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Company of Heroes 3 campaign takes “special care” with wartime history

Strategy game Company of Heroes 3’s final campaign has been revealed, along with the release date, and Relic wants to avoid repeating past mistakes

German forces in WW2 North Africa advance past a village in Company of Heroes 3

The Company of Heroes 3 release date has been revealed, and come mid-November you’ll be able to relive one of history’s most dramatic conflicts with new, dynamic challenges built to test your mettle. Coming with today’s announcement, Relic has also revealed the second campaign coming to the strategy game, as well as the final faction.

The fan-requested North Africa theatre is coming to Company of Heroes for the first time, where you’ll be put in charge of the DAK – German general Erwin Rommel’s infamous Arika Corps, and the RTS game’s fourth faction. This will not feature a dynamic campaign layer like the Italian campaign – instead, this will be a more narrative-led, mission-only campaign in the style of what’s been done in past Company of Heroes games.

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“The North African operation is our chance to offer a more classic Company of Heroes experience,” lead campaign designer Sacha Narrine says. “We decided to lean into giving players a crafted experience that is something they’ll remember from previous games, something familiar in terms of its structure, but with a story told from a more human point of view.”

Relic and publisher Sega were keen to stress that “special care” had been taken in crafting the narrative for the North African campaign. At the launch of Company of Heroes 2 in 2013, there was backlash from the community over how the studio had portrayed Russian forces during that game’s campaign, something Narrine says Relic has learned from.

“What we saw clearly from Company of Heroes 2 was that our representation of a Russian story was something that some Russian players did not agree with, or particularly appreciate,” Narrine tells us. “And we have to respect that this time around.”

“We are much more aware of the international perspective,” Narrine explains. “We don’t want to lionise the Afrika Korps. We don’t want to play into this myth that it was a clean war or a ‘war without hate’, as some people might say.”

Company of Heroes 3 will release November 17 on PC via Steam. Pre-orders are available now via the game’s official website. While details on Company of Heroes 3 DLC are a little light at the moment, pre-ordering the premium edition (physical or digital) grants you the Devil’s Brigade cosmetic DLC pack, as well as the first expansion due sometime next year.

If you’ve participated in the previous two alpha playtests, you can also play a mission from the new campaign called ‘Mission Alpha’, which is available now. Company of Heroes 3 will also be offering more customisation tools than ever before, to give players greater control over skirmish matches.