Relic Entertainment isn't just working on Age of Empires IV as it today surprised announced the next entry in the popular World War 2-set real-time strategy series Company of Heroes, and it is coming next year. Catch the Company of Heroes 3 cinematic trailer above, showcasing the Mediterranean theatre the game will be set in. The studio also showed off some pre-alpha gameplay today, see that trailer here (age restricted).
The single-player campaign here is said to be the largest ever in the series. Aside from the usual real-time combat that focuses on cover, quick flanks, and exploiting unit weaknesses, Relic is introducing breaching mechanics for flushing units out of buildings while also injecting destruction and elevation-based mechanics.
A Tactical Pause is being introduced to single-player as well, letting players pause the action to plan their moves and queue up tactics to get the upper hand. Moreover, it features a turn-based tactical campaign map that players can utilize to craft their own path through regions as they advance in the campaign, making sure different playthroughs are always unique.
The title will also come with a large wealth of specialist units that players can utilize to customize their armies, from American-Canadian Special Service Forces to Gurkhas from the Commonwealth. Multiplayer will also be a big focus in the game, but since it is still a bit early, Relic has not delved deep into any specifics.
While Relic is aiming for a late 2022 launch for Company of Heroes 3, those itching to try out the game earlier than that can do so right now. The studio has opened a Pre-Alpha Preview that has a portion of the Italian campaign to experience, which includes the aforementioned tactical pause feature, the new turn-based overview map, and more.
"We’re really excited for players to experience Company of Heroes 3 right from the pre-alpha stage and to receive their valuable feedback," said General Manager at Relic Justin Dowdeswell. "We’ve been co-developing the game with our fantastic community members for years now, and they have been instrumental in providing consistent and meaningful feedback at every step of the development process."
The preview is open for the next three weeks, and the studio is looking for feedback on the current experience. Here are the known issues and their workarounds to keep in mind before jumping in.