Most people who have been in North America in the last few years or kept up on PC gaming at all have heard about Company of Heroes. Most people have played it, but if you're playing it over here and want to play online, you're probably having ping issues, as well as time zone issues. Windyzone has decided to bring it to us. If you go to Company of Heroes from the main Windyzone page you'll be given an event page about the beta test. Click the dog tag in the lower right to continue.
Once here you can do the familiar, "game start" dance to install the Windyzone launcher, and the game itself. It'll first download a 30 MB loader, then it'll download the actual game. The download is around 3.6GB. It'll install and you'll be all set. There are no surprises here when compared with any of the previous installs we've done. What will surprise us is when we get in the game. While very familiar, the game has been changed in some ways. Click Game start button to fire up the launcher and the green 게임시작 button to get going. Doing so will check for patches. Then launch the game.
The first thing that pops up is a question in Korean. I think it has something to do with your first time playing strategy games. I answered yes on one account, no on the other, both times it runs the tutorial. The first thing you'll do is choose your side. In this version of company of heroes you actually make characters you build up. The choice is obvious from the flags and you choose one of three specialties. These mirror the specialties you'd have found in the original company of heroes. They're different for each side. Choose one and click the next button on the lower right. It'll be highlighted for you. Now you can customize your guy and give him a name. This will also be highlighted. You'll then be presented with a choice of playing the campaign or multiplayer. Multiplayer is not a level playing field. Get your feet wet with a campaign and start to build your guy up. You can switch any time you want. Regardless of the side you choose, you will start with the allied campaign. It matches the same campaign. Playing it will give you levels though. So try it out. There doesn't seem to be anyway to disable the tutorial. It'll run you through some stuff. Like enabling abilities, adding bonuses, things like that. Just grin and bear it and you'll get some free bonuses plus it'll run you through some stuff with a finer hand than I. It's not hard to follow even without knowing Korean.
Back on the main screen you'll see a variety of options and games you can play as well as your standard chat. The middle seems to be nothing more than hints. While we've played this game for a few years now, it's new here. That doesn't mean they're push overs though. You can play regular games, ladder games, campaign, and tutorial missions. You can customize your character (abilities) and set bonuses in your base. You will get randomly invited to games. If one pops up hit the green "예/네" to join in. If you don't, it'll disappear after a few seconds. This will get you started. In the next post I'll talk about some of the new features and how they effect multiplayer matches. The campaign completely mirrors the English. Voice-overs are subbed, not dubbed.