Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault

The next Company of Heroes 2 expansion stars the British

Relic's World War 2 real-time strategy game Company of Heroes 2 will get a new standalone expansion called The British Forces. It's out 3rd September 2015.

The British Forces costs 9.99, but there's 20 per cent off for anyone on Steam who owns any product from the Company of Heroes franchise.

The British Forces includes 15 new units, six new commanders with unique abilities and eight new multiplayer maps.

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Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault review

Ardennes Assault, the single-player standalone expansion to Relic's Company of Heroes 2, is a game about stories. Not the affected and laboured stories that dragged down the narrative in the base game, but rather the unique incidental anecdotes that are shaped during play. With three varied companies to marshal (and a fourth via a premium add-on), some of these stories are rousing tales of valour and derring-do - like the time that paratroopers of the airborne company were dropped behind enemy lines with a .50 cal heavy machine gun and successfully took out a high-ranking German officer. Or when an entrenched squad of Dog Company's veteran assault engineers held out long enough against superior numbers to call in a support artillery barrage, but later perished as they covered their comrades' retreat.

These stories showcase Ardennes Assault at its dynamic best, but there are other stories that are far less noble. These are nightmarish tales of new recruits wading through menus looking for a way to reinforce decorated troops before they are wiped out, or not being able to find the keyboard command to group units together. There are horror stories of fresh-faced newbies growing frustrated at the lack of support or even a list of button-bindings, and subsequently losing several squads of soldiers to avoidable error before rage-quitting the mission and, soon after, the war.

This last is sadly indicative of a problem that plagues Ardennes Assault from start to finish and belies its status as a standalone expansion. You may not need the main game to play it, but the lack of guidance and support for new players suggests Relic assumes you have prior form. It's this oversight, by the the very people that should be on your side, that's going to dent the morale and the long-term buy-in prospects of newcomers to a far greater degree than any enemy offensive.

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At the end of the campaign in any good strategy title there usually comes a warm fuzzy feeling of having triumphed against increasingly overwhelming odds. Sadly, this is often tinged with the knowledge that there's little reason to go back and repeat the experience. Some of those people take their fight online to battle against the tougher opposition of human intelligence but others simply drift away, moving on to a new, authored challenge elsewhere.