The wait for a third Company of Heroes game is finally over. Company of Heroes 3 is available right now, and it’s the biggest launch yet – four factions, a new single player campaign in Africa, an enormous dynamic campaign in the Mediterranean, and huge multiplayer battles await in this glorious return of a fantastic real-time strategy series.
Strategy buffs will be delighted to see a number of improvements for this latest entry, including a new armour-plating system on tanks that rewards strategic movement and placement, and elevation bonuses for infantry who take the higher ground. And then there’s the wealth of new maps and units that you can play with, offering up new tactics and strategies to suit every battle.
You could go ahead and jump into Company of Heroes 3 right now if you wanted – it’s available on PC via Steam today after all. But if you want to know a little more about the game, we’re diving into some of the new battlefronts you’ll be deploying to, as well as the factions you can take control of.
The North African Operation isn’t one that’s often covered in World War II media, but the brutal heat and sandy terrain made it one of the most difficult battles of the war. It’s little wonder then that in Company of Heroes 3, the Axis have an entire faction designed for battle in this difficult terrain – the Afrikakorps.
An extremely mobile faction, the Afrikakorps rely heavily on vehicles to move around the battlefield at pace. Trucks can move infantry further up the field and into strategic positions, but with the addition of tank riding, almost every vehicle can be used as a troop transport. Put a squad on a Panzer 3 and not only will you have a powerful tank unit to draw attention and soak up damage while firing devastating shots back, your more mobile infantry units can disembark to capture buildings and wreak havoc on enemies fleeing from the might of the tank.
That’s not to say they’re unstoppable, of course. The British forces are an extremely adaptable faction with a simpler tech tree than others, allowing for new tactics to be deployed in a moment’s notice, and making them a great choice for newer players. They can also call on units from around the world to support them, with Indian Artillery just a moment’s notice away thanks to the enhanced Battlegroups system.
Italy is another interesting battlefield that is little explored in films and TV, but in Company of Heroes 3, it’s the location of some stunning urban battles and the new Dynamic Campaign, which gives you a full view of the war effort across the entire Italian campaign.
The US Forces will be well-equipped for the tight, building-heavy maps of the Italian campaign, thanks to a penchant for aggressive, elite infantry and light vehicles. The new SSF Commandos offer versatility alongside some serious firepower in the streets, while the 75mm Half-track can provide support to defend the infantry units from incoming tanks and other heavy vehicles.
And that additional firepower is essential against the defence-focused Wehrmacht units. This formidable faction has a wide tech tree, offering up a variety of routes to head down depending on your chosen tactics. In urban Italy, a focus on improving buildings may give you the advantage over an invading force, as well as taking advantage of any available elevation to get a height advantage over the enemy. Or you can go on the offensive, building up to the terrifying Panzer IV, which can be kept in action longer by taking advantage of the new side-plating mechanics and correct positioning on the battlefield.
All over the world
While the battlefields of Company of Heroes 3 may focus on a small number of campaigns from World War II, your own personal battlefield can be anywhere in the world. Online multiplayer is back, whether you want to challenge friends and foes on the other side of the globe, or team up to tackle AI. Skirmishes can range from 1v1 to 4v4, so you can engage in focused fights in small, urban Italian maps or experience truly chaotic battles in the African desert.
However you choose to fight and whichever faction appeals to you, Company of Heroes 3 has something for you. Returning players can enjoy the multitude of enhancements and tweaks to an already fantastic formula, while newcomers can experience the series in its best form yet. There has truly never been a better time to play Company of Heroes than right now.