Theater of War also lets you play as the Germans. With the campaign being told from the Soviet perspective, there are no German missions. That can be a bit daunting in multiplayer since there is no real tutorial available for the tech tree or unit special abilities.
While Relic has recreated a historically accurate version of the Eastern Front, the story is the least compelling part of the game. It is rather heavy-handed, portraying atrocities the Red Army used--such as shooting its own soldiers retreating out of fear, or killing "allies"--as an "end justifying the means" for the Soviets to win the Eastern Front. It is poorly scripted and acted, making the cutscenes just morality-laced filler between the meaty scenarios.
Company of Heroes 2 is everything its predecessor was: an intense and enjoyable RTS that gives you the feeling of really being an armchair general. It is just unfortunate that after waiting so long for a sequel, it doesn't offer too much in the way of innovation. [
Yes, the action can get pretty intense