing an army (the dreaded “tank rush”) as quickly as possible. In contrast, THQ designed the original Company of Heroes┬áto focus on tactics. Players can look forward to even more tactical gameplay in the recently-announced Company of Heroes 2.

Whereas the first game and its two expansions focused on the D-Day invasion and the Western Front, Company of Heroes 2 will shift focus to the East. Players will command the Russian Red Army to thwart Nazi Germany’s efforts to conquer the world’s largest nation. Locations that will be used include Moscow, Stalingrad, Smolensk and Kursk, and while storylines have yet to be confirmed, Company of Heroes 2 will technically be a prequel to the original game as the Eastern Front campaign takes place historically before the D-Day invasion.

Company of Heroes 2, which will sorely miss the development leadership Brian Wood, will use Relic Entertainment’s Essence 3.0 Engine. According to THQ, Essence 3.0 will allow for new technological advancements as well as Dynamic Battle Tactics. The engine will also support new environmental destruction and new commander abilities. Greg Wilson, Producer at Relic, commented on what players can look forward to.

“Company of Heroes 2 is a true successor, introducing a new front, new protagonists and new technology while retaining the unique mix of strategic gameplay and competitive multiplayer that made the original Company of Heroes such a success.”

Company of Heroes, despite being six years old, still holds up to this day as a very good tactical RPG, and also supports a free-to-play online mode called Company of Heroes Online which I still use fairly regularly. The Eastern Front should add another great element to THQ’s already impressive D-Day campaigns that make American, English, and German forces available for command.

Company of Heroes 2 Screenshot

The only thing missing is a Pacific Theatre, though it can be said that element of World War 2 is sorely missing across the entire RTS genre. I would hope THQ, with its focus on tactics rather than base-building (an element that would be critical in the island-hoping campaigns of the  Pacific), would eventually bring this to gamers.

Ranters, are you excited for the prospects of a new Company of Heroes game? What do you want to see on the Eastern Front?

Company of Heroes 2 will launch early 2013 for the PC.

Follow me on Twitter @mattrowland1.

Source: VG 24/7