Patrick Lopetrone, one of the lead environment artists on Company Of Heroes 3, authored the post on building destruction throughout the series.
“Company of Heroes 1 and 2, despite their age, were ahead of their time in regard to destruction. A lot of what we were able to accomplish with today’s video cards was simply impossible at the time of CoH1 and 2. However, many of the aspects of what you see today were in previous CoH games.”
While the first two Company Of Heroes games included destruction for their buildings, they didn’t benefit from real physics debris. Instead, they created a prepared debris effect that sometimes didn’t fit the destroyed building. In Company Of Heroes 3, the mesh of the building is split up to create real geometry pieces from the original structure.
“What makes our debris pieces look even more realistic is that they retain the same textures from the healthy mesh. But we didn’t stop there. Physics are applied which not only give things weight but a satisfying feeling of destruction.”
As is visible in the clips shared in the post, debris can interact with the building it comes from. This means that when a mortar shell hits a Company Of Heroes 3 building, debris will slide down the roof and all to the ground. The post also notes that this debris can kill unfortunate soldiers beneath it. “Once the building has taken as much damage as it can handle, you will be gifted with a wonderful building collapse and a husk-like building in its place.”