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Company of Heroes 3 is a great RTS for newcomers to the genre

An RTS, on console? With easy-to-learn controls? And a readable UI? It sounds unlikely, but it's real – and it's real good, too.

You'd think a series that has been a massive part of the RTS genre since 2006 would have little ability to surprise you these days, but Company of Heroes 3 proves you wrong. The game – the latest in one of the most well-respected and influential series in the genre – lowers the barrier to entry a lot in its most recent console release... and it might have just proved that the RTS genre is due a proper renaissance away from its PC home.

Bringing an RTS to console and making it easy for newcomers to understand? Good work, Relic.Watch on YouTube

As you can see in the video above, Company of Heroes 3 – the real-time strategy game developed by Relic Entertainment, and published by Sega for Windows and PS5 and Xbox Series X/S – is understandable, readable, and a really good fit for console.

Company of Heroes 3 has been re-imagined from within to make it work – and feel good! – when you're playing it with a pad in your hands. Full controller support, custom UI, and features allow you to play the game at your own pace, so you only struggle in parts of the game that are supposed to be hard. There's no artifiical difficulty from you wrestling with user experience or interface issues. You get time to learn, and adapt, and respond – making for a real tactical experience.

A lot of the ease of use here comes down to the Full Tactical Pause mechanic. This feature freezes the action in a snap, and allows you to read the situation, queue commands, and unleash devastating precision plays with no mess and no fuss. It means you can line up the actions of a company on the other side of the map whilst micro-managing something closer to home in the process – ideal when the theatre of war really starts heating up. .

And this isn't the kind of RTS that keeps you hemmed into just one map and one campaign. The North African operation is the main storyline here (focusing on the Tobruk and the El-Alamein battles, as well as others) but there's also an Italian dynamic campaign that the developer calls a 'sandbox style' experience, where you must oversee the overall war effort in the region as you hop from battle to battle.

Company of Heroes 3 is out now for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC – and it might just make a general out of you, if you’re a quicker learner than our pair of idiots (and that isn’t a big ask, really).

If you're after more Company of Heroes 3 stuff, why not check out our competitions to win either an Xbox Series X/S controller, or a PS5 controller – so you can take the battle to the Italian theatre in style.

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