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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Real-time Strategy

 

Publisher

THQ

 

Developer

Relic

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

November 2007

 

 

- Looks great

- You need to employ real tactics to win

- Multiplayer is just as engrossing as ever

 

 

- Will overwhelm any newcomers

 

 

Review: Company of Heroes (PC)

Review: Close Combat: First to Fight (PC)

Review: Command & Conquer 3 (PC)

 

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Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

opposing fronts          opposing fronts

 

 

More than anything I could possibly write about Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, no matter how effusive the praise, nothing speaks louder to the depth of this stand-alone expansion to last year's Company of Heroes than the fact that after playing Opposing Fronts I had to get my hands on the original.

 

Here's a game a strategy game that, if played with short and long-range plans in mind, can never be lost.  No matter how pulverized your forces become there's 

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always a chance to stage a comeback, usually in a spectacular fashion if you've hedged your bets properly, which is particularly satisfying online.  But that's where the strategy comes in.  Opposing Fronts adds British and German campaigns but no matter what side you choose to march with, learning the advantages

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and disadvantages of each individual unit -- and figuring out how units can be grouped together to make effective fighting forces -- is the key to victory, though knowledge of the battlefield layout is also important.

 

Relic did a superb job of balancing each and every unit, for both sides.  There doesn't seem to be a "magic bullet" combination that will take out everything.  Any tactics employed must be malleable.  Yes, the British can drop commandos behind enemy lines through use of gliders, but using them without some coordination with front line forces is pretty much a waste of men and resources.  The same goes for Germany's Luftwaffe capabilities.

 

opposing fronts         opposing fronts

 

Though one of my real-time strategy favorites is the Command & Conquer games, which is like so much popcorn compared to Opposing Fronts, I've always felt that the main objectives -- blow up all enemy buildings, kill all enemy soldiers -- are tired.  Opposing Fronts revolves around holding capture points, with new objectives coming in sporadically to keep you guessing as to what might be coming next.

 

With apologies to the Combat Mission franchise, Opposing Fronts has started to encroach on the "pure sim" functions of "dice rolling" strategy games, but wrapping it all up in good looking, frenetic action make it accessible to a much wider audience.  Nevermind that this is an "expansion" -- at $40US this is a very good game.

 

- D.D. Nunavut

(December 28, 2007)

 

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