Overview of the Company of Heroes Series

 The Company of Heroes series is a series of World War II real-time strategy video games that have been released exclusively on the PC since 2006. There are a total of eight titles in the series including main releases, expansion packs, and major downloadable content packs. All titles in the Company of Heroes series have been well received by both fans and critics alike.

The games offer multiple gameplay modes and options including single-player campaigns, competitive multiplayer games and community created maps. The single-player campaigns in the series cover a wide range of battles and operations from both the Western Front and Eastern Front of the European Theater. Playable nations include different armies from the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union and Germany. To date, there has not yet been a Company of Heroes game or expansion that includes and battles or forces from the Pacific Theater.

01
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Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes
Company of Heroes. © SEGA

What We Like

  • Amazing visuals.

  • Well-designed tactical and strategic content.

  • Step-by-step tutorial.

What We Don't Like

  • Default difficulty setting is challenging.

  • Gory scenes and strong language.

  • Difficult to keep track of everything going on.

Release Date: Sep 12, 2006
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Theme: World War II
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer

The initial release of the Company of Heroes series was released in 2006 and includes both a single-player campaign and competitive multiplayer game modes. The single player game puts players in control of American forces as they battle through the D-Day landings in June 1944 and ends with the Battle of the Falaise Pocket in August 1944. The multiplayer portion of the game includes two playable factions the United States and Germany. These factions are then divided into different companies or doctrines respectively each of which has a unique set of units and special abilities.

Gameplay for both the single-player and multiplayer modes are basically the same; each map is divided into different resource areas with players needing to gain control of each area in order to collect the different kinds of resources required to build new units. The three resources include fuel, manpower, and munitions, each of which is used to not only build units but also for various upgrades to units and buildings.

02
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Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts

Company of Heroes Opposing Fronts
Company of Heroes Opposing Fronts. © Sega

What We Like

  • Expansion pack includes two new campaigns and two new fronts.

  • Excels in multiplayer mode.

  • Doesn't require the original Company of Heroes game.

What We Don't Like

  • Single-player mode is not as polished as multiplayer mode.

  • Weak plot line.

Release Date: Sep 25, 2007
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Theme: World War II
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts was the first expansion pack for the original Company of Heroes. It is a stand-alone expansion, which means it does not require Company of Heroes in order to play, but it does not include any of the factions or campaigns found in the first game. Opposing Fronts adds two new single-player campaigns: a British campaign, and a German campaign. The two campaigns feature a total of 17 missions with the British campaign covering Liberation of Caen by British and Canadian forces and the German campaign covering the German defense and pushback during Operation Market Garden.

The expansion pack also adds two new factions, the British 2nd Army and German Panzer Elite, each of which have three distinct doctrines or areas of expertise. Another new feature introduced in Opposing Fronts is a system for dynamic and real-time weather effects during game play. It also is fully compatible in multiplayer play with players of both Company of Heroes and Company of Heroes: Opposing fronts.

03
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Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor

Company of Heroes Tales of Valor
Company of Heroes Tales of Valor. © Sega

What We Like

  • Gameplay is as impressive as the original game.

  • Fun multiplayer modes.

  • Novice-friendly intro to Company of Heroes.

What We Don't Like

  • Solo campaigns are over in a couple of hours.

  • No new factions or campaigns.

Release Date: Apr 9, 2009
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Theme: World War II
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer

Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor is the second and final expansion pack that was released for Company of Heroes. Like its predecessor, it is a stand-alone expansion that does not require players to own or have the original game installed. The expansion does not include any new factions but does introduce new units for each faction, three new single player episodes, additional maps and new multiplayer game modes. New multiplayer game modes include Assault which is a battle arena type mode similar to Dota, Stonewall where up to four players must defend a small town against wave after wave of enemies and Panzerkrieg, which is another battle arena type mode with tanks.

04
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Company of Heroes Online

Company of Heroes Online
Company of Heroes Online. © Sega

What We Like

  • Free-to-play version.

  • Offers customization, Hero units, and a way to add to armies.

What We Don't Like

  • In-app purchases needed to unlock some features.

