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Win A Copy Of SEGA’s Newest World War II Video GameMary Edwards Feb 16, 2023
Calling all gamers! SEGA’s newest and most anticipated World War II video game, Company of Heroes 3, releases in February and you have a chance to win a FREE copy! The real-time strategy (RTS) game includes the largest single-player campaign in the series yet, set in the Mediterranean theatre of war spanning from Italy to North Africa, and utilizing new, dynamic battlefield elements that change each playthrough. Make sure to follow Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to find out how you can enter to win a FREE copy!
There are a lot of components to this game. We spoke to the game’s developer, Relic Entertainment, about what it takes to make a game like this while combining history and gaming.
A lot of research goes into designing video games. It’s a huge component of the process across multiple teams. “For the art teams, that means poring over reference images, watching old videos, and old schematics,” Sacha Narine, lead singleplayer designer, said. “For narrative, it means a lot of reading, from history books to memoirs and letters. For design, it means studying battles and field reports to understand how armies and units performed and behaved. Additionally, multiple teams work with external historical and cultural experts to validate our approach and ensure we are delivering at the highest possible level. We also sent one of our designers to Italy to visit various historic sites from the war in person.”
Brand Manager Andy Bergin said that games are all about fun, but the developers at Relic understand that historical accuracy is just as important. “A member of our team once jokingly referred to this balancing act as ‘funthenticity’. Our game has to be fun and, because of that, we need to take some artistic license. However, authenticity is a guiding principle, and we make sure that our game is grounded in and inspired by authenticity in all respects.”
It’s not hard to see why Company of Heroes is considered a leading name when it comes to the best World War II games. “The franchise looks at historical events from a more strategic perspective and then brings that strategy to life with immersive gameplay,” Phil Harris, lead narrative designer, said. “The game captures real-life events where developers made sure to honor soldiers with respect, but also allowed for the game to be fun and engaging at the same time. It’s a good balance for the gamer who is also a history buff.”
Harris also said that the game also captures real-life events with diverse personal perspectives. “We have ‘Soldier Stories’ in our game which focus on the experience of individuals. We also have soldiers represented from a range of nations US, British, German, Italian, Indian and Libyan – via major characters as well as squad VO (e.g. Gurkhas, Bersaglieri).”
As gamers, we usually just see the finished product when we sit down to play. We don’t see everything that goes into the creation. But, in reality, there’s so much more that goes on behind the scenes. Narine said that there are hours of coding, design work, and playtesting are all required to craft a good gaming experience. And, naturally, there are challenges that come with the work—especially when it comes to the subject matter of Company of Heroes. “There are certainly challenges that we as a team face when building entertainment around tragedy,” Narine said. “We can’t sanitize WW2 into some harmless playground for battle, but we also aren’t able to give full respect to every sad truths of events like the bombing of Monte Cassino, the occupation of Naples, the Bari disaster, or the liberation of Ortona. We hope that Company of Heroes encourages players to go off and learn more about the events they see in the game.”
Developers said that they’re very careful when considering when to let the player feel triumphant and when to temper their fun with a difficult history lesson. Harris said that the use of consultants was important to provide context for how gameplay and story elements the current cultural perspectives of the war. “For example, modern audiences don’t want to minimize or ignore the painful parts of the war. We worked with our consultants to walk that line between making a fun game and the harsh realities of a real world conflict.”
Company of Heroes 3 was announced in 2021 with a trailer that showed players what to expect from the World War II game. The anticipation has only built since then, as this is the first title in the franchise released since the 2013 launch of Company of Heroes 2, one of the most popular RTS games of the decade. The third installment was originally planned to release in November 2022, but developers needed some extra time. “Our team decided the game was not quite up to our players’ or our own high standards. There were bugs to squash, pixels to polish, gameplay to adjust, and feedback to address,” Bergin said.
Developers said the wait will be worth it, however, and Bergin said he’s proud of the work the team has accomplished. “Working with a fantastic team, who are passionate about doing justice to the legacy of the brave men and women who fought and died for the freedoms we enjoy today is nothing short of an absolute privilege.”
Company of Heroes 3 releases February 23 for PC and later 2023 for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
To preview the game, click here.
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