Relic has added Stalin's Order No. 227 - Not a Step Back - to Company of Heroes 2. To those unfamiliar with the order, it means no commander had the right to retreat without an order lest they be gunned down by their own soldiers.
During a demo of the game at E3 attended by Kotaku, a scene was shown on the Eastern Front where the player's Russian soldiers were pinned down under heavy fire by German soldiers.
Being outgunned, an order for retreat was called, and a second line of Russian soldiers called for the men to stand strong. When some did not, a cut scene showing the men running from battle being cut-down by their own comrades.
Stalin's order allowed men in his ranks to shoot "cowards" and panicked troops fleeing at the rear.
While this does indeed sound a bit brutal, it based on historical fact, which is something Relic has prided itself on with the Company of Heroes franchise.
Other gameplay additions showed during the demo were a new line-of-sight feature, a flexible camera, and being able to vault over cover.
Company of Heroes is expected on PC in 2013.