VERDICT: A piece of crap written by nincompoops who never played an online game ever.
I know, I know — the COH Strategy Guide by Bradygames came out long ago, right around the time COH was released, in September of 2006. That doesn’t change the fact that this “guide” is a mindblowing travesty, a 100-page volume of complete and utter nonsense that has nothing to do with playing this game. It’s so bad, so unbelievably wrong, incorrect, not close to being correct, and just plain terrible that it’s actually funny. And I’m serious on that point — I’ve included some word-for-word excerpts below.
The emotions I found myself feeling upon reading this guide began with shocked incredulity and ended with rage. That’s right, rage — rage that some fool named Brian Shotton (the author) was actually paid by Bradygames, paid money that would’ve been a thousand times better spent on disaster relief, food charities, or inexpensive hookers. Certainly, Mr. Shotton did not deserve any money for his “strategies.” Indeed, the misstatements and outright errors he makes in the guide grow in size and wrongness with every page turned, so that by the end, each of his mistakes have become shooting offenses. Mr. Shotton should be shot. His body ought to be bullet-riddled by the time you reach the final page, where Shotton’s blighted name appears under the word “credits,” which appears to make no sense given the value of the guide.
I pray none of my fellow Romans have lost any money on this book (it cost $19.99 at the time of release; I was foolish enough to buy it without first skimming it, though mercifully I paid $14.99).
Still — I will proceed with a review of this guide, and I will include some hilarious highlights of Mr. Shotton’s writing. Take for example, this gem: “The Wolverine is a powerful anti-tank weapon, but its open turret makes it particularly susceptible to many enemy attacks such as flamethrowers, small arms fire, grenades, and even mortar attacks.”
No wonder that level 1 player sent Flame Pioneers after my M10… But trust me, it gets BETTER. And by better I mean singularly retarded and wrong.
It would be hard to find any factors that can redeem the book, though I suppose it’s worth mentioning that much of the art and concept art that fill the pages are nice-looking. Unfortunately they’re all black-and-white.
The guide also provides incredibly random statistics on weapons like the G43 sniper rifle (carried by Wehrmacht snipers, though it’s the same weapon packed by Panzer Grenadiers in Opposing Fronts). Did you know, dear reader, that the G43 was a copy of the Soviet SVT 40 sniper rifle? Or that this weapon fires 7.92mm rounds, with a muzzle velocity of 775 meters per second and an effective range of 350 meters?
Will knowing this make you a better COH player? Would being able to quote these numbers risk making you sound like a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association? You will find these questions plaguing your mind, assuming you choose, like most of us, to think about why historical statistics on the G43 sniper rifle are taking up space in a COH strategy guide.
Anyhow, placing random statistics in the guide is a minor issue compared to the immense number of outrageous statements made.
“In Company of Heroes grenades are best used to disrupt and confuse enemy groups long enough for your troops to storm the location.”
– You mean like flashbangs, right? Wow. How come when I throw a grenade there are dead mans at the other end and no confused mans? Are confused mans supposed to look like retreating mans, except with question marks over their heads instead of exclamation points?
“Sticky Bombs are very powerful and can take out a tank with one or two hits!”
– Just like in Saving Private Ryan, when those guys take the treads of a Tiger with two Stickies, right? Oh wait, Tom Hanks also sprays the vision slit with a Thompson and two dudes drop grenades down the hatch.
(Advice on how to play 1v1s on Angoville) “Due to the wide-open nature of the map, it behooves you to capture the areas with buildings and place Snipers inside the taller buildings…”
– Snipers shoot crazy fast the taller the building, right? I guess they also recite Biblical verse before popping some Kraut in the head.
And so forth. Please, don’t buy this book. And email Bradygames to tell them not to hire stupid morons who don’t know how to play the game, to write strategy guides.
Instead, how about asking Surprise, Sepha and Golradier or some other great players to write the strategy guide? I can edit it and drink wine, while Brian Shotton can write the crappy singleplayer walkthrough, which is the one thing this guide does competently.