The facts from Mature Gaming
latest articles on Company of Heroes 2
- Units can suffer from cold weather exposure, a gauge indicates how cold or warm a unit is. If left in the cold for too long, or stationary, the unit suffers from hypothermia and eventually dies. This happens more rapidly in blizzard conditions, which is part of the dynamic weather system called "ColdTech".
- Units can utilize cover or vehicles to shelter from the cold and engineers can create fires to warm up units. This mechanic makes engineers more important than in the original Company of Heroes: they are vital in saving your troops from hypothermia. Similarly, troop transports such as halftracks now also serve as a weapon against the cold. Destroying buildings and vehicles can be used to expose the enemy to the cold.
- Air strikes are available only during good flying conditions; during blizzards aircraft will not fly.
- Ice is a factor on the battlefield: vehicles slide on icy surfaces. Ice can also break and re-freeze. During blizzards, ice re-freezes more rapidly. Vehicles moving over ice can damage it and explosives can be placed on key points to break the ice under vehicles, causing troops and vehicles to sink to an icy grave!
- The improved AI featured in the campaign is called "Live AI". It relies on an objective instead of a set of scripted events. This will allow it to perform tasks more efficiently, such as retaking vehicles, flanking and interestingly, restocking ammunition.
- A Guest of THQ at Dublin, the staff from Multiplayer.it were able to observe game play footage of Company of Heroes 2. This time Relic showcased a skirmish game, 2vs2, where the Relic programmer was playing as Russians and the other three players were controlled by the AI. Below is a dot point brief of observations from the game;
- The battle was fought on a rural map and it started with the Relic guy controlling a conscript Russian squad and a combat engineer squad. At the start of the game there was a fire camp and as soon as the Russian troops tried to move far from the fire in the camp a little thermometer appeared near their health bar showing their temperature. The temperature gauge was moving faster or slower depending on the weather conditions and also how deep the snow they were moving through was. When the thermometer reached the minimum soldiers started to die from hypothermia. The only way to save them from the death was getting inside a bunker, a building or even inside abandoned vehicles. The guys from Multiplayer.it did not mention if there was a HQ for the Relice guy or not.
- Another interesting piece of game play these guys observed is the way to capture abandoned vehicles. They must be repaired before you are able to steal them from the enemy. Also, true sight is impacted by the dynamic weather, in fact blizzards reduce the cone of sight of each soldier, e.g. the Relic guy entered a rural village during a blizzard to repair his vehicle and his line of sight was really low so he couldn't see that right next to him were plenty of Germans ready to strike! The Relic guy tried to retreat the soldiers but the deep snow and the strong wind caused the death of all the remaining soldiers. So this means that snow and wind will also affect units retreating away from skirmishes.
- Another crucial factor is that ice does not break just due to bombardments, grenades and explosives. The breaking point of ice is also determined by the weight of the units you have on it. When you move tanks over ice you see it starting to break due to the heavy weight, the more units you have on the ice the faster it breaks. During the game the Relic guy played, he sent a T34 onto the ice then moved a halftrack full of men onto the ice. Artillery shells landed on the ice and started to weaken it, the halftrack and T34 eventually broke through the ice and all the units sank to their doom!
- Multiplayer.it were able to gain some more information on the interface for Company of Heroes 2. It's very similar to the one utilized in the original COH. From left to right: the minimap, the resources (that for now are exactly the same), a live animation image of the unit you have selected, the units panel and the panel to select special abilities and control abilities (movement, attack).
This screenshot features the ice mechanic in action. The T34 in front and the KV1 to the left both appear to be disabled by having sunk through the ice. (Click image for full-size version.)
The title of the screenshot refers most likely to the fate of the men on the right. The men on the left warm themselves, the fire perhaps made by engineers. Notice also the insignia of the men on the right, which appear to spell "POR".
Mortar Deep Snow
A mortar team ploughs through deep snow, the mortar on its carriage.
The title and the screenshot tell of a new Soviet unit: Siberian Snipers! These snipers wear special clothing and do not suffer from the cold as other infantry does. The trusty Sdkfz 251 Halftrack also makes its return, as seen in the back.