Company of Heroes 2's wintry setting isn't just there to look pretty. If you're not careful it'll freeze your soldiers to death. Relic's new Essence Engine introduces ColdTech, which simulates the effects of -40 degree environments on your soldiers, turning grim reality into a game mechanic, as Relic explain: "On winter maps, Infantry units exposed to the bitter cold will gradually freeze to death unless the player keeps them warm by building fires and garrisoning them in buildings. Dynamic blizzards will increase the effects of extreme cold making it even more hazardous to leave infantry in the open."
Relic have released two new screenshots of Company of Heroes 2, showing more of the snowy Eastern Front battlefields that'll form the backdrop to the sequel's central campaign. One shot shows soldiers trading potshots alongside supporting tanks. The snow drifts they're standing in will deform under the weight of marching boots and the tracks of Russian and German heavy armour. The fire shown in the second image will eviscerate flimsy wooden structures, causing them to collapse and instantly kill any men unlucky enough to be caught inside.
As the great philosopher Alfred From Batman once said, "some men just want to watch the world burn," it may not have been entirely clear from that scene, but he was referring to engineers from Company of Heroes, some of the most devastating flame troops in gaming. They start out as humble builders. They set up defences, they repair tanks, they sort out all the odd jobs that your highly trained troops won't do. Then, when you have enough fuel, you give them all flamethrowers and transform them into shock troops.
Then the mildest unit in the game suddenly becomes a deadly force, the bane of any entrenched infantry unit caught unawares. It looks like they'll be making a return in Company of Heroes 2. See the results of their handiwork, and a big ol' tank column in these new screenshots from E3.
Last week we spoke to Relic Entertainment's Jacen Torres about upcoming RTS Company of Heroes 2, which we're more than a little bit excited about.
Torres told us about the tactical depth that comes from focusing on small-scale infantry combat, the new 'truesight' dynamic line-of-sight system that they've created for Company of Heroes 2, and the historical importance - yet relative under-representation - of World War 2's Eastern Front. Check out the full interview below.
Company of Heroes 2 is coming! Relic, makers of Homeworld and Dawn of War, have finally announced the sequel to their glorious, Nazi-stomping World War II strategy game.
If you want to read every shrapnel of information, you'll need to run out and buy the next issue of PC Gamer magazine - on sale in the UK on May 9th, and the US May 22nd. UK readers even get Company of Heroes 1 free with every issue.
But if you want to know the basics, read on below for how Relic intend to follow the best real-time strategy game of all time.
The Elder Scrolls games have been brilliant for long time: huge open worlds that let you go wherever you fancy, get wrapped up in hundreds of different stories, and make a life for yourself. But until Skyrim, they weren’t particularly good at one of the most exciting things about other RPGs: levelling up.
Space Marine has finally received its four player co-op survival mode, Exterminatus. An automatic Steam update should add the mode to the Online section of the Space Marine main menu, and will offer you and four friends two maps on which to trounce hordes and hordes of Orks. I jumped in for five minutes and killed about 115 with nothing but a Heavy Bolter and a big power-armoured booty. Stomp, stomp! Dakka dakka! Weapon unlocked!
Experience earned popping green monsters in survival mode will also count towards your overall multiplayer rank, giving you new weaponry with which to embarrass your enemies, which acts as an unnecessary extra motivation to team up and make a big gooey mess of a charging Ork Waaaagh!
A new blog post on the Relic Dawn of War blog details every ability and piece of wargear that the new Tau Commander Last Stand hero will unlock on his quest to reach level 20. It looks like Relic have not only nailed what the Tau are about, but have created a high-risk, mobile, ranged devastator that should provide new challenge for anyone who thinks they've mastered Dawn of War 2's superb three-man survival mode. This is a character who does ZERO damage in melee, but has access to a plasma gun and jump jets from the start, and abilities with names like "sky ray barrage."
THQ's executive VP of core games, Danny Bilson has been talking to Joystiq about the possibility of a sequel to Space Marine. His muted reaction isn't good news for those hoping for a bigger and better follow-up. He says he's "not sure if there's room" for Space Marine 2, thanks in part to the upcoming Warhammer 40,000 MMO, Dark Millenium Online.
Bilson points out that THQ have "already annouced the Imperium in the MMO as a class you can play," and notes that it's "very active, as opposed to the more turn-based stuff. I'm not sure there's room for Space Marine." Dark Millenium's estimated 2013 release could put it in competition with a Space Marine sequel.
The Exterminatus mode for Space Marine will be available as a free download on October 25, Eurogamer report. Exterminatus will add two co-op arenas, Assault on Hab Center Andreas, and Escape from Kalkys Facility. In each of these up to four marines must fend off increasingly brutal waves of enemies made up of Ork and Chaos enemies.
Each member of the squad can choose to be Tactical Marine, a Devastator or an Assault Marine, and will be able to use perks unlocked in multiplayer to gain an advantage over the AI controlled hordes. Kills in Exterminatus will give you experience that will level up your characters in competitive multiplayer, too. Teams will be rated in each round based on their performance. Point multipliers and "dynamic challenges" aim to keep the survival maps fresh.
One of the best real time strategy games ever made is ridiculously cheap on Steam this weekend. Company of Heroes and both expansions are available individually or as part of the complete pack at 80% off. The original game is just £1.39 / $1.99. The complete pack, which includes Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valour, costs just £5.39 / $9.99.
