The TrueSight system in Company of Heroes 2 provides a more realistic representation of battle space awareness and a soldier’s perception on the battlefield.
by Patrick Feng
Developer Relic Entertainment, creator of the critically acclaimed real-time strategy (RTS) game Company of Heroes, released the second installment to the series Company of Heroes 2 in June 2013. Company of Heroes 2 takes players to the battlefields in the frozen wasteland of the Eastern Front between the units of the German Ostheer and the Soviet Red Army. The game introduced several new elements previously unseen in the established formula of RTS games, such as the ability for infantry units to vault over walls and fences when traversing the battlefield, and the influence of weather conditions on units and combat efficiency.
Another unique component introduced into the mechanics of Company of Heroes 2 is the so-called TrueSight system, a feature that modifies the traditional Line-of-Sight system to one that realistically emulates troop visibility in combat. In contrast to the overhead line-of-sight utilized by other RTS games, TrueSight attempts to represent a unit’s visibility range through the fog of war based on environmental conditions, terrain, and physical structures. Any terrain feature or object larger than a soldier will hinder the line of sight.
Battle Space Awareness
The TrueSight system emphasizes the importance of battle space awareness to tactical success on the modern battlefield. According to the Department of Defense, battle space awareness is the knowledge and understanding of the environment, factors, and conditions of the environment of an operational area, including the status of friendly and adversary forces; neutrals and noncombatants; weather and terrain; to enable timely, relevant, comprehensive, and accurate assessments in order to successfully apply combat power, project and protect the force, and complete the mission. This is an effective concept for both conventional and unconventional operations.
Battle space awareness is particularly valid in present-day battlefields such as Iraq and Afghanistan with the emergence and improvement of technologies that enhance a soldier’s situational awareness in the field. Technologies such as the Global Positioning System and drones of various sizes have greatly improved intelligence gathering and battlefield visualization for the boots on the ground in the 21st century military.
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A Modern Application of A Fundamental Military Concept
Although a relatively new term, the value and meaning of battle space awareness applies to all military forces in war, from Greco-Roman to modern-day formations. It is used as a valuable asset by joint component and force commanders to predict courses of action before employing troops into an area of operations. Through the use of intelligence, commanders are aware of recent, current, and potential near term events on the field.
In order to apply the doctrinal concept of battle space awareness to the gameplay of Company of Heroes 2, the game’s implementation of the TrueSight system provides a more realistic representation of a soldier’s perception on the battlefield. Consequently, players will find themselves having to pay more attention to the intricacies of the battlefield similar to a unit commander in an actual combat setting to assess and predict potential combat scenarios.