I'd be worried if Company of Heroes suddenly became all about actions per minute, but it's nice to be reassured. director of Company of Heroes, Quinn Duffy, tells
that "It's not an APM (actions-per-minute) game. To play Company of Heroes 2 you need to play smart and be aggressive in your decision making.
"We want smart players to be able to maximize the value of their units. A guy playing smart with his defenses and his cover and his movement, you want him to beat up on a guy with three squads."
This is excellent news. My finger dexterity is comparable to that of a man mashing out Flight of the Bumblebee in a pair of mittens. If I was asked to mastermind a Company of Heroes battle with the speed of a StarCraft 2 match, the results would be tragic. Tanks would rotate forlornly on the spot shooting at the sky. Men would be left in buildings to freeze to death. Luckily for them not all of the battles in CoH 2 will be set in winter.
"We're covering the full breadth of the Eastern Front campaign, and only half the war was fought in winter," says Duffy. "There's spring, fall, and summer... the weather and the environment had a big impact on both sides. That's part of the narrative experience of the Eastern Front."
The sequel is built in a new engine that'll support more detailed soldiers and dynamic snowdrifts. The extra fidelity seems likely to come at the expense of DirectX 9 support. "It's a ton of effort to make work on both versions," Duffy says, "and the install base isn't particularly large for DirectX 9 stuff only."
Company of Heroes 2 is due out next year, sharing the RTS limelight with Rome 2. Find out more in our
Company of Heroes 2 preview
. It's going to be an awesome year to be a PC gamer.