  • Game is no longer available online.

Release Date: Sep 2, 2010
Genre: MMO RTS
Theme: World War II
Game Modes: Multiplayer

Company of Heroes Online was a free massively multiplayer online RTS game that was released into beta in September of 2010. The game has no compatibility with the original Company of Heroes multiplayer modes, but it does have the same familiar gameplay style. However, one big difference is that units, factions and hero units needed to be unlocked or purchased through micro-transactions. The game was ultimately canceled in March 2011 by THQ.

05
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Company of Heroes 2

Screenshot from Company of Heroes 2
Screenshot from Company of Heroes 2. © Sega

What We Like

  • Visuals are outstanding.

  • Fast paced gameplay with intense action.

  • Many improvements for multiplayer mode.

What We Don't Like

  • Requires a screaming-fast system.

  • High learning curve for newbies to the franchise.

  • Menus are confusing.

Release Date: Jun 25, 2013
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Theme: World War II
Game Modes: Single player, multiplayer

Company of Heroes 2 was released in 2013 after the acquisition of Relic Entertainment by Sega and focuses on the Eastern Front including major conflicts/battles such as Operation Barbarossa, Battle of Stalingrad, and the Battle of Berlin among others. The base game features two factions: the Soviet Red Army and the German Army. The story-based campaign includes 18 missions total, some of which can be played cooperatively. The game's resource-gathering element has been revised a little. Now every territory produces some fuel and munitions with a select few producing more fuel or more munitions.

The game received some backlash from Russian critics and gamers upon release of what they claim to be the brutal portrayal of the Red Army and historical inaccuracies.

06
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Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies DLC

Company of Heroes The Western Front Armies
Company of Heroes The Western Front Armies. © Sega

What We Like

  • Lots of entertaining and dramatic battles.

  • Maps and factions focused on multiplaying mode.

  • Good entry point for gamers new to the franchise.

What We Don't Like

  • No new campaign in this expansion unit.

  • Some features require in-app purchases.

  • Lacks additional story elements.

Release Date: Jun 24, 2014
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Theme: World War II
Game Modes: Multiplayer

Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies was the first major DLC released for Company of Heroes 2. It introduces two new factions into Company of Heroes 2, U.S. Forces and German forces are known as Oberkommando West, each of which have their own unique units, commanders, and abilities. This DLC only contains a multiplayer component, and much like the expansion pack for Company of Heroes, it is a stand-alone expansion. Factions in The Western Front Armies can take part in multiplayer games with factions controlled by players who only own Company of Heroes 2.

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Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault DLC

Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault
Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault. © Sega

What We Like

  • Great combination of personal, tactical, and strategic aspects of war.

  • Focus is on the single player mode.

What We Don't Like

  • This release isn't for the multiplayers.

  • Basic controls are confusing.

Release Date: Nov 18. 2014
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Theme: World War II
Game Modes: Single player

Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault DLC is the second DLC released for Company of Heroes 2 and is the single player component of The Western Front Armies DLCs. It features the same two factions introduced in that DLC in single player campaign mode. The expansion takes place during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945 and features 18 new non-linear and historical-based missions. The U.S. Forces in the single player campaign of Ardennes Assault are unique and not available in any multiplayer mode.

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Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces DLC

Company of Heroes 2 The British Forces
Company of Heroes 2 The British Forces. © Sega

What We Like

  • British forces are a fun addition to the game.

  • Excellent sound effects and voice acting.

What We Don't Like

  • New maps look a little drab.

  • Difficult to win in one-on-one battles.

Date: Sep 3, 2015
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Theme: World War II
Game Modes: Multiplayer

Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces DLC is a standalone multiplayer expansion game that features a new British forces faction complete with its own technology tree, units, commanders and special abilities. Like the previous multiplayer expansions, new players have access to all of the existing Company of Heroes 2 maps and have the ability to battle against factions from Company of Heroes 2 and The Western Front Armies.

The expansion adds eight new multiplayer maps, 15 new units, and six commanders. The expansion also introduces an upgrade to Company of Heroes 2 and all other expansions that touch on game balance as well as graphics and animation.