Company of Heroes 3 will take a page out of popular role-playing games like The Witcher for an evolving narrative based on player-determined choices.
In a new development blog published on the weekend, developer Relic Entertainment stated that the single-player campaign “will have a set beginning and end” but players will encounter different “narrative anchors” in-between. These anchors will serve as special story moments in Company of Heroes 3 and will vary depending on multiple factors such as decisions taken by players and their relationships with their commanders up to that point in the campaign.
For further clarification, narrative anchors will be special missions which players can take at different points of their campaign. They can, for example, help in forming new or breaking old alliances.
Company of Heroes 3 will still follow the course of history and feature a “historically authentic ending of the Italy campaign” but that will only be the outro. Before that will be multiple endings and hence, the narrative itself will be more or less defined by players to “reflect the dynamic nature of the game.”
The storytelling elements do appear to be inspired by notable role-playing games out there which will help boost immersion as well as add replay value for players to explore branching narratives missed out on the first playthrough.
Last month, lead narrative designer Báirbre Bent stated that a lot of work went into giving war a face. Partisan advisors from allying countries might not always agree on the same course of action, leaving it on players to choose and hence, make one of their sub-commanders express their dislike.
Company of Heroes 3 recently finished up on its first pre-alpha testing event, which incidentally saw players managing to mod the pre-alpha build to make Germany playable. The game itself is slated to release for PC somewhere in 2022.