Company of Heroes 3 You could have done a little more

Author: Sonic

There are plenty of strategy games that take place during World War II, but perhaps none as famous as Company of Heroes. It's been a full ten years since Company of Heroes 2 saw the light of day, and a lot has happened in the gaming world since then. With Company of Heroes 3, developer Relic hopes to bring the series to the forefront once again.

A certain rule is that in the sequels of games that take place in the arenas of the Second World War, sooner or later we will land in Africa or Italy. This was the case in the Call of Duty or Sniper Elite series. Company of Heroes 3 is no different. After the Western and Eastern Fronts, the time came for the African and Italian campaigns. These battles are often neglected by game developers, who focus primarily on Operation Overlord and the Great Patriotic War, but here finally received the attention they deserve.


The new Italian campaign introduces interesting innovations thanks to an absolutely apt turn-based strategic mode that allows us to manage how we want to proceed in the liberation of Italy. The game mechanics rest on the solid foundations inherited from past chapters (without missing some improvements) and are enriched by a respectable roster, with four different playable factions. Some annoying glitches and some sporadic bugs, while not particularly serious, make the experience less precise and refined than expected.

The campaign map in Company of Heroes 3 does something as important as adding a whole new layer of strategy. From South to North, we must take our allied forces — torn between American, British and Italian partisan leaders — through German defenses and defended cities, while the enemy battalions move up and down the map.

Uneven campaign

We have to complete two – significantly different – campaigns, although only one of them is unique – the one taking place in Europe. In it, we will invade the south of Italy with American and British troops, to break through step by step towards Rome. To this end, we conduct activities on the campaign map, which is the biggest novelty in the series.


The Italian campaign is interesting because, as commander-in-chief of the Allied forces on the peninsula, you can decide how to proceed: we can opt for a quick and direct approach and head straight north, trying to reach the capital as quickly as possible or adopt a significantly more cautious approach, fortifying the position and taking control of the surrounding areas to eradicate the Nazis from the area and avoid suffering dangerous attacks from behind during the advance. Obviously, there are other choices that influence the emerging narrative and above all our relations with the three main factions at stake: the Americans, the British and the Italian partisans. Bombing cities to weaken the Nazi resistance could, for example, facilitate their conquest but will not win us the friendship of partisan leaders and the civilian population. And even the American general and his British counterpart often have different ideas about how best to handle the invasion of Italy.

The Italian campaign is characterized by replayability. On the way to the goal, we can make various decisions, and our mistakes and choices affect the further game.

On the map of Italy, we give orders to different types of troops (ships, planes, infantry or armored units). Our actions take place in turns, so we can think about the next move and decide where to strike. We can use aviation to reveal a fragment of the map or bomb a city, violating its defense, which in turn will allow easier capture by land troops. Subsequent missions or smaller skirmishes are played by attacking our company at a key point on the map – then the classic game begins, in which we take over more areas, defend ourselves and create new units, expanding the base.The gameplay on the campaign map is surprisingly exciting, extensive and made on a grand scale.

When it comes to North Africa, we get a classic campaign

Those who are not too attracted by the novelties of the Italian campaign and want a more traditional experience will not be disappointed, because in addition to the fighting on our peninsula Company of Heroes 3 also stages a second campaign set on the North African theater of the conflict, in which among other things we will not be in command of the allied forces as usual but we will instead find ourselves leading the Afrikacorps of the famous general Rommel, the Desert Fox.


In this case, we are dealing with a classic version of the campaign consisting of successive missions. It is a pity that here we also do not move the pieces on the map, as is the case on the Apennine Peninsula.

The harsh desert landscape in North Africa is changing the face of the struggle. There is no denying that the North African operation is not as spectacular and engaging as the Italian one. Although it must be given to the creators that the gameplay differs from the activities in southern Italy. The terrain is flatter, it is more difficult to cover infantry, which creates an advantage for mechanized units.The studio made sure that the objectives in this campaign were diverse, although after playing a few of them I was a bit tired of tank battles, which did not provide as much positive experience as the actions in Italy.

A tactical pause helps to control the chaos of war

Sometimes simple solutions bring considerable results. And that's how it is in Company of Heroes 3. The creators have implemented a tactical pause, thanks to which we can stop the game at any time. 

Thanks to this, we can more easily control the situation, to give orders and even issue a series of orders, as well as look at the current situation. When the enemy surprises us, just press the spacebar. A moment of additional reflection will certainly make us find a way out of oppression.


The game was begging for this feature. There will be opponents of this solution, arguing that the dynamics of clashes are decreasing, although I think that this is a feature that was missing in previous installments and works great during the game. 

Summary and evaluation

CoH3 is still enjoyable. The gameplay has been improved, although it is not without flaws.

It is impossible to list all the improvements of the game, and there are really a lot of them and practically all of them translate into the improvement of the battle element known from previous installments, which has retained its unspoiled character. So we still hide behind covers, flank enemies and take over more areas.


Tank fights are now even more interesting - we can use the terrain. What's more, in the end it matters what part of the tank we shoot. Therefore, it is important to position the vehicle properly in relation to the enemy so as not to expose more sensitive parts. Thus, attacking the side or rear of an enemy combat vehicle will deal more damage.

Maps set in Italy have a more interesting setting. However, it was not without technical problems (frame drops). Artificial intelligence also sometimes fails. Opponents can run in circles, not finding cover and becoming an easy target. However, this is nothing that cannot be improved in updates. I also do not hide that a better graphic design would please the eye.

The best recommendation for this game is the fact that sitting at work at the desk, I could not take my mind off Company of Heroes 3. One day I wondered why I made a strategic mistake and didn't go straight to Naples. Thanks to this, I would have captured the port faster and, as a consequence, I would have created another company with which I would have conquered the south of Italy faster. What's more, I would also secure the back.

General Eisenhower certainly wouldn't have been happy with my initial actions, but in the end I corrected my mistakes later—improved and acquired new companies, and chased the Nazis and fascists out of sunny Italy.


+ Well-balanced gameplay that we have to control all the time, even if we have gained the advantage

+ Great idea with campaign map

+ A lot of smaller and larger novelties that can be felt on the battlefield

+ Tactical pause

+ Four factions with different gameplay styles

+ A lot of content to start (two campaigns, multiplayer mode, free mode, which can be configured in several ways, 14 maps for multiplayer and skirmishes)


- No greater camera distance

- Untapped potential of the second campaign

- There are AI bugs and technical problems