This is not a game review. This is. This is me creaming myself over a video game, which would sound pathetic if you haven’t played company of heroes. But if you have, you will understand where I’m coming from, and I’m sure you would welcome me into your saggy, creamy arms.
Where to begin? The fully destructible environments? The numerous ways you can use to destroy your enemies? The variety of mission types? The fact that this is a world war 2 game that somehow manages to rejuvenate a genre that’s been resurrected 20 times over? The way everything seems calibrated to bring the maximum amount of tension to a situation before granting you a reprieve?
For example. One of my favorite missions is a “defend the base” type of scenario where german panzer companies are bearing down on my HQ. I have no armor, and one measly anti tank gun to fend them off. Otherwise I have to make do with discarded panzerschreks and stickybombs that my valiant riflemen throw onto the mechanical monsters. A timer is counting down the number of minutes before reinforcements arrive. At 2:00, the germans have encroached into my territory, and the tanks are laying down fire on my AT gun. The seconds feel like years as urge my riflemen to play chicken with a panzer to distract it long enough to gain a few precious seconds, madly clicking left and right and watching the turret slowly catch up. The panzer shoots at my squad and I watch as the ragdoll physics of the game enable my men (and their body parts) to fly gracefully into the rubble of what was once a cathedral. The panzers are bearing down on my AT gun. A lone gunner struggles mightily to load the cannon to fire when suddenly…
“reinforcements have arrived”
And they’ve brought Shermans with them goddamit. The shermans take care of the damaged panzers, and in a short span of time, I’ve retaken the battlefield and sealed victory. That’s the kind of experience that Company of Heroes has to offer, so it’s well worth the money. Also, I think certain 8-series nvidia videocards offer it as a free pack-in game, so you can save some money if you’re looking to upgrade your box.
The one thing I hate about COH? The massive patches. I mean seriously, I just want to play online, and I’m now downloading a 1.8 gig patch. I probably have enough time to get my tire vulcanized and be back home before the path is done downloading!
Actually you know what? Scratch that. I’ll have enough time to get my tire vulcanized, take a shower, go out and have lunch, and THEN maybe it’ll be done.