Company of Heroes 3 preview: A more strategic take on the classic formula


Company of Heroes 3 brings back those exciting WWII-era real-time strategy duels – with more factions, units, and maps than ever before.

We’ve had our hands on a preview version of the game, which gave us a first look at the two campaigns; North African Theatre, a classic linear mode, and Italian Theatre, a new dynamic campaign.

Strategy of war.

We also got to try out the multiplayer mode of the upcoming RTS game, which has come on leaps and bounds since the first preview build we tried.

There are four playable factions  – Wehrmacht, Afrika Korps, British, and USA – and they all play their own role in the gameplay.

The developers had different design philosophies when it came to each army, and these design choices were obvious in the preview build.

Each has a certain focus. The Afrika Korps has strong mobility and offensive power, while the Wehrmacht is all about defence.

They are customisable, so you can adapt to different scenarios, and you can plan out different strategies for each scenario. 

The highlight so far is the battle groups, which are available to any army. 

Like doctrines from Company of Heroes 2, they come with various units, abilities and bonuses to change your faction’s play style.

However, unlike its predecessor where one decision is make or break, you have to make several challenging decisions over the course of the game, adding to the strategic elements. 

Afrika Korps may call on Italy to buff up its unit selection, but you still have to choose the type of units you want.

This forces prioritisation and evaluation of the opponents. This gives the impression that you are more in control of your fate.

Point-and-click abilities no longer feel as deadly, which brings a reduction to the randomness, and the way the vehicle combat has been overhauled helps put you in the driving seat.

Technically, huge improvements have been made since we last saw Company of Heroes 3.

For a preview build it is refreshingly free of bugs. Some of the AI doesn’t work as intended, but there is still time to fix this before release.

Hardcore fans of the series can feel confident that Company of Heroes 3 is on the right course, and if it continues to improve as it has done, could be the best yet.

Written by Marco Wutz and Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.