Feral Interactive is pretty much the master of mobile strategy. Its ports of Rome: Total War and Tropico have gone down a storm, proving to all who plays them that PC doesn’t have to be the only home for strategy games. So it’s no surprise that Company of Heroes, its latest mobile port, also plays brilliantly on iPad. It looks great, runs butter smooth, and controls well.
We did have some issues ordering units around during busier scenes due to the fiddly nature of some of the controls. For example, during the first level gathering 25 individual soldiers to raid the bunker was an absolute chore, and we lost so many units performing an action that would have taken two clicks on PC.
But that’s as much a problem with the platform as it is Feral Interactive’s execution. The controls are pretty much touch emulations of mouse clicks. You tap on a squad to select it and tap where you want them to move. Tap and hold and you can perform special actions. Where it gets tricky is when you have to select a group of units at once, which requires a two finger double tap and drag to emulate clicking and dragging the mouse pointer.
Barring Some Minor Control Issues, Company of Heroes Plays Great on iPad
Feral has clearly considered the implications of its control scheme, and included a bunch of different options to make micromanagement much easier. You can organise your squads into different teams, for example, which groups them together with the tap of a button. This came in handy during pretty much every level we played.
Fortunately, there is an active pause button that mitigates pretty much all of the issues, as you can just pause the action and take your time. Feral has also very kindly included the option to line up moves in bulk, so you can simply stop play, order your units around, and then watch it all play out in real-time.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Company of Heroes on iPad. The presentation is solid, as you can expect from Feral’s work. The iPad breathes new life into older PC games, where you can forgive dated graphics in favour of the comfort of playing on a thin slate.
We Have No Complaints About the Performance, Which Was Butter Smooth
Having said that, we are impressed by the performance. We’d have forgiven Feral if there was sluggish performance at launch but it really runs without a hitch: even when the screen is absolutely flooded with soldiers and explosions. We encountered no slowdown or any other technical issues whatsoever.
Ultimately, we can whole-heartedly recommend Company of Heroes on iPad. While we did have slight issues with the controls, there’s nothing game breaking there by any stretch of the imagination. At worst, it’s a little bit fiddly during the busier scenes, though Feral does allow you to pause the action and distribute orders in bulk to minimise the frustration.
Everything else gets our praise: the presentation is lovely, it runs without a hitch, and if we’re being perfectly honest we’re just happy to see a strategy game of this ilk on iPad, which too often goes criminally overlooked in the world of mobile gaming.