The realities of war are difficult to capture in video games, which is why Company of Heroes 2's setting of World War II's Eastern Front is an especially delicate venture. Operation Barbarossa, Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union, resulted in over 6 million casualties has been named to be a large part of the game. In Relic and THQ's first gameplay trailer for Company of Heroes 2, we start to see just how the game will approach the subject -- brutally.
Focusing on imagery including soldiers huddled around a bonfire in the midst of a blizzard and tanks crumbling through thin ice into a lake's icy waters, it's clear Relic understands that the environment is as much of a hazard as the opposing armies. It's hard to expect Relic to truly capture the desolation of 5 months in deadly temperatures does to an army, but at least they're showing an awareness.
Shifting feet to a less dramatic tone, the bit of actual top-down, strategic gameplay shown looks really crisp. It's interesting just how much of the trailer focuses on a third-person view, putting us into the action rather than showing us how the actual game will be played. Don't get me wrong, the quality is good enough to be a first person shooter, but it's hard to tell just how Company of Heroes 2 will play without more top-down footage.
Company of Heroes 2 is a PC exclusive, tentatively scheduled for an "early 2013" release, but probably not earlier than March. As far as real time strategy games go, there aren't many in development these days, but it truly looks like Relic is going out of their way to make something memorable. Check out the debut gameplay trailer below and decide for yourself, or pick up the new THQ Humble Bundle and try out the original Company of Heroes.
Turning Point trailer - Youtube