Thursday, April 28, 2022

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines (PC) Review

I finished this game on Saturday, May 1, 2004, 7:30:00 AM. This review was first published on GameSpot on March 14, 2008.

Hitler has captured most of Europe, and has turned his attention towards Britain. As a last resort to foil the Nazi efforts, the Prime Minister authorized the deployment of a squad of elite soldiers, the Commandos.

Commandos is a unique strategy game, the first of its kind to gain recognition. Unlike most strategy games, the concept of gathering resources does not exist here, the resources given are very limited, and just enough to complete the mission, the focus is entirely on tactical gameplay.

The game involves controlling your Commandos in enemy territory to achieve the required goal. All missions require the use of stealth to a degree – some more than the others.

Perhaps the most deterring aspect is how unforgiving the game is at times. Caution is extremely important, and the progress is slow, often involving a number of attempts to complete the objective. Usually mistakes would mean the end of the game; reloading is the only option. This is definitely not a game for casual gamers.

Yet, the game is very rewarding. It is very satisfying to watch the mission progress according to the plan, and frequently there will be some fireworks at the end of the assignment – by destroying a dam, or blowing up a mansion and so on. Not all missions involve destruction; there are a few rescue missions to break the routine.

You have a total of 6 Commandos.

'Tiny' (The Green Beret) – The strongest of all the commandos; excellent at melee combat.

'Duke' (The Sniper) – Expert shooter, and uses the sniper rifle, with limited ammo of course.

'Fins' (The Marine) – can dive underwater in aquatic missions and carries an inflatable boat.

'Inferno' (The Sapper) – demolitions expert, can rig up explosives to cause widespread destruction.

'Tread' (The Driver) – expert at handling vehicles and provides transport for escape of other commandos.

'Spooky' (The Spy) – can infiltrate enemy camps using soldiers' uniforms and has the ability to distract other soldiers allowing the other commandos to carry their work unsighted.

Succeeding in a mission involves collectively using the abilities of the commandos assigned for a particular mission. Some missions are straightforward and others are quite difficult involving a lot of planning and patience.

The game will run on basic computer hardware. It uses 2D graphics to render the visuals. The background contains some detailed textures and the sprite animation is quite good. The audio is quite well done. Sound effects in the environment, vehicle noise and the voice acting are top quality.

In spite of the difficulty, the game is very innovative, and the focus is more on the gameplay than the visuals.

+ Excellent level design
+ Very rewarding experience
+ Low hardware requirements

- Difficult for beginners

Verdict - Excellent.

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