Wine Reviews
Company of Heroes on Linux with Wine! Print
Written by drewfs7270@gmail.com   
Wednesday, 11 June 2008 15:45

 

Introduction

”A real-time strategy (RTS) game set in World War II, Company of Heroes brings to life -- in full cinematic detail -- the greatest war mankind has ever known. Gamers will experience the journey of the brave men of Able Company in a deep single-player campaign that begins with the invasion of Normandy through their fight across Europe. Company of Heroes' completely destructable environment means no two battles ever play out in the same way. Advanced squad AI brings soldiers to life as they interact with the environment and execute advanced squad tactics to eliminate the opposition forces.” Source

Company of Heroes is the game that has forced me boot to XP from time to time, but now I don't need to! Thank you Wine developing team!



Specs and other things you should know!
Wine version: 1.0-rc4
Linux dist: Ubuntu 8.04 2.6.24-18-generic
CPU: Intel E6550 @ 2,333 Ghz
GFX card: Geforce 8800 GTS
Sound card: Logitech Z10 builtin (ALSA was used)
Memory: 2 gb RAM

I used a genuine European version (1.0 patched to 1.71) in this test. I used NVIDIA 169.12 driver. Compiz was not active while testing this game to avoid problems! Well, now onto how you should prepare Wine before playing Company Of Heroes!

Preparing
Compile Wine with this patch (http://bugs.winehq.org/attachment.cgi?id=13750) (thanks Karsten Elfenbein!). Without it, the game will run in less than 1 FPS!

Create a clean Wine prefix to avoid conflicts with other software etc.

Installing and patching
Original Company of Heroes
Insert the DVD in your disc drive, and start installing by typing ”wine Setup.exe” in a terminal. The progress bar will not be visible (as you can see in the pictures below!), but have patience and let the installation program take it's time.



Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
The OF expansion's installer won't work with Wine, so you just have to install the game in a Windows environment and copy the folder to your Wine folder. If you also have the original game, then you can play as all the four teams by just installing that, but you will lack OF campaign and voice data!

Patching
Company of Heroes have a huge amount of patches, and they sure are needed! Download them and install them by typing ”wine patchname.exe” in a terminal!



Settings
The game will require some special settings in regedit to work fine:

OffscreenRenderingMode
Set ”OffscreenRenderingMode” to ”fbo” to avoid many graphical glitches you will see with ”backbuffer” or ”pbuffer”. The game will still have som glitches, but they are smaller (incorrect rendered trees, barb wires and tank traps for example”.


When you run the game with backbuffer this is how it will look!

VideoMemorySize
Set ”VideoMemorySize” to the size of your Video memory's size (in mb!). Company Of Heroes really is a memory hungry game!

Other settings
And there are some other things you can edit in regedit, but the two above is the most important ones! (read here for more tips).

Playing

Start playing the game by either typing ”wine RelicCOH.exe” from the game's folder in a terminal, or by simply starting it from Wine's start menu!






Performance boosters

  • Turn of the Wine's debugger by typing ”WINEDEBUG=-all” before ”wine RelicCOH.exe”.

  • Compiz can be quite the performance killer.

  • Increase the priority of the game

Problems

  • All settings doesn't work. In XP I can select the highest settings on everything, but the game won't allow me to set some settings in-game (maybe those things can be edited with a text editor in the game's config file?)
  • Some graphical glitches even with OffscreenRenderingMode set to 'fbo'
  • Opposing Fronts installer doesn't work (as I said earlier)
  • The framerate is low compared to Windows, but the game loads faster!
  • The mouse cursor is not rendered correctly as you can see in the movie in the bottom of this how-to!
  • I haven't tested the game's online updater, but other people says it will crash.

You can help!
Register on Wine's AppDB and vote on Company Of Heroes if you want to see this game improve! The voting system is there for the developers to see what software Wine users wants to get working/work better with Wine. The Wine team does a great job but some things will need improvements for this game, and you can help by engaging in Wine by reporting bugs, help test the game with different systems etc. Since you get Wine for free then you should help it improve, even the smallest thing matters!

Video
And as usual, here is a gameplay video of me playing Company Of Heroes. Please read the description before posting messages like ”bad framerate” or ”bad quality”!

 
 


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