Commandos 2 - First Impression

The commandos are back in the sequel to the innovative action-packed game of stealth and strategy. Join them once again as they infiltrate northern Europe, Japan, and more.

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The original Commandos was surprisingly good and surprisingly hard to categorize. Ostensibly a real-time strategy game, Commandos also had elements of action and puzzle games. It put you in control of up to five different soldiers deep in German-owned territory during World War II, and forced you to act deliberately and choose your fights carefully against the staggering enemy odds. The key to victory was in monitoring the enemies' patrol routes and timing your actions to take advantage of your enemies' blind side. Since you could literally see the Germans' field of vision, represented onscreen with a sweeping colored cone, you could coordinate your commandos to sneak by or sneak in for the kill when your foes were looking the other way. If you were caught, an alarm would sound, and reinforcements would pour in - and your chances of winning the ensuing firefight were slim to none. Commandos was a lot of fun, but it was certainly difficult.

Commandos 2 will bring back the great gameplay features of the original, but it will also feature new indoor environments, more types of enemies, and new settings in northern Europe as well as Japan. Eidos claims the game will have a faster pacing than before without sacrificing its predecessor's tactical elements. Your enemies will exhibit more complex, less predictable behavior, but fortunately, your commandos will have new skills with which to contest against the new threat. Specifically, although the commandos will still be specialists - Tiny's still the strongest, and you won't find a better sniper than Duke - they'll be able to support one another's roles to some extent. They'll also be able to exchange equipment with each other.

Of course, you can expect some new faces to join the commandos' ranks. The unlikely additions to the team include a thief, a seductress, and even a dog. As in the first game, you'll once again be able to commandeer enemy vehicles including tanks, jeeps, and more. Also, as in the first game, the single-player missions will be playable over a network, with each player controlling one or more individual commandos. Commandos 2 will let you lay siege to an unassuming German aircraft carrier, devastate a Japanese headquarters, and more. The game's scheduled to ship later this year, but until then, be sure to check out the screen shots of some of the new settings, and look for our exclusive Q&A interview with the game's developers.

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