You Can Play a Demo of Company of Heroes 3 Right Now
Company of Heroes 3 was revealed recently and after many years in development, and you can sign up to play what developer Relic Entertainment calls a pre-Alpha preview build here.
This is the third game in one of the most famous RTS series of all time. Company of Heroes released in 2006 to near-universal acclaim and multiple awards, and received two expansions—Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valor—before, in 2013, a complete sequel, Company of Heroes 2.
Company of Heroes 3 is set in Italy and North Africa and features a turn-based campaign littered with bespoke real-time missions and skirmishes. It looks huge and incredible, check out the trailer below.
You’ll be able to play as the German, UK, and US forces in multiplayer, though in the campaign you’ll just be playing the Allies. The campaign is turn-based and takes place on a huge map with discrete objectives, which also allow you to explore and conquer them however you prefer.
The game’s pitch is a ‘holistic loop’ that keeps the overall campaign feeling inextricably linked to the RTS battles. Everything you can do in a real-time fight, you can do on the turn-based map: you can potentially clear out enemy forces before the ‘main’ fight even occurs.
That embrace of a Total War-style structure is the headline attraction, but there are other systems that may have even more impact, such as the tactical pause. At any point in a single-player battle, you can pause the action and freely explore the map. That alone is convenient, but the real boon is the ability to order units and queue up commands while paused.
Relic is using fellow Sega studio Amplitude’s Games2Gether program, and signing up for that means you get sneak peeks, updates, and playable builds. A pre-alpha demo is available on Steam right now, and you can blow up tanks and buildings with flamethrowers until 7 pm PDT on August 2/3 am BST on August 3.