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One of the best-reviewed games of 2006, Company of Heroes was destined to become a franchise. With its immersive gameplay, complex intraunit relationships, and innovative supply-line-resource-gathering concept, it was arguably one of the best World War II–era strategy games on the market.

The release of Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, the official standalone expansion pack, may lead players of the original to wonder why they would want to play an addon to an already challenging game. But Opposing Fronts does more than stack the same old content onto the foundations of the original game: it includes additional gameplay styles and features that give even hardened Company of Heroes veterans a run for their money, including weather effects, day and night cycles, and improved vehicle and soldier AI. And as a standalone expansion, newcomers to the franchise don’t have to own a copy of the original to play.

Opposing Fronts includes two new campaigns with seventeen missions and introduces two new factions: the British Second Army and the German SS Panzer Elite. As the British, you’ll take on entrenched German forces as you try to liberate Caen, France, during Operation Goodwood. As the Germans, you’ll fend off Allied forces during Operation Market Garden. The characteristics of the new units and the abilities of the new factions allow for a wide selection of move/countermove options.

Opposing Fronts is an excellent expansion to the original, and with new features and an online multiplayer component that is second to none, it’s also a challenging game in its own right. The only criticism would be that it might be too challenging, especially for beginners. Though you’re not required to own the original game to play this one, you may consider picking up a copy to prepare yourself for one hell of a good ride.


Originally published in the May 2008 issue of World War II Magazine. To subscribe, click here