Company of Heroes Online item store: first look

AXIS

Grenadier Motorcycle

To be honest, there's not a huge amount I can say about this Hero unit's abilities. I'm looking at my notebook and all I've written are the words “can throw grenades!!!” next to a doodle of an American soldier going “nyooo!”

I can see this being good in very specific situations where the Americans are well dug in, either behind some sandbags and a machine gun nest, or garrisoning a building. Grenadier Motorcycle will be able to charge in, dodging bullets and bombs to dump a pineapple in the Yank's laps before vanishing into the smoke and letting the explosive do the dirty work. It's not quite as awesome as Nuke Jeep, but is sure to be useful nonetheless. That kind of hit and run attack will take a bit of micromanaging, but in the hands of a skilled player the Grenadier Motorcycle could prove to be a powerful presence in the early game.

Berger's Panzer Pioneers

This is the first Hero unit on the list to have a good proper Hero name. I'd like to see more Hero units named as though they were people, and not just after their function. It seems the coolest names go to the most impressive units, and Berger's Panzer Pioneers are the real deal.

I'm a big fan of special abilities that stretch the usefulness of a unit, making them relevant in the endgame when you'd normally just be seeing a field full of tanks. In Company of Heroes your lowly Pioneers, and the American equivalent, the Engineers, both gain flamethrowers that can turn them into a devastating offensive unit that can immolate a poorly placed squad of infantry in minutes. Berger's Panzer Pioneers aim even higher. Once fully levelled their squad gains two Panzerschreks, German anti-tank bazookas. They can also place anti tank mines as a cheaper cost, turning these Pioneers into elite tank hunters. In many ways Berger's Panzer Pioneers are the most heroic of the lot, it's great to think of these lowly engineers taking on the huge death machines that make up the American armour division.

Field Specialist Sniper

Aren't all Snipers field specialists? This is another one I'm going to have to rename. Field Specialist Sniper shall henceforth be known as 'Jerk Sniper'.

There's nothing more irritating in Company of Heroes than having a tiny jerk unit sneak past your front line to start capping a resource point deep in your territory. It's like an itch you just have to scratch, you always have to send someone to chase off the invading unit and reclaim your territory. Jerk Sniper caps 50% faster than any other unit, and can also sprint, making him the perfect point stealer. As a Sniper he's also well equipped to take out the engineer or infantry squad that is sent to stop him. Also, as if he wasn't enough of a dick already, he has the ability to plant “crippling traps”. I don't really know what those are but in my head they're huge, horrible man-sized bear traps waiting to ensnare and hobble passing infantry. What a jerk.

We'll have more information on Company of Heroes Online very soon.

Based in Bath with the UK team, Tom loves strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.