Company of Heroes 2 is a real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sega for the Microsoft Windows platform. It is the sequel to the critically acclaimed 2006 game Company of Heroes.
As with the original Company of Heroes, the game is set in World War II but the focus is on the Eastern Front. Company of Heroes 2 runs on Relic Entertainment's proprietary Essence 3.0 game engine, which THQ claims allowed the developer to bring "new technological advancements" to the game. In January 2013, Sega acquired Relic Entertainment and along with it the Company of Heroes intellectual property from THQ. The game was released on June 25, 2013 in North America and Europe.
The game features the Soviet Red Army as a new faction and takes the player to various stages of the Eastern Front campaign, from Operation Barbarossa to the Battle of Berlin. The game is built on Relic's proprietary Essence 3.0 engine, which showcases new improvements compared to Relic's previous games. One such improvement is the new line-of-sight technology, TrueSight, which aims to better emulate troop visibility in real combat. In contrast to traditional unit visibility, TrueSight more accurately represents a unit's visibility range based on environmental conditions and type of unit. Essence 3.0 also incorporates an innovative weather-simulating technology known as ColdTech and destructible environments.
Weather conditions are a major factor in gameplay, with movement and action penalties applied on players' units. Since many battles in the Eastern Front occurred in winter weather, troops can die of frostbite if caught in the outside during blizzards (a bright blue bar will denote how close they are to succumbing from the cold). Bonfires protect soldiers from the cold at the expense of enemy detection, buildings will also help player units preserve their body heat. Players moving through deep snow will move at a reduced speed. Certain maps have frozen bodies of water, allowing for more movement options. However, players face the danger of being attacked from the other side; as a result, the ice can buckle under the weight of the units in movement.
Company of Heroes 2 takes advantage of DirectX 11 but also supports DirectX 9. The game also utilizes Valve's Steamworks technology with matchmaking and achievements. In regards to strategy mechanics, the game retains the traditional Company of Heroes formula.
The game introduces the "Theater of War," a series of single-player and cooperative missions detailing various aspects of the Eastern Front campaign from both German and Soviet sides. Eighteen missions set in 1941 will be part of the game upon release with the missions from 1942 onwards available as downloadable content. Game developer Quinn Duffy said the rich history of World War II on the Eastern Front is an opportunity to show other stories from the war. The game also offers the player a chance to complete side quests in a mission such as protecting civilians caught in the crossfire. Players can also commandeer abandoned vehicles.
Source: Wikipedia, "Company of Heroes 2", available under the CC-BY-SA License.