Company of Heroes 2 PC Technical Review



Company: Sega
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Sean Ridgeley
Date: June 28th, 2013

Controls, UI, extra features, conclusion

Controls

Oddly, keys can't be customized in COH2, though you can alternate between “classic” and “grid-based” hotkey configurations. In-game, controls feel pretty natural: I rarely play RTS and found my way through the first couple of missions easily enough, despite the lack of a controls listing (the closest thing you get is a very basic rundown in the tutorial).

User interface

The user interface is beautifully designed in every aspect of the game; you rarely find yourself having to scroll in menus as almost everything is fully laid out, complex menus like the army customization menu are intuitive and have neat, efficient design with just the right balance of images and text, and the in-game elements, with the exception of the unit navigation (which isn't terrible by any means), are extremely informative and intuitive.

Meanwhile, menu and in-game elements all respond to the mouse and keyboard as you'd expect, excluding the odd menu which doesn't respond to the Esc key.

Extras

Steamworks is integrated into the game, so expect a smooth multiplayer experience (ran just fine in my testing, with no lag or matchmaking issues to speak of), leaderboards, stats, and more.

Relic have smartly and graciously included Twitch.tv integration into COH2, so players who like to stream and/or commentate their gameplay can do so quickly and easily. Auto-login and various options – including bitrate -- are supported, and I noticed no great performance impact from streaming.

You can see a brief stream test below for an idea of what to expect (start it about halfway through for gameplay footage).

On a related note, multiplayer games are automatically recorded and can be played back at various speeds as you like. Frustratingly, there doesn't appear to be a way to follow units around the map within replay mode.


Unfortunately, partly due to the ColdTech weather system and how it conflicts with Crossfire and SLI, Relic decided some time ago to disable multi-GPU support.

For audiophiles, you can choose between a range of audio setup types: Stereo, Headphones, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, and 8.1.

Conclusion

Company of Heroes 2 is a well-designed title with reasonably good visuals and performance, and very strong controls and user interface. While it doesn't break any visual boundaries and there's still room for improvement in the performance department, with a little tweaking, most should find themselves pretty well off. As such, I definitely recommend the game to RTS fans.