Keep calm and carry Joy-Con.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaawright, maggot, listen up! Training day is over, now it’s time to get out there and make your mama proud! I know, that was an awful lot of “a”s, but, trust me, the game will use much harsher language than that. Besides, this isn’t a stroll along the Seine, this is a full-on WWII real time strategy game based on some real locations and battles. It’s time to save the world again; let’s see how well you fare.

The original Company of Heroes was released in 2006 for Windows and OS X, and it’s still considered one of the better real-time strategy (RTS) games. This new port for the Switch is a testament to the game’s staying power.

As you may already have anticipated, using the vast array of keyboard + mouse controls with the more limited inputs of the Nintendo Switch does pose a bit of a logistics challenge, but the game has some built-in ways to help you out; shortcuts and defaults for certain functions help to keep things running smoothly. If you are new to this title or to the more involved RTS games, all of the controls are actually necessary. This game is complex, and the player is on deck for the control and execution of just about everything that happens for your side.

I’ll give some props here to the developers for some good tutorial material. I suggest you use it because there is a lot going on and there are a lot of options. Knowing what you can do and how to do it quickly is key to winning battles. Once you are done with the tutorials, you can get on with a campaign or engage in a skirmish to get warmed up. The game is not unduly cruel to the player; it knows there is a lot to do, so there is an option to pause the game while you stack a set of commands for your troops to then execute as you watch the action unfold.

As with most games of this type, there are things you have to do right in order to gain resources, level up your men and equipment, and go beat bigger and badder enemies. For many games, this is just a way to pace your progress. In this game, there is some logic behind it. The soldiers who perform best are the ones with some actual experience. As your squad survives more encounters, they get better at doing their job. You also get access to some of the types of hardware and vehicles of the time.

Since this is a war game, there is some graphic content. There are the bits of red mist when you shoot an enemy, and there is plenty of foul language (including the f-bomb), so this is not for sensitive crowds.

When you go into a campaign, the maps don’t get overly sprawling with the size of the territory you need to defend/capture. The limited scope of the battle helps you to keep things under control and for the game to handle the myriad elements in play.

The visuals are pretty good—not photo-realistic, but quite detailed. The sounds are well done and not so repetitive or limited as to draw your attention away from the game. The only real compromise seems to be in some of the visuals, especially the cutscenes. There is a more angular/faceted appearance to some of the imagery (helmet rims which aren’t quite round, etc.), but this is because of the need to balance the graphics power of the Switch with the size and complexity of the game. It almost seems sad to say, but now that the Switch is five years old, the processor isn’t exactly front line hardware any more (not that it ever was). Don’t get me wrong, it still performs admirably (and this is an update of a game that’s pushing 20), but with some of the larger and more complex games, Switch owners can’t always have everything we imagine.

Even with minor limitations, this port is still robust and detailed. There is a lot to do, and the menus are easy to use. There are some menus where you have to push and hold a button then use a JoyCon to pick an option from a skill wheel. It may not be as easy as a keyboard, but it is not so finicky as to be a pain to use. Company of Heroes Collection offers a good port to the Switch, and has enough detail and gameplay (41 missions with the included expansion packs) to keep even the more experienced gamers and wartime strategists busy for a while.