Eastern Front is a free mod for Company of Heroes. Following the ethos of mimicking a Relic Entertainment expansion pack, Eastern Front has succeeded in adding two full new factions, the Soviet Red Army and the German Ostheer, packed with unique and exciting units to the existing armies - a feat never before achieved in the Company of Heroes world.
Modding is never a precise art - and creation of wholly new material always unearths new issues. That aside, I think the Eastern Front mod team have given a community of non modders (users who rage or patiently wait just to hit a download link) an experience well worth double or triple the out of box value of the COH series.
What did we receive?
- Dedication: 2 new factions, Patches, Community Support, Continued updates vis-a-vis the changes in COH itself
- Innovation: New tactics, new maps, new units - almost a new game.
What did we expect?
- As usual, more than any of us non-members were willing to implement and playtest.
I am satisfied with an experience that was never going to occur without a dedicated team. Sure, COH2 is a new game that deals with the dead horse of the eastern front and kicks it around. The Close combat series already took it on much better (imho) more than a decade ago.
But adding this theater to the normandy and central european nature of the VCOH has made 4X4 so varied that IT FEELS like a chaotic mess at times - rather than a clinically selected RTS environment with (as of COH vanilla) had only two sides and 6 doctrines.
I think the Soviets are challenging, and having played them all the way to victory through grueling large causality laden matches has taught me that victory is never easy or something that comes without skill. Anyone who thinks the AI is too effective should keep trying - get that ubermicro up and prepare a strategy that allows you the time to buffer enemy advances.
So far the Ostheer give the Axis yet another niche army full of a dazzling array of units, many of which are intended for specific tactics and uses. Knowing what to build and who to support in dynamic real time battles has never been so thrilling.
So ofcourse there are some unusual issues: lag, crashes etc. But nothing gamestopping. So don your fur hats men! AND BATTLE