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Play Company of Heroes 3 multiplayer for free this week

 Aere Perennius map
(Image credit: Sega)
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Company of Heroes 3 might not be appearing in full until next year, but Relic and Sega are giving us another taste of the World War 2 RTS very soon. Tomorrow, in fact, after which you'll be able to play singleplayer skirmishes and multiplayer matches for a week. 

This multiplayer pre-alpha includes four Italian maps and two factions, the US forces and the Wehrmacht, both of which will let you muck around with a couple of battlegroups. The Americans get the USF Airborne and Armored battlegroups, letting you drop paratroopers and big guns onto the battlefield, or play a support role and even nick some enemy vehicles. On the German side there's the Luftwaffe, which can be hard to shift when it becomes entrenched thanks to its nasty flak emplacements, and the very tanky Breakthrough battlegroup. 

I played some games against the AI and Relic devs earlier in the month and enjoyed myself even as a computer opponent kicked the crap out of me. It's a chaotic, stressful meat grinder, and I'm eager to play more. 

The demo is available to preload on Steam now, and will be live from 5 pm GMT/9 am PT tomorrow, November 30. You'll be able to keep playing until 4 am GMT/8 pm PT on December 7/6. First, though, you'll need to sign up for Relic's 'CoH-development' programme, which will let you into future previews as well. 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.