Commandos 2 is one of those games that you will either love or hate, it is a full on strategy title that is both difficult to control and difficult to master. The PC version has been very popular, so it is no surprise to see that Commandos 3 is already on the way.
Take control of an elite group of gritty soldiers who must venture deep into enemy territory and utilize their unique and combined abilities to complete a series of mission-based objectives. Go covert into new environments based on actual WWII locations: the heart of the Third Reich, a Northern European submarine installation, a sea-based aircraft carrier, and the headquarters of the Japanese army. Faster action for the consoles: revised character controls and inventory system allow for faster and more fluid action.
Installation, Settings and Loading Speeds
Commandos 2 comes on the single DVD-ROM, it loads up quite fast considering how slow the port to the Playstation 2 was at loading up missions, so this is a good start for the game. There are various settings that you can change from control setups to sound and music volumes.
A lot of people were skeptical about how Commandos 2 would transfer over from the PC to the world of consoles (It has gone to the PS2 as well). While no one can doubt the popularity of the game on the PC, the port to the Xbox might not prove to be the same though if Eidos didn't manage to make playing the game with the Xbox controller work as well as using a mouse on the PC. But I'm pleased to say that they have done a pretty good job. While in no way can we say that the control system is perfect, it does, with practice, turn out to be as good as you can get on the Xbox controller for this type of game.
Commandos 2 comes with a very good tutorial mode, even if the voice over for it does manage to repeat himself far too often. The tutorial is even more important in Commandos 2 when you consider just how many button combinations are needed to play the game, as flicking between moving, icon changes, searching boxes, changing weapons, firing weapons etc is a must while playing Commandos 2.
If you have never played a Commandos game before, the game is quite an in-depth strategy title with some stealth-like-shoot-like game play thrown in for good measure. You play the game as a bunch of, yes you guessed it, Commandos. From drivers to thieves, all of which have special skills attributed to each of them. The Thief for instance is much better at breaking locks, breaking into safes and boxes, along with a few other things. While characters like the driver do just what his name states, along with being able to wear various disguises. You must choose who you want to do what in the game whilst playing, who suits a certain area best etc. It all works well.
Each level is well laid out with lots of things to do such as laying traps, burying enemy soldiers that you have taken out during your missions, moving allied troops around, starting invasions and much much more. All of the levels are full of detail from grasslands to boats and bases. The stealth side of Commandos 2 works really well too, taking out enemies from behind, sneaking past guards, ducking or laying down for cover and you can even wear disguises as long as you don't get too close to the enemy so that they can see your face.
Missions comprise of completing various objects such as getting to a radio, killing a certain enemy, bombing a certain place, there is actually a lot of variety in the game. The main problem I have with it though is the difficulty. I am the first to admit that I like my games to last me quite a while, but even in normal mode, if I hadn't played Commandos 2 for as long as I have done, it could have taken me