Company of Heroes 3 makes destruction an art form

Company of Heroes 3’s battles are full of these big, deafening moments where the orchestral score starts to swell, the bombs start falling and two forces collide. The gunfire, explosions and collapsing buildings create this thundering cacophony that tests your ability to keep cool under pressure. When the chaos settles and the smoke clears, you won’t recognise the place. It’s destruction and transformation, leaving behind a grim new map. 

It’s a stunning spectacle, but when you’re desperately trying to keep your fleshy soldiers alive and your tanks out of the path of those bombs you don’t have much time to appreciate the obsessive attention to detail that gives birth to these dramatic, earth-shaking confrontations. Not unless you use the tactical pause system to do a spot of sightseeing, anyway. 

Destruction begins with construction. “It’s both all about making things beautiful, but also making them right,” says art director Tristan Brett. “So we build all the internal framework of houses, the tiles and everything are really built so they act like the proper material and slide off the framework. So a lot of thought went into how we build the structures, before we talk about how to break them.”

(Image credit: Sega)

In a lot of maps, you can already see a bit of the war’s impact straight away, but when you’re walking through the Italian countryside with the sun beating down on your troops, or sauntering through a quiet village, the walls all painted vibrant colours, you feel lulled into a false sense of security. Just ignore the occasional sandbag or anti-tank gun and enjoy your walk. The war seems like a distant, intangible thing. It’s idyllic—until it’s very much not. 

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