Strike Force is a different take on a known conflict: the Second World War.
This time, you'll get to control a quarter-dozen team, that is, three members of the original Commandos team: Tiny McHale, the green beret, hero-type soldier who handles heavy weapons and firefights with ease; Duke, the sniper, an expert marksman with a deadly rifle and even colder blood in hot situations and the good old Spy, who uses his poison tipped throwing knives to silence German troops, and disguises himself as the enemy to gain the upper hand in battle. Each character plays differently, and you’ll often need to manage the three in the course of the game. For example, the green beret, in the first level, will be in the middle of a firefight in a crop-field while the sniper will be providing covering fire and taking out the lights than are helping the Nazis. But before that even happens, the spy will need to infiltrate the farm and open the way so that the meeting between comrades can happen. While you’re manning one guy, the other will take care of himself, but if he gets hurt, you’ll need to heal him if there isn’t a medic close by.
As said, the game plays a lot like its RTS cousins, because of the character management and the objective-based gameplay. The sneaking parts and taking out guards and sentries feels a lot before. If you’re a born FPS player, you’ll have a kind of a tough time here, since it’s not often the case of guns blazing that will save your tail… but if you are a Commandos veteran like myself, you’ll feel just like you’re at home here.
Graphics-wise, the game looks pretty good, all effects that are expected to be seen in a game like this are present and you won’t be blown away by anything. Strangely enough, the game is a system-hog if you happen to play it on a computer. My PC runs FarCry fun details flawlessly, but it burped a lot while playing this game… in consoles, it runs fine and it just feels better playing through a TV set since the PC version feels a ‘floaty’. None of the characters look like the RTS counterparts, but that isn’t really a problem, since the past games varied the looks from game-to-game themselves.
The ‘floaty’ business brings me to the controls. In the PC, you’ll have your normal FPS controls, mouse and keyboard. In the consoles, you’ll be facing a standard scheme that uses the triggers to shoot (in Xbox’s case) to fire your gun, and the face buttons for functions. For guns, you’ll use the directional pad. As a different feature that was kind-of seen in Thief III is the sneak-cam. You’ll get to see your position from the enemy from third-person, but you won’t be able to move. As a side note, you can’t see the enemy’s “sight-cone” as in past games, but come on, it’s 3-D, you can see where the guard is looking just by, well, looking at him!
As for the music, I follows the same style as Commandos 3, with orchestrated tunes and tension inducing pieces. The voice-work is done just as the past game, including the same narrator and some of the character voice actors. Each has its own accent and style.
The visual style of the menus take a cue from Commandos 3, as well, with an old movie grain filter on and the same fonts and selection sounds. It looks a little similar to the slew of WWII shooters, but it has its personality.
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, the game features only three Commandos, leaving out great personalities such as Fins, the diver and the Sapper, who is my favorite character in the series… a lot could have been gained from bringing them up to this game. Maybe if a sequel is made later on.
The game might be avoided by most Commandos veterans who thing Pyro is crazy for changing the formula, but if they take the time to ‘take-out’ this feeling, you’ll be in for a good game that feels a lot tike the series’ already established style. But for the nostalgic public that can’t let go from past games, there’s always hope Pyro and Eidos will keep a spin-off the series and keep making the old style games… but it’s a ten-mile windy drop shoot from a .9 mm that’ll happen soon!
Thanks for reading!