Company of Heroes
At first, skeptical, then pleasantly surprised.
When I bought my new laptop a few weeks ago, I had not considered that I may want to do some gaming on it; for that purpose, I figured I'd wait for the PS4 to be released.
But, of course, I soon began to long for some type of gaming experience. Though my new "rig" has sufficient processing speed and RAM for everyday use, unfortunately, it doesn't have quite enough juice to run some of the newly released PC games.
So, after putting in a solid 60 hours into Civ5, I opted that my next purchase would be "Company of Heroes" (2006). Without further adeu, my review:
Company of Heroes' setting is none other than Western Europe, 1944, and immediately following the Allied beach landing in Normandy. The player is put in command of various squad-based units (i.e., Infantry, Sniper, Engineers, Mortar) as well as a selection of varying vehicles (Tanks, Half-Tracks, Armored Trucks). The force size and type varies depending on which mission you're playing, and players are tasked with using their resources to seize key positions on the battlefield.
As you progress through the missions (there's 15 total included in the basic retail version), you are given access to a wider variety of units, as well as the ability to have your Engineers construct buildings (such as Barracks, Medic, Machine Gun Nest, etc). The missions become progressively more difficult, requiring the player to shift their strategy and try different methods of achieving victory.
The gameplay is vaguely reminiscent of oldies like Sudden Strike (2000) and Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines (1998). However, I'd say Company of Heroes takes the cake, and quite handily, at that. I wasn't overly impressed going into the game, but several hours later, I was blissfully maneuvering my troops through hedgerows in Normandy, caught up in the vividly rendered countrysides as the game's outstanding sound effects blared through my speakers.
Company of Heroes is a must-have for the casual, as well as serious RTS gamer's collection.
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 9/10
Replay - 8/10