Commandos 2 Men Of Courage
Commandos 2 Men Of Courage images
Review of Commandos 2 Men Of Courage
Many artists (Springsteen, Frankie, Edwin Starr) have put their unique touch into the song, but the question remains unanswered…
“WAR…! What is it good for…?
Actually, as it happens, it’s pretty good for PC and console games. You could almost compile an A to Z on titles that use war as their main theme, with many selecting to use the backdrop of WWII.
The intro to Commandos 2 highlights this link with actual black and white footage from a time when the mention of winning a war using Exocet and Cruise missiles would result in the men in white jackets coming to take you away. War was dirty and mainly fought on the ground… where charging in with all guns blazing gained little advantage and used up lots of body bags… a time when stealth was probably the only sure way to avoid immediate capture.
In Commandos 2 the player is put in charge of a small band of allies placed deep within enemy territory. Each has their own special ability. When used individually progress is extremely difficult, but when skills are intelligently combined they make an amazing fighting force. Your mission is to basically work out the correct permutation of who to use when… and with what… for each given scenario. Let’s meet your team.
The nine members could be placed in three categories. For the low-key approach Spies that can dress up as enemy officers and a Thief who can silently scale walls, enter through a window and crack the toughest locks prove themselves invaluable. Within the same group a sexy seductress and a yapping dog offer diversionary skills.
For a silent kill there is a Driver armed with trip wires, mantraps and smoke bombs, a Sniper who can climb poles for the perfect shot, while the Diver can remove any underwater threat and is quite handy with a set of throwing knives. Most operatives also have the ability to sneak up on an enemy, knock them out and then tie and gag them.
Finally, when firepower seems the only solution, the Marine and Green Beret provide a lethal combination when using hand arms, while the Sapper provides the big bang as the team’s demolition expert.
With such a crack squad it would be easy think that most tasks should prove simple to complete, but you cannot choose which commandos, or what particular equipment is brought into each scenario. For example, you may begin a mission with only a diver carrying little equipment. However, other members may be imprisoned within a level and will band together if freed, while weapons and items can be taken from any enemy who has been overpowered.
The overall number of missions seems quite small with only 10 initially offered. However each will take up to a couple of hours to complete, with an added bonus mission unveiled for outstanding achievements on every level.
New to the console version of Commandos 2 is an essential step-by-step tutorial (think Metal Gear Solid VR) explaining many of the possible actions that may be used within the game, such as dropping cigarettes as a distraction, the setting up of traps to snare enemies and explaining how to get the best out of a specific weapons. There are also two short training missions that drop you right in the middle of enemy territory and three difficulty settings.
Graphically the PS2 version looks very good although it lacks the finer detail of the original PC version from which this was ported. All moveable characters are fully 3D but look so tiny they are often difficult to spot. This occasionally causes gameplay problems as important items hidden in boxes and lockers can easily be missed. To counteract this there is a zoom in feature, but this is often wasted because the ability to see more of the terrain is lost. Even with this criticism you cannot help to be impressed with the immense detail of the playing environments capable of being viewed from four different angles.
Fitting for a war extravaganza the musical score is awesome as if taken directly from an action movie. The character acting is pretty good although each line of speech seems to feature a brief loading time, which soon becomes irritating.
Anyone remembering picking up Command & Conquer for the first time will know that some of these strategy games can take an awful amount of playing time before the control system begins to feel comfortable, let alone intuitive. Commandos 2 is no different. In fact I guarantee that you will balls up more missions due to the complex joypad configuration than accidentally taking a wrong turn into enemy hands. Thankfully there is no time limit on most missions therefore I urge you to stop and think before pressing those action buttons. Check to see if there is a keyhole option to peep through before opening that door. With loading times of well over a minute a little care will save a great deal of frustration.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Commandos 2 Men Of Courage' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Martin © Absolute PlayStation
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