There is only one word that can adequately describe Relic’s strategy with Company of Heroes 3: ambitious. Whereas the studio seems intent on recapturing past glories with its approach to Age of Empires IV, this new Company of Heroes is pushing almost every boundary in an attempt to give fans a modern and exciting sequel. It is trying to follow in the footsteps of one of the most popular strategy games of all time, after all.
This has manifested in a number of bold design decisions. Firstly, CoH3 is hitting the Mediterranean hard. This will include the popular North Africa campaigns, but it will also mean Italy. Very few war games bother with the allied invasion of the peninsula, which knocked the Italians out of the war in 1943, and yet the core of the pre-alpha build focuses on exactly this.
The only real disappointment here out of the gate is that, currently, Italy isn’t really represented in the game. During our play test we brushed against mechanics for insurgents and partisans, and to be fair Italy did capitulate quite quickly after the allied landings. The Wehrmacht soon took over, disarming most of the Italian military and reducing their presence in battle overall. The Allies made great use of Italian partisans, which is why they play a major role in this part of the campaign.