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."
As well as snowstorms, your troops will have to content with stretches of ice that can crack and swallow units and entire tanks whole. Rivers and lakes will gradually refreeze as time passes, giving you the option to send your heavy armour ice skating again. See these effects in action in the latest Company of Heroes 2 screenshots, which show soldiers frozen solid, tanks falling into rivers, and rocket launchers holding an icy hill.
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Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are 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.