Having played my fair share of the original Company of Heroes and enjoying the intense war experience it delivered, I was pretty interested to see what Relic Entertainment were going to do to improve upon the first, with the beta being my first opportunity to do so.

One of the most notable additions to Company of Heroes 2 is the inclusion of snow being an important part of gameplay, as Relic Entertainment have utilised an interesting mechanic by enabling soldiers to die from hypothermia if they aren't situated near bonfires. Likewise when a blizzard occurs during a battle, it adds another layer to gameplay as I had to make a choice as to whether I should risk my soldiers in the blizzard if it meant a chance at flanking my unsuspecting enemies. It’s a real smart addition that adds to the tactical side of COH.

Destructible environments help to keep you on alert during battle, with different types of cover being destructible at different rates. Again it keeps you thinking on what tactic to undertake and just how you can pull off the necessary flanking to gain victory.

Prepare for a lot of explosions!

A common occurrence with battles in COH is that they develop into a game of ‘who can out tank who?’, as the usage of heavy battalions becomes the main focus in battle, with infantries becoming less useful outside of capturing points around the map. The constant reliance on tanks should really make the gameplay feel repetitive yet it doesn't, simply because the heavy use of tanks doesn't move too far away from a realistic feel in which you would send out your strongest force to try and achieve victory.

The realistic design and presentation of the game is sure to please many, especially those that enjoyed the first Company of Heroes. During your battles you will witness dirt soar through the air, explosions obliterate armies and limbs go flying, as you see your soldiers crawl away from battle in hope of escaping death. It’s crazy stuff that continually impressed me throughout my time playing on the beta.

Superbly designed maps

The sound in Company of Heroes is serious grade A quality that I’m sure others will appreciate just as I did. The gunfire, explosions, shouting soldiers; it all pulled me in right from the get go and was the key to making my time while playing COH a great experience.

As I finish up my time with the Company of Heroes 2 beta, I come away feeling that Relic Entertainment have crafted a great successor to a game that garnered so many fans and received critical acclaim. I feel confident in saying that Company of Heroes 2 has the makings of being one of the finest real-time strategy games in a very long time. 

Had a chance to play the Beta? Do you agree with the above or have a different opinion? Let us know in the COMMENTS section below! Or tweet me @KingKicks