Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies
Top Critic Average
A shot of adrenaline for the year-old game, these new armies bring the best parts of Company of Heroes into the upgraded Company of Heroes 2 world.
If you'd like to pick up just one of the new factions, that'll only run you 10 pounds, and with that you can start playing one of the best World War 2 strategy games ever made... alongside its near-perfect predecessor, of course.
If you've never played Company of Heroes 2 and are interested in the RTS genre, buy this. If you already own CoH2, then at $19.99 this expansion may be a little pricey, though those who loved the base game will lap up the versatility of the new armies and the exhilarating wars that can be waged in the added maps.
New or returning player - it doesn't really matter. This is Company of Heroes 2 at its best, a standalone that focuses on the series' core: man and machine duking it out across Europe. Those seeking a narrative will find plenty of stories in the tense battles amid crumbling towns and dark forests, so the campaign isn't missed at all. There's no fluff, and while there are lots of maps and loadouts to consider, one can still jump into an entertaining, dramatic battle right off the bat.
There is no doubt that this expansion offers some great value to newcomers, offering them the whole Company of Heroes 2 multiplayer component for as little as $12.99. For those who already own the game, the new factions and maps will offer differentiation, but not a great deal of value.
It would be unfair to criticise The Western Front Armies for my own shortcomings. But having comfortably beaten hard AI, I don't feel wholly responsible. For whatever reason, multiplayer still seems to be won and lost (mostly the latter) in the first five minutes—and surviving only affords me the chance to watch my resources dwindle as the enemy grabs victory. The Western Front Armies deserves to be enjoyed, and I hope to master the game and make that possible. It's a punishing game, but if you have the talent—or a hell of a lot of patience—then it is a complex, varied, and enjoyable RTS experience.
Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies is a balanced multiplayer-exclusive outing based off an already excellent RTS game. The core gameplay remains as tight as ever, giving rise to a DLC that is worth its weight in salt.
If you're yet to try out Company of Heroes, which is one of the best multiplayer RTS experiences currently available, this is a great opportunity to do so. Just bear in mind that aside from skirmishes you won't get any singleplayer options.
Regardless of whether it's perfectly balanced at launch, Relic has shown its dedication to listening to the community with subsequent updates, and The Western Front Armies is a worthy addition to any multiplayer-loving Company of Heroes 2 player's war chest.
The addition of the US and OKW armies pump fresh blood into the already enjoyable multiplayer of this outstanding WWII RTS.