Top Critic Average
Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is a standalone title in the venerable franchise that is wholeheartedly worth exploring. It's hard to say if this is the definitive version of COH2, but it's the most polished and full-featured.
Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault doesn't completely shake up the whole Company of Heroes formula and turn it on its head, but instead, just like Company of Heroes 2 did to the original, it tweaks and alters the features of the core game for the better. It's a bit pricey, but you will get many hours of strategic and tactical fun from this standalone expansion.
While still an RTS, Ardennes Assault takes a lot of cues from wargames. By opening it up and providing countless meaningful choices and random events, Relic has put the war in the players' hands. It's not a directed journey through a bunch of scenarios where winning is all that matters; it's a persistent struggle where failure is always nipping at the Americans' heels, where an entire company can be lost in battle, making the war seem even more desperate. It's exhausting, and the best game in the Company of Heroes series.
Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is both a worthwhile expansion for series fans and standalone game for those new to the series. With a non-linear campaign structure and thrilling missions, Ardennes Assault earns a high recommendation.
Company of Heroes 2 – Ardennes Assault is a good standalone package and the campaign that Relic has created manages to capture the tension associated with the Battle of the Bulge, although there are some moments when the company deviates from historical reality in order to increase the dramatic element.
If you can overlook the price and potential early learning curve depending on your familiarity with the series, Ardennes Assault offers a very competent and compelling RTS experience.
There's no question that Ardennes Assault is a worthwhile addition to the Company of Heroes war chest and one that rewards investment and exploration with a tactically satisfying campaign. That said, such is the obtuse nature of its presentation of key concepts and even basic controls that new recruits should deduct a whole mark from that number below.
Ardennes Assault represents an intriguing twist on the established Company of Heroes 2 formula, introducing a strategic element that adds to the scope of the combat and offers a more complete picture of the Battle of the Bulge than has typically been possible in a real-time strategy game. In that, Relic's latest standalone expansion represents the best elements of real-time and turn-based strategy, making it worth playing for anyone who appreciates the form and likes to see it taken in new directions.
Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault is fun standalone campaign to this franchise that successfully recreates the battles of World War II and more importantly each time you replay the missions, they can all be finished in a myriad of ways that definitely increases the longevity of this title. Developers Relic should once again be applauded for creating one of the most realistic and emotional World War II real-time strategies to date that does not glorify but highlights the atrocities and how those men involved in the war went above and beyond their call of duty.
Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is out now and I'm glad it is. The World War II RTS adds something new to the series with the meta-war going on. The persistence across campaigns makes you feel like you're really participating in an active war. How well you hold up against the Nazi forces proves you as an adept officer of war. The voice acting and in-game chatter adds greatly to that experience. It's only a shame that the PC is left with so few graphical options. Ardennes Assault makes up the difference with excellent campaign structure and the interesting quirk of the meta-war.
Now for the age-old question: is war worth it? At £30, Ardennes Assault might be slightly overpriced, yet within lies a brilliant war sim RTS. Only the best need apply.
The game offers different perspectives. Its game play is predicated on cause and effect. In short, there are a lot of moving parts that take time to master. The fast-paced nature of the campaign leaves little room to take a breath when in the middle of a mission. While this is a little overwhelming for new players, it certainly offers an awful lot of excitement and replay value.
The difficultly is ramped up further with the game using a single save file, which also automatically saves after each mission. If you are too careless with your troops at the beginning of the campaign, you may find you will not have enough manpower to complete the latter missions. Once you wrap your mind around this added layer of complexity, it makes the Ardennes Assault experience both fun and challenging.
Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault has some good ideas and atmospheric levels but the ludicrous asking price, lack of difficulty balancing and problematic AI leave this expansion out in the cold.
Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault makes some big moves in the RTS genre, and most are steps in the right direction. The battles have the potential to be fun, chaotic, and it is fulfilling to watch a rampaging tank be stopped and then to push back the onslaught. However, many times the 'rock, paper, scissors' element, compounded by the difficulty in telling units apart, makes the game an exercise in frustration as a player's well-crafted plans are ruined by an ultimately randomly-chosen hard counter that puts the player too far back to recover.
Relic's attempt to create a more dynamic single player campaign is partially successful, but the systems of company permanence don't entirely gel with the inflexibility of an Iron Man save system, and the map is light on grand strategy.