Review by kloffolk

Reviewed: 10/26/01 | Updated: 10/26/01

A Real Gem That Deserves Your Time And Aggravation

It's been a long time since I've played a game which required you to really think. It's been an even longer time since I've played a game which required you to think but also got your adrenaline pumping. That's exactly the sort of game Commandos 2 is.

Graphics - 8: The graphics are by no means ''groundbreaking.'' That's not to say they're horrible either because they're far from it. The graphics suit the game fine. Everything is well textured and detailed and the coloring is tremendous. The animations are fluid (although some end rather abruptly) and funny to watch. The camera is rotatable 360 degrees (actually, they're 4 preset camera angles from the north, south, east and west) so you can always get a good view of what's around. You can zoom in and out easily to see things both near and far. A good job all around.

Sound - 8: Great sound effects are found throughout this game. Gunshots, alarms, and explosions are all crisp and well done. The voice acting is above average with only a few ''forced'' jobs and rough accents hurting it. The developers (Pyro) did an excellent job of recreating an authentic WWII atmosphere.

Gameplay - 10: This is where the game really shines. There is so much depth to this game that I can't even really explain it all. To be honest, Commandos 2 is a puzzle game at its core; find what pieces go where to make it all work. But it's not that simple. In fact, this game can get down right hard at times, frustrating you to the point of insanity. However, as with all puzzles you need patience, a high tolerance for aggravation, and the uncanny ability to use everything you're given correctly. At your disposal are 9 elite commandos, each with their own special skills, weapons, and personality. Each mission gives you certain commandos with which to complete it and trust me when I say, you're going to need each one to finish it successfully. The great part is, there are many different ways to successfully complete a mission. You receive points after each mission depending on how well you use your commandos, how you dispose of your enemies (killing gives less points than disabling), how many times you were discovered, etc. If you do well and get a high enough ranking, you can unlock bonus missions to test your skills even further. There's a lot more to the gameplay, but it would take me a long time to write about all of it so you'll just have to play and experience it yourself. But to sum it up, Commandos 2's gameplay is always challenging, always interesting, and an absolute blast!

Control - 8: Controlling your commandos is a breeze. The interface is fairly easy to use and the hotkeys make it even easier. Things can get a tad confusing when you pick up a lot of items (IE: grenades and knives are under the same hotkey, so you need to use the interface with your mouse to select exactly what you want to use) but it's nothing that a few clicks here and there don't fix.

Stability - 7: For the most part, Commandos 2 is a solid game. However, I (and from what I've read and heard, a lot of other people) have experienced ''desktop crashes'' in which you get booted from your game to your desktop. This can occur at the most inconvenient time (ie middle of a mission, during a cutscene, loadingsaving) and can be frustrating. A patch should fix the problem. Other than that, there's nothing to gripe about.

Fun FactorLongevity - 10: Like I said before, this game is very hard and frustrating. But personally, I'd take hard and frustrating over easy and boring anyday. Part of the fun is failing and then rethinking your plan. Since there are different ways to complete each mission, you have some incentive to play through again and try something different. Plus, it has a multiplayer option which also adds to its replay value. But to be honest, Commandos 2 is really meant to be a single player game. Multiplayer is just a nice little bonus.

Overall - 9: If you like a thinking man's game, then Commandos 2 is definitely for you. Even if you don't, you should really give this game a try because it is that good.

At $29.99, this game is a steal and absolutely more than worth it!!

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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