Sunday, April 17, 2022

Commandos 2: Men of Courage (PC) Review

I finished this game on Monday, August 13, 2007, 1:21:00 AM. This review was first published on GameSpot on September 13, 2009.

>World War II was not just about charging head on into enemy territory in Normandy. There is an entirely different facet to war - to infiltrate behind enemy lines and wreck enemy operations from within.

Commandos 2, like its predecessor, follows the exploits of a group of British Commandos who penetrate enemy operations and cause major destruction.

This visually stunning sequel retains the core gameplay of the original and builds off of the features from Beyond the Call of Duty expansion and adds plenty of great new ideas. For the first time in the series, the player gets a little more control on how the mission is accomplished. Stealth is not a strict priority; you get to steal weapons, health packs, and other items from dead/stunned soldiers. Resources are not as scarce, which seems more realistic, and provides a lot of interesting ways to completing tasks.

Missions in the game are impressive. The objectives are varied and plenty. The game takes place in Europe, South Pacific and Asia. The art style in the game is beautiful, with a lot of attention to detail, be it the Arctic snow desert or the swamps of Burma. Level design is almost flawless throughout the game and completing a level gives a great sense of accomplishment.

In comparison, there are 10 main missions in the game – small in number, but the levels are huge and it takes a lot of planning to finish them. The game does not get progressively harder, but the final level is truly epic.

All the characters in the previous games make a comeback here with a few new ones: Natasha, Paul Toledo (thief), and Whiskey (dog). Having an animal in the midst of things provides an interesting gameplay addition to completing missions. It was slightly disappointing that Natasha is not used as much as throughout the game. It would have been a lot of fun to have two spies in the same mission.

The key to finishing a mission lies in staying hidden while secretly eliminating guards that bar your passage. It is sometimes possible to shoot your way out, but not all the time. Enemy guards’ line of sight is represented by a colored cone. It is now possible to eliminate guards quietly in a lot of different ways. Green Beret does not have to do all the work. Green Beret's still adept at knifing them up close, while the marine has perfected throwing his blade, making him perhaps the most lethal of his comrades.

Most characters can now punch guards unconscious; they will come to their senses later, however it is possible to tie them, taking a more humane approach to get the job done.

Another addition to gameplay is the ability to change uniforms. All characters can now change into an enemy uniform, but they will be recognized up close. Only the spy can travel freely within the enemies.

Commandos 2 on normal difficulty is more forgiving then the previous games. There is less frustration to be had here, and more room for improvisation. The learning curve is high for newcomers. It is easier than the previous game, so a little bit of effort and thought into the game will make it a enjoyable experience.

We rarely see sequels being better than original – this is one such instance. Commandos 2 is a brilliant game, which tactical strategy fans will love.

The only downside that I can think of is the high learning curve. Commandos 2 is not as difficult as the previous games, but there is a lot to learn here. Tactics used in the previous games are transferable, so a novice might find it hard to complete levels as easily.

Experienced players are going to love this game, but new comers need a little more patience to appreciate it.

+ Fantastic visuals
+ Level of detail
+ Locations
+ Level design
+ More abilities to Commandos

- High learning curve

Verdict – Must play

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