I’m not sure any more needs to be said than that. Company of Heroes is 2006 Game Of The Year.

It finally arrived yesterday, and I wound up having a true Quarter To Three experience. Which has a bitter cost when your wonderful baby wakes you up at 6 (and happens to cry out in her sleep between 3 and 4!).

The Computer Games review said that this seems like the game Relic has always been working towards. (Why else is Relic’s logo video a submerged WWII mine?) And I have to agree. This game has a sense of accomplishment and confidence that outstrips anything else I’ve played this year. The way the in-mission maps fade from hand-drawn arrows and X’s to the main tactical view… the flak lighting up the night skies… the anti-tank cannoned trucks tipping over and bursting into flames… I’m only on mission 3 and I can already tell there’s basically no competition for it this year.

I always wanted to get into Combat Mission. But I’m a WWII tactics newbie, and no one had told me about Closing with the Enemy, and it just took so long to command my guys what to do and to then see the outcome (it’d take like 10 minutes just to cross the map, by which time my guys were generally in the wrong spot). In Company of Heroes, it’s got the Relic easy and fast interface, you can put them right where you want them in realtime, pause it anytime you like to adjust to new stuff incoming, then set it all rolling again and watch the mayhem. I’m thinking about strategies continuously in the back of my mind. I am jonesing to get back to it tonight. I’m putting all my other projects aside until I get some major satiation. I already can’t wait for the expansion packs.

This game is pretty much the realization of cinematic tactical WWII combat that just about any gamer who ever played with plastic army men and little trucks has always wanted.

GOTY if ever there was one.

I feel your pain brother. The only time you get uninterrupted play time with kids is after about 9pm. Those nights of short sleep are getting more and more brutal.

I guess I’ll be at Target tomorrow to pick up my copy as the demo has been clawing at my eyes. RTS games are not my favorite genre and WWII is not my favorite setting, but dammit if this is not a good ol’ game. Wheee!

While I agree the game is fantastic, and may be the best RTS I’ve ever played, Oblivion is still GOTY for me.

Well, Oblivion is game of the year because it basically has no competition.

CoH is game of the year because it defeated an unyielding competition.

RTS are very much alive and filled with minor, but important innovations (CoH is a very derivative game, but those few things make it exceptional). RPGs are just dead.

Oblivion is great as a concept and effort, but I find the game design rather poor. CoH instead is brilliant game design on top of a rather standard concept.

I think they represent completely different types of success.

Can’t pick a Game of the Year until the end of the year, but at that time, I expect I will be strongly seconding this opinion.

I’ll certainly root for Company of Heroes, though there isn’t much point to the whole GOTY awards stuff, other than giving publishers a chance to repackage games and keep them at full price and gamers a chance to constantly argue. :)

I’d be more interested in what people might put on a list of 5 GOTY candidates.

I don’t game graze (and didn’t play Oblivion) as much as I used to so I’m not really one to ask.

I’d put TitanQuest on a list, but it released in such awfully buggy form, and the lack of secure servers and the failure (so far) of the editing tools to be as “intuitive and user friendly” as they promised (other than trainers and simplistic “deathmatch arenas”, nobody seems to be creating much with them) was a letdown to me.

I played Oblivion for like 40 hours and didn’t even get to closing my first portal. I love Oblivion all to pieces. And I think Gothic 3 shows that Oblivion isn’t quite alone in the next-gen RPG world.

But overall, I agree that RPGs are more dead than RTSes, and that CoH has more competition than Oblivion. And I also agree that Oblivion is CoH’s main competition for GOTY 2006.

In fact, I guess I agree on an even deeper level. Both games have a sort of “Holy shit! At last!” feel to them – both of them are very very highly evolved versions of their respective genres. Open-world go-anywhere huge-horizon role-playing game? Many people have wanted that for a long time, and Oblivion’s finally it. Hugely-detailed fast-moving tactically-rich WWII strategy game? Many people have dreamed of it for years, and CoH’s finally it.

I will still stick with CoH, though, because the WWII setting it provides just beats out Oblivion for real resonance. Tamriel tries hard to feel like a real place, but it ultimately fails… the history and backstory is just a tad too generic. CoH, though, definitely gives you at least a tiny glimpse of what it was really like to be on the receiving side of a sudden mortar barrage with Tigers rumbling towards you. And that historicity puts it over the GOTY edge, for me.

There’s always hope…

My GOTY will probably be either Oblivion or Dead Rising with considering reserved for Railroads

CoH is definitely in the running for my choice of GotY, but up against Oblivion, Dead Rising and Okami, plus with Zelda and Gears of War on the horizon, the race is hardly over.

Really, Okami’s going to be seriously tough to beat.

Isn’t it a little early to get into Game of the Year stuff? It’s mid-October. Two new consoles are launching between now and December 31st. Etc.

I played Oblivion for 100+ more hours, but I gotta hand it to CoH, it seems much more fun and replayable (the multiplayer especially). If it wasn’t for school eating away at all my free time, I would probably be playing CoH every day for months to come. It also hurts that none of my real life friends who are into computer games want to try out nor buy CoH (damn FPS junkies!)

I completed the main quest, & thief/Dark Brotherhood faction quests in Oblivion. It was a hell of a game, but CoH is equally compelling. I’m not that keen on “best” of anything lists, but they’re definitely both the games I most enjoyed this year.

Oh yeah. I’ve got a 4 month old. When the wife and baby sack out I’ve got time to play, but it is soul crushing when she shakes me up at 5:45AM and tells me it’s my turn to watch over our son.

I played Oblivion for 100+ more hours, but I gotta hand it to CoH, it seems much more fun and replayable

Sounds familiar. There’s something about Oblivion that really hooked me for a long, long time, but now I don’t even have it installed. Never even finished it. Think it was the “well shit, here we go into ANOTHER Oblivion gate” gameplay. No amount of mod chasing could seem to ever fill out its generic nature, either.

As for CoH: awesome. Here’s hoping that one day someone will wave a magic wand and we will get a game that’s a cross between the good parts of CoH and the good parts of Combat Mission. Then there will absolutely no reason to leave the house at all, forever.

While I enjoyed the beginning tutorial of the OPM demo, I wasn’t very impressed with the combat mechanics in the second part of the demo. Is this representative of the final game itself? It seemed like there was little to do but mash the attack button, since the brush stroke “slash” seemed to be ineffective.

Kunikos, combat starts to mix up much better in Okami as you face harder dudes. Does the demo get up to the winged koi, for instance, or the guys with lutes? That’s where it starts to go beyond button mashing. Also, the painting gimmick during combat folds neatly into a collecting subgame, so it can be a very important part of fighting.

In case it’s not evident in the demo, you can pause the action and move the camera when you’re painting. This helps a lot in combat.


The funny thing about GOTY awards is that it depends heavily on what kind of games you like. So far, this year has a little something for everyone. For example, Company of Heroes, Okami, Dead Rising, Oblivion, Titan Quest, and Saints Row are all good enough to be declared a GOTY, but the choice seems to say more about the chooser than the quality of the game.

It’s going to be an interesting year for GOTYs and lists.


P.S. BTW, notice anything weird about that short list up there? Three of the games are from THQ. Remember when they were doing Sponge Bob and wrestling games? Wow.

Also, two are from Capcom and aren’t Street Fighter or Resident Evil games.

Whoa, good point, K. I totally missed that.

Also, none are from EA, Activision, Microsoft, or Ubisoft. Ha ha!


If history is any guide, the last game released has the edge.