Company of Heroes 3 sets foot in the Mediterranean

Posted on Wednesday, July 14 2021 @ 9:37 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Relic Entertainment is back with a new installment in the Company of Heroes series! It's been over eight years since the launch of Company of Heroes 2 and the third game is taking the series to a new theatre of war. While the first games focussed on France, Belgium, Germany, and the Eastern Front, Company of Heroes 3 is embarking in the Mediterranean. There will be sunnier gameplay in Italy as well as some parts of North Africa. The expected launch date is sometime in 2022.

Here is some pre-alpha footage of the game:

Game features overview:

This high-level overview document will introduce you to the gameplay and major features of Company of Heroes 3. As we work towards an Alpha build, we’d like your feedback to help guide our decisions around feature development, content changes, and core gameplay improvements.

In the summer of 1943, the Allies launch Operation Husky, starting a thrust to remove Italy from the war and weaken the Axis. The Allied forces, composed of American and Commonwealth troops (alongside international allies), engage in a long and arduous campaign that, despite the surrender of the Italian Army, will last well into 1945. As a player, will you recreate history or redefine it? Make the hard decisions that leaders made by choosing who, where and how to deploy companies. Lead your soldiers into battle and make them heroes.

Here is our vision statement that we are using to inform and shape the game we want to build:

Why are these vision points important?

Tactical Company of Heroes 1 Gameplay
This is important to us both as a reference to the gameplay pacing and quality target we are striving for, but also as a response to what our fans are asking for. The core experience of CoH1 has stood the test of time, and we want to bring it back with targeted improvements and some exciting new gameplay mechanics.

Dynamic Campaign Map
A non-linear, decision-filled dynamic campaign map is a natural evolution for the Company of Heroes series. This new strategic layer provides more opportunities for player choice, diverse campaign experiences, and dynamic, unpredictable missions.

Mediterranean Theatre Brought to Life
A new theatre of battle brings new terrain, new combat dynamics, improved gameplay and new factions. Our goal is to deliver an experience that could only be realized in the Mediterranean; soldiers from all over the world fight in the most diverse environments Company of Heroes has ever seen.

Game Modes
While we can’t announce everything just yet, Company of Heroes 3 will offer the core experiences we know strategy players want:
  • A deep, re-playable single-player mode full of choice, progression, and non-linear exploration.
  • Single-player and cooperative skirmish modes. Play against challenging AI, alone or with friends, on diverse battlefields modified by many custom-game options.
  • Competitive multiplayer. Select your battlegroup and face off against other players on tightly balanced 1v1 maps all the way up to sprawling 4v4 battlefields.
Development Pillars
Company of Heroes 3 is being developed under new circumstances for Relic. In addition to working with upgraded tools and technology, our creative processes have changed.

Community Engagement
From day one, the team has relied on input from fans. We chose our theatre, factions, game modes, and more, with input from devoted Company of Heroes players. Over the last four years, our “Community Council” has grown, played early versions of the game, and provided vital feedback.

Player Choice
Company of Heroes has often told exciting stories via immersive missions and cinematic sequences. This time, create your own stories by playing your way. While our narrative will introduce you to important characters and conflicts, the campaign is yours to shape. Make strategic choices that influence your allies and enemies, affect missions and skirmishes, and empower your companies.

Improved & Expanded
It may sound obvious, but we want Company of Heroes 3 to be the best game in the franchise’s 15-year history. We’re trying to achieve this by improving key gameplay mechanics, dialing up the fidelity of our armies and environments, overhauling our destruction systems, and above all respecting what fans love about Company of Heroes. Our revered tactical gameplay is back, improved and expanded.

Game Features
We’ll now give you a glimpse at a few key features of Company of Heroes 3. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and we won’t dive deep at this point, but you’ll learn much more in subsequent posts.

Company of Heroes 3 will launch with more playable factions than any previous title in the series. While some factions such as the US and Wehrmacht forces have appeared in previous games, each army’s roster and their mechanics are quite different this time. We’re also including vehicles, weapons, and abilities that are brand new to the franchise, including many that feature Italian soldiers and technology.

Core Gameplay
The exciting tactical gameplay of Company of Heroes returns with many improvements. Core mechanics like cover, suppression, and True Sight have been refined, while our garrisons and building destruction are vastly improved. New vehicle armor mechanics augment the value of flanking, and updates to terrain sight-blocking and shot-blocking create more realistic combat; Italy’s verticality gives players plenty of opportunity to take the high ground and fire down on opponents to gain an advantage. Additionally, we have added new tools to deal with troublesome enemy-occupied buildings, such a breach – a cinematic means to evict the enemy and take a building for yourself.

Dynamic Campaign Map
The biggest addition to Company of Heroes 3, the dynamic campaign map, reshapes the single-player experience into a reactive, player-driven narrative based on strategic choices, non-linear exploration, and nuanced interactions with allied commanders who need your help to achieve their goals.

Campaign Companies
On the dynamic campaign map, order companies to secure key cities, ports, and airfields. Improve and customize your companies with powerful upgrades and abilities. Deploy American Airborne and Special Forces companies, British Artillery and Armoured companies, and many more.

As before, squads can earn veterancy in combat to unlock powerful abilities and buffs. Deal damage to enemies to gain experience and rank up. Preserve veteran squads for a distinct advantage in the late game. Veterancy also plays a role on our dynamic campaign map, but that’s a topic for another time.

In multiplayer and skirmish modes, select from a set of battlegroups that feature devastating abilities. Call in Airborne Paratroopers or Luftwaffe Fallschirmjager. Call in a barrage from 25-pounder artillery or a Stuka bombing run. Deploy a hulking Churchill or Tiger tank to crush the enemy’s defensive line. Battlegroups are focused, balanced, and curated. Every player has access to the same weapons of war.

Multiplayer Gameplay
Company of Heroes 3 will launch with more maps than any previous game. Our maps cover a variety of locales and have been developed in collaboration with community map makers to ensure a balanced experience.

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