Company of Heroes has a superb single player campaign that features some of the best RTS missions in PC gaming. You start out with a single squad of men, fighting through enemy territory to secure reinforcements, and end up as a well drilled force builds bases, constructs tanks and takes entire towns. The asymmetrical Allied and Axis forces are almost perfectly balanced for competitive mutiplayer, and it's especially good in co-op against a force of hard AI.
UK fans of everlasting war in the 41st millennium will have been looking forward to the release of Space Marine today, but if you're looking to pick it up on Steam, then there's bad news. Space Marine isn't available on Steam. The old Space Marine Steam page has been replaced by a message saying "this item is currently unavailable in your region."
It seemed likely that this would happen when the Space Marine demo pulled the same vanishing act a couple of weeks ago. Previously, Dragon Age 2 and Brink have vanished from Steam in the UK with no explanation. Brink eventually reappeared several weeks after launch. Hopefully Space Marine will return in good time. Until then, this means yet more frustration for UK customers.
I love my thunder hammer. I love the crackle of blue energy dancing across the weight on the end as my Space Marine – Ultramarines Captain Titus – hefts it backwards. I love swinging into the gurning face of an ork. I love chaining together three standard attacks, whirling and spinning with destructive force, before pressing F to slam my hammer into the floor, stunning every alien, monster, and monstrous alien in the vicinity.
But life is difficult, because I also love my chainsword, and I can’t carry both. Oh, and can I tell you about my power axe? I want to explain how satisfying it is to boot a Chaos cultist very hard in his scarred face before burying a five-foot axe in his shoulder. Sorry, hang on. I’ve got too excited. Let me calm down.
The first screenshots of the Space Marine co-op mode, Exterminatus, have arrived. They show four players of various Space Marine chapters holding off an Ork horde. In addition, there are also trailers for the Power Axe and Chainsword, joining the previous Thunder Hammer trailer for more completely over the top Warhammer 40,000 goodness.
Space Marine is released in September, the co-op mode will be added, as free DLC in October. FOR THE EMPEROR!
A few weeks ago a hastily withdrawn official post on the Space Marine forums confirmed that Space Marine will have co-op, but suggested that it could arrive a month after release. Kotaku now report that the forum post was entirely accurate. The co-op option will be a four player survival mode called Exterminatus, and will arenas will throw increasingly tough waves of enemies at players. It will be free, and out in early October.
Hopefully Exterminatus will let all four players wield Thunder Hammers at the same time. RPS have spotted a new Space Marine trailer showing off the magnificent weapon. A regular war hammer isn't dramatic enough for the armies of Warhammer 40,000, so the Imperium invented a hammer with a portable force field that explodes with every impact, creating a weapon better known colloquially as "The Swingy Boom-Splat." Check out the video above to find out why.
Space Marine is out next Tuesday in the US, and on Friday in Europe. Get an early taste with the Space Marine demo.
Space Marine has vanished from the Steam store in the UK, which is going to make it harder for Brits to get hold of the new demo that's just been released. RPS helpfully provide a workaround link for UK Steam users eager to brain some Orks.
It's unclear why Space Marine has vanished, but it reminds us of Brink's recent disappearance. That game didn't turn up until weeks after launch. Hopefully Space Marine won't suffer the same fate.
If the demo isn't enough to tide you over until Space Marine's release on September 6 in the US (September 9 in Europe), then check out the video interview with Space Marine's lead voice actor above. He offers various arguments supporting his decision to voice a Space Marine, though we all know the real reason. His name is MARK STRONG.
A post on the Space Marine site, spotted by Evil Avatar announces that a demo for Space Marine will be arriving next Tuesday August 23. It'll let us take control of Captain Titus for two levels. The first will let us murder a horde of Orks at the gates of a munitions factory using a selection of six weapons, including a chainsword and a bolter. The second section will let us try out Space Marine's assault pack.
Assault packs are essentially jetpacks, but because this is Warhammer 40,000 they're twice the size you'd expect and can be used to kill. In Space Marine you can blast yourself over a horde of enemies and then use your jets to fire yourself at the ground. Anything you hit explodes with the impact. Whoosh-BANG. Check out the latest Space Marine trailer for more.
This cutscene-ridden dev diary for Space Marine can be divided into "whaaa-?" moments and "waaagh!" moments. For example: "whaa? - is that Space Marine free falling through a fleet of exploding capital ships?" and "Waaagh! ORK TRAIN!" Also featured: Titans, deamons and enormous shoulder pads. Space Marine is out on September 6 in the US, and September 9 in Europe.
A post on the Space Marine forums, spotted by Shacknews, briefly appeared to confirm that Space Marine will have co-op.The same post also suggested that it will be arriving some time after launch, "thirty days "give or take" after launch," in fact. You can read a cached version of the post here.
THQ have since contacted Shacknews to officially confirm that "Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine will have co-op," adding "we look forward to announcing more details later this month." Read our hands on Space Marine preview for an idea of how Relic's Ork-mangling sim is shaping up. It's out on September 6 in the US, and September 9 in Europe.
A man in bright blue armour slitting a demon's throat with a chainsaw? It must be Warhammer 40k. We're hurtling like a drop ship towards Space Marine's September 6 release date. Space Marines is available to pre-order now. Check out the various deals on the Space Marine site. There will be only war. And some talking. About war.