Sunday, September 26, 2010

Company of Heroes: Online Beta (PC)

 Why in the summer time do game releases always wither down to almost nothing? I know there is a perfectly good explanation but I don't want to hear it! It's during this time that one usually has the most free time and what better to waste that free time on then grinding a character or buffing your K/D ratio. Anyway, I recently found a new game to entertain me during this rather slow period in PC gaming, Company of Heroes: Online.

 If you remember playing the old COH a few years ago you will be very familiar with the game play. You still don't have to waste time collecting resources and it makes excellent use of squad combat and geography to mold your battles throughout the entire game.
 Now even though the battles might be the same, the navigable interface and GUI is a drastic change from the original, focusing more on online match making, obviously. Relic Entertainment's core business model has changed also, it looks to be trying to tap into the recent trend of in game micro transactions instead of a monthly fee, and for the first time ever I might buy into it, might.
 So far in the games beta phase the option to convert your hard earned money into "COHO Cash" has not been present and relies on what is called "Supply" which will work in conjunction with COHO Cash when the game is released, I assume. It is a point based reward given to each player after a match and is earned through game play and performance during the match. I believe this is Relic's answer to supporting a large, free, player base while offering perks to those who pay.

 So what exactly do you spend these Supply points and COHO Cash on? Well, a lot of different things, you may purchase advanced troops, special abilities, "Heroes", and various little perks that effect game play. I was very skeptical at first, due to game play balance between the "Allied" and "Axis" teams, which has always been a sore topic for the COH series. But it looks like COHO is actually doing a rather good job of making it all work, for a beta.

 The battles might play out the same way with the "Victory Point" and "Annihilation" games, but how you wage your war and the various tactical opportunities that are now present are too vast to cover in this article. I intend to write another to cover basic strategies and perks but for now I recommend you download this beta and give it a chance. If you were a big fan of the original Company of Heroes or enjoy medium paced RTS you should fit right in, once you navigate the interface.

You can find me on the Allied front as "Akearix".

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