Feral Interactive will release Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts on April 13th. This is a major update to the vanilla version. The publisher has kindly provided us with the code to run Opposing Fronts and give us an honest opinion. For this review, I used an iPhone 8. Graphics settings are adjusted for individual devices, but everything has its own time. It is worth noting that I do not have much love for the RTS genre (apart from Warcraft III), although the first and second Company of Heroes are on the PC. Before evaluating the DLC, I took a local young combatant course. I chose the normal difficulty, it is the second of four. I decided, so to speak, to smell the gunpowder and did not descend to the “streamer” difficulty level. I have not gone through Opposing Fronts before, so the review is as unbiased as possible.
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts is a DLC that adds two story campaigns to Company of Heroes. Now we can participate in the Second World War not only for the United States, but also for the Germans and the British. PC gamers notice that the Germans initially have little equipment, and the British are not at all lucky – they need to fight back and then defend the city of Cannes. If you are not particularly friendly with your hands and fingers, you will have to replay a lot. At the same time, the storylines could not surpass the American one in terms of the number of missions. Let’s see which of this is true and which is fiction. We put on a helmet and go to the front!
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts plot
Operation “Vegetable Garden”
This is the name of the campaign for the Germans. There are eight missions in total. The whole movement begins in September 1944. Command over the Leer Assault Group is being transferred to us. These guys just have to go through the training. For five years, almost all of Europe was under the rule of the Third Reich. The Allied advance changed everything. German officers complain that only old men and boys who have never held a rifle in their hands are brought to the exercises. At this time, enemy paratroopers fall from the sky like snow into a blizzard. Our detachments must sit behind anti-aircraft guns and shoot down enemy aircraft. The main task is to repel the enemy attack on Wolfheze.
Liberation of Kahn
The campaign for the British also begins in 1944. The Allies are going to liberate the city of Caen, because through it the Germans could quickly distribute their troops on different fronts. The plot begins like this: a column of British tanks is driving itself calmly along the road, when suddenly they stumble upon a German ambush. There are many dead, the officers spit and say that next time they will be engaged in reconnaissance. The advantage of the British campaign is that they have tanks from the very beginning, although there will also be “iron horses” on the German side. The only question is, why are there so many Irish and Scots in the British ranks? In the original voice acting, the words can be made out, but almost no one speaks the “royal English” that we are taught at school. Now let’s move on to the graph, to which I also had questions.
Graphics in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
Let’s just say – mobile ports cannot boast of the same graphics as on older platforms. It doesn’t help that Company of Heroes came out in 2006. Before each mission, we are shown cut-scenes on the game engine; there is voice acting, staging, dramatic moments and so on. But the graphics constantly remind: “That time is gone.” If we talk about the picture during the gameplay, then everything is much better here: the camera looks at the Second World War from a bird’s eye view. Buildings, fences, vehicles willingly break through, break and explode. The chosen palette is dirty, with “faded” paints. You can choose Eco Mode to keep the battery from running out quickly, but you can still see the pixels even on a small display.
Feral Interactive has tweaked the touchscreen interface. For “convenience” you can choose not the classic layout, but the action wheel. Through it, we give orders to units: shoot artillery, build fortifications or plant mines. You have to get used to it: this wheel is divided into several “levels”. For construction, you need to select the first option, and then carefully draw along the wheel to the desired object, otherwise you will have to start over. But that’s not all: you need to choose a site for the construction site and put, say, artillery in the right direction.
Gameplay in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
I will say this: the first missions for both sides seemed pretty easy to me. And this is said by the person who is “on you” with RTS. But the further into the forest, the more firewood: the player is charged with great responsibility, one has to think on the go. If enemy tanks are approaching, then we put mines and sandbags so that the arrows hide behind them. Somewhere you have to fire at the houses in which the sniper disappeared. Sometimes you get high from what is happening; for example, when an enemy jeep rides at you and he gets a direct hit from artillery. It’s funny that tanks were added, but often it all comes down to the fact that you have to drive behind the enemy; then the tank will turn into a tin can. But not everywhere you have to shoot only tank charges; you see, tanks and all units in the game receive a new rank for their merits. So, in the tank, you can make a compartment for a machine gun, attach a flamethrower (yes, the building will burn), or even put a bucket. The latter will come in handy when you need to deal with enemy barriers: hedgehogs or wire.
The complexity of the missions makes it clear who is the boss here. The game does not lead by the handle, like many modern mobile phones: you go through training and straight into battle. Before the mission and after completing major tasks, they can show a map and draw on it what needs to be done. As a result, the time of the mission depends entirely on us: for how much, for example, we will drown out the artillery and whether we will be able to smoke out all the snipers. In this regard, Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts resembles This War of Mine or other “classic” real-time strategies.
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts is a great addition for all Company of Heroes fans. If you played this project for a long time on PC, then for the sake of nostalgia it is worth buying it and trying it out. If AFK Arena seems difficult to you, and the requirements for the interface and graphics are high, then you should refrain. Company of Heroes is a reminder that we will never see Warcraft on mobile phones (format does not fit). On the other hand, if you are tired of shareware projects and you are happy every time when a game is transferred from a PC or consoles, then pay attention to the project. As for Opposing Fronts, the introduction of tanks, as well as two story campaigns for different sides of the conflict will refresh those who are tired of “drowning” for the Americans. In general, Company of Heroes will not be able to offer you anything but blood, tears and sweat.