Man that Batman: Arkham Asylum game was awesome! Can't wait to play more! Wait, what's this about a city?
I awake from my eternal slumber to post about CoH2! Then I'll probably disappear again. I haven't been on RN in such a long time.
Note: This preview is from the same event Hirm attended. Expect many similarities, although there's a few things I didn't see in his writings.
I apologize if this has already been done, I couldn't find the existing thread (or just fail).
Below is my summary of the PC gamer magazine article. I italicized my own thoughts/notes.
PC Gamer July 2012 Issue - CoH2 Preview
-Order 227 is issued, "not one step back", to fight back the Nazi progression. However this also represents Relic's attitude towards CoH2. Team does not want to take any steps backwards.
-Quinn Duffy, CoH2 Lead Designer: "[Normany Beach] was the 23rd bloodiest battle of World War 2. 13 of the 15 bloodiest battles happened on the Eastern Front".
-Story told through a war correspondent as he travels through the Eastern Front, reporting on battles and "the failures of communist idealogy". Campaign is leading Soviets from defense of Stalingrad towards victory in Berlin.
-Matthew Berger, another designer, at controls. Duffy provides commentary as they load up a mission called "Rzhev Meat Grinder". This is a lesser known WW2 battle with 1 million Soviet soldier deaths.
-Zoomed in view looks great (according to what I see of the in-game screenshots. The 2 soldiers I see seem incredibly detailed. Just like in CoH1, can be mistaken for a shooter's graphics rather than RTS).
-Snow is a big deal. Not just texture, but has a place in the game. Snow has depth, will spread procedurally, and is compacted by tanks. Can bog down troops and vehicles.
-Berger orders some men to take the road, where snow is thinner and travel is subsequently faster. A soldier walks into a land mine however, and up ahead Germans begin firing over a farm wall. The Soviet squad move back to deep snow but have no cover.
-Berger sends other squads to flank enemy. When the wall is reached, he blows a hole with explosives, then orders a flamethrower soldier to roast them.
-Flame effects looks great (the screenshots likely don't do it justice as they just look like...well, fire) as they melt the snow on the roof and the walls collapse as the Germans flee.
-The soldiers vault over cover, a new feature.
-Next field, the Soviets encounter a machine gun and get pinned. A cut scene plays where a soldier calls for retreat, and the men flee. They are shot down by Soviet machinegunners executing Order 227.
-After cutscene, Berger tells his new squads to throw a smoke grenade, demonstrating another new feature, "True Sight".
-True Sight is the improved fog of war system, allows players to truly only see what their units can see. Never know what's behind a building, beyond treelines, or beyond smoke.
-A small Soviet tank is brought in to push the German MG positions out. The new fog of war system makes ambushes more deadly however. The tank is destroyed by hidden troops.
-German army is well-trained, professional soldiers with best technology at the time. Soviets on other hand make up for lack of training and bad equipment with sheer numbers.
-Berger brings in another larger tank. it forces the Germans to retreat through ice. Tank gives chase, sliding on ice.
-A plane flies overhead, bombing the tank and ending the demo with a bang.
-Duffy: "Company of Heroes 2 isn't about different. It's about new, and it's about more. We tried a number of things. In part, it was 'How far can we push it before we lose the essence of what Company of Heroes was?' And we just had an innate sense that things got out [of] the comfort zone of what the game should be, so we started to narrow in"
-Relic resisted temptation of shoehorning in needless modes and minigames where they're not welcome. (Haha, lessons learned from Tales of Valor?)
-Duffy: "We want more authenticity, we want more realism, we want tactical improvements". He shrugs. "I dunno, I'm bored of the original Company of Heroes".
-Greg Wilson, game producer replies: "Really!?". Duffy laughs.
-Berger: "Dawn of War 2 was a very big departure, which was to bring newer players in. When we started looking at going to Company of Heroes 2, that kind of departure did come up. We were really very clear that we wanted to maintain the core game, and that was a decision we made and that was in part because of Dawn of War 2."
-Wilson replies: "Dawn of War 2 is an amazing game, but there were certain things that didn't suit the franchise very well".
-What happened to CoH: Online? Wilson says that the project was "interesting", "challenging", and that a lot of lessons were learned. Relic was not interested in expounding any further on that.
-Still a lot about CoH 2 unrevealed. Which missions to place in game (they're not built yet), how Order 227 impacts game outside of cutscenes, how game's economy will work (still tied to territorial control, but not talking full details yet), and of course multiplayer is still a mystery.
The magazine also has a picture with some details of "the most gruesome fighting of WW2". The captions provide a short description as well their thoughts on how it could be implemented in CoH 2. This is all PC Gamer's writing.
-Battle of Smolensk: As the Germans retreated west, Stalin's armies followed. Smolensk marked a northern push to throw off forces defending further south. CoH 2 could set its missions during the Red army's rampant advance westward.
-Battle of Moscow: German forces almost breached Moscow, before they were pushed back. The resulting counter-offensive led to CoH 2's first comfirmed mission, "Rzhev Meat Grinder"
-Battle of Kursk: The battle of Kursk remains the largest instance of armoured warfare in history. CoH 2 could set its infantry conflict between the treads and tracks of tanks and trucks, or put you at the wheel.
-Battle of Stalingrad: One of the bloodiest battles of the war lasted half a year, and was characterized by building to building fighting and sniper warfare. Creeping through rubble and dodging long-range fire would make for an interesting conflict.
-Battle of Rostov: The Germans suffered their first significant defeat on the Eastern Front at the southern Russian city of Rostov. Autumn rains made paths muddy - a process locals call 'rasputitsa' - which would restrict warfare in CoH 2.
There is also another picture giving a brief history of the evolution of the T-34 Soviet tank.
Oddly enough they never mentioned anything about the sweet new critical, "abandoned". You can read more about it on gaming sites or in Hirm's thread. Basically just means a new mechanic will be available where vehicles can be de-crewed. No idea if it's voluntary or only occurs when the vehicle is damaged enough. Empty vehicles can then be fought over by both sides and re-crewed. Sounds exciting for multiplayer, that's for sure.