Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault – Review
Follow Genre: strategy, action
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Publisher: SEGA
Platform: PC

Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault – Review

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Good: dynamic campaign, replayability
Bad: still very hard for new players
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is the latest chapter of World War II history in the Company of Heroes universe. This single player campaign will take you into the heart of the battle, once described as the greatest American battle of World War II. The fate of the Ardennes lies in your hands!

company of heroes 2 ardennes assault


As said in the intro, this Company of Heroes 2 expansion is all about World War II again. This time, the game takes place in the Ardennes in Belgium. Germans have pushed most of their way through Belgium, but after D-Day the US allied forces have been able to push the Germans back into the Ardennes. While almost being overrun, the US forces manage to set a foothold in Bastogne. From here on out, you command your 3 companies and their officers and try to push the Germans back as much as you can, but fighting in the hills of the Ardennes proves to be more difficult than anticipated.

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The graphics in Company of Heroes 2 still look as good as the day the base game launched. Though no changes were made with this expansion, the game still looks very modern and you’ll need quite a good PC to not have any lag spikes in the heat of battle when explosions and smoke bombs are filling the battlefield.

Engine wise, Company of Heroes 2 is one of the most graphically dynamic games out there. It has real-time weather, almost all terrain is destructible, explosions are realistic, tanks leave tracks, almost everything has been thought of.

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If it comes down to sound, Company of Heroes 2 is still one of the most realistic sounding games there are. Almost all sounds in the game are authentic and recorded from real life scenarios, including tanks, gunfire and explosions. The cutscenes and voice acting are also spot on, from desperate troops running from battle to a 1940’s style news message, it all sounds and looks the part.

Music wise the game also deserves an honorable mention. While it’s not always easy to hear the music when the battlefield is filled with explosions and gunfire, it’s actually really epic and it fits the atmosphere beautifully.

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Little has changed since the launch of the original game, but the formula is still very successful and it remains very fun to play. If you haven’t played any Company of Heroes game before, you’ll probably have some trouble getting into the game as there isn’t really any form of tutorial except for some videos and text.

All of the mechanics of the base game also apply to its expansion, so veterans will have no problem getting familiar again with how the game works. For those who haven’t got any experience, we’ll repeat some of the basics.

The game starts with your main base. From here, you can make units, construct weapon racks and upgrade the weapon arsenal of your troops. Spawning troops requires resources, which can be acquired by capturing points and resources on the map, so spreading out and controlling much of them is key. The resources you gain are also dynamic, if you’ve faced a heavy loss they will increase and if you’re at maximum capacity they’ll slow down.

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As with all RTS games there’s the fog of war and line of sight. This basically means that you can’t see anything on the map unless you have units spread across it. But having vision isn’t always everything! You can carefully position your units behind corners or behind cover to surprise enemies. Running in open terrain will make your units more vulnerable, while hiding behind a broken tank will make your units stronger. Keeping your units alive will earn them veteran stars, which make them increasingly stronger against enemies.

Besides all the basics, it’s also good to know that your units can suffer frostbite, so keeping them in action or having them stationed near bonfires helps their morale and keeps them from freezing to death. Units also move slower through snow and you might even lose them to the cold if you keep them in there for too long.

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Now that the basics are out of the way, we can start focusing on the new aspects of Ardennes Assault. Ardennes Assault is a single player campaign and features a highly dynamic story and strategy map. You can play with 3 different companies: the Airborne unit, the Mechanized Infantry and the Support. Airborne units excel when positioned behind enemy lines, the Support likes to face its problems head on with heavy artillery and air strikes, and the Mechanized Infantry is somewhere in between.

Each company has its own experience, strength and abilities. Experience is earned by playing missions, which increases the veteran rank of your company. The veteran ranks allow you to start missions with more resources, more units and sometimes makes certain units veterans when called into battle. Your company’s strength is the morale and health of your squad. Each mission you play with a company reduces its strength, so you have to give them a rest sometimes in order to regain strength. When the company has no more strength left, it will be abandoned. At last there’s the abilities, each company has its own specialized set of abilities. You can upgrade these abilities in order to make them more effective in battle, but this might also increases the cost. Also when completing missions you’ll acquire Requisition, which can be used to reinforce your squad (but also makes them less experienced) and upgrade their abilities.

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The campaign also features a resourceful strategic map which can be put to clever use to maximize your efficiency. The strategic map is a map of the Ardennes divided into multiple sections. Your three companies are scattered across the map and have to clear out sections with Germans in them in order to win the campaign. When defeating an enemy, they usually retreat, reinforcing another area on the map and making it stronger. You can counter this by making a “wall” with your areas, making it impossible for the enemy to pass through.

This map also has loads of tricks up its sleeve, making it highly randomized. When moving your companies through the areas, you’ll sometimes get bonus objectives which require you to complete a certain objective within a given time span or condition. This might sound complicated but it makes the campaign highly dynamic and makes it have high replay value.


Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is yet another great addition to an already great franchise. With the big popularity of the previous expansion, this one is undoubtedly going to be another home run for any fan of the genre. But while a veteran player will have a lot of fun with this expansion, a new player will find it hard to get used to the mechanics since there’s still very little help provided.

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Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

1 Comment

  1. […] The Battle of the Bulge was regarded as the major turning point during the second World Word. Just last week that battle happened 70 years ago. To remember and recognize this major event, there’s a new trailer out for Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault. We’ve already got a review live of this latest expansion, read all about it here. […]

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