Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts

Written by Joe Martin

September 29, 2007 | 12:48

Tags: #british #coh #company-of-heroes #german #nazi #panzer #rts #strategy #tank #war #world-war

Companies: #thq

Bringing the Pwn

There is another thing that makes Opposing Fronts appealing above and beyond the singleplayer campaigns however, which is good because the new campaigns are enjoyable but won’t really tax experienced players that much. We’re talking about multiplayer, of course.

One of the great things about Opposing Fronts multiplayer, which we discovered before we even played, is that the entire expansion pack is stand alone. You don’t need the original game to play Opposing Fronts at all.

This actually caused a bit of an annoyance for us as, when the code arrived in the office, we naturally assumed we’d have to reinstall the original beforehand. When we couldn’t find the office copy however we had to send somebody home to get a personal copy, which meant waiting for about an hour. After the original game had been fetched and installed, we put the expansion pack on the PC too.

And the first thing it did was uninstall the original game, reducing us to roaring, frustrated wrecks.

The plus of being standalone though is that multiplayer games can be set up with or without the original version. If you have both games then you can set up a match between either the Americans, Wermacht, Panzer Elite or the British and you can choose to play as any side. If you own just the expansion pack then you can still play against the Americans or the Wermacht, but you can only play as the British or the Panzer Elite.

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Bring the pwn! Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Bring the pwn!
I don't think this will end well...

This versatility is excellent for those who want to pick up the expansion pack on the cheap before they buy the full game and those players will be able to try the full Company of Heroes multiplayer experience.

The Opposing Fronts multiplayer game itself isn’t much different from the original multiplayer game. There are a total of 30 maps provided optimised for a variety of different team sizes, whether it be two on two, three on three or four on four. The multiplayer game was one of the main draws of the original Company of Heroes and Relic Entertainment has obviously taken the attitude of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.


Opposing Fronts is an excellent addition to the realm of WWII RTS games and the fact that it can be played either with or without the original game is a great boon to genre fans.

On top of this the game has undergone a variety of the enhancements and tweaks. Not only is there the two new campaigns and the new teams to toy with, but there’s also day and night cycles and some interesting weather effects which impact on gameplay. Muddy terrain will slow down heavy vehicles, while a burst of sunlight may give a troop of infantry a surge of courage and hope.

These new weather effects don’t play a huge part in the game design and it’s probably possible to pass them by without noticing, but the addition is interesting and unique enough to be noteworthy.

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Bring the pwn! Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Bring the pwn!
Click to enlarge

The game is also fully patched and has DirectX 10 support bundled in with it, which is a nice little addition for all of us using Vista and want to feel just a tiny bit justified for the hassle of switching OSes. True, the new DirectX 10 support doesn’t make a massive visual impact on the game, but it is something which we would have missed had it been absent.

The problem is that the expansion pack doesn’t really offer anything must-have. There’s a ton of nice tweaks and features here to keep fans interested and the fact that it’s standalone will no doubt help sales figures, but there isn’t a killer feature here. Put simply, if you’re a big fan of the original and play the game regularly still then you’ll definitely want to pick up Opposing Fronts.

However, if you never returned to the original campaign more than once or just didn’t reckon much to the game, then you may want to think hard about Opposing Fronts because really, it’s just more of the same but with an extra level of polish and all the best features are reserved for the multiplayer battles.

Opposing Fronts is a good game, an excellent game some will say, but so was the original and the only bad thing to say about Opposing Fronts is that it hasn’t built significantly enough on the framework of the original.

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Bring the pwn!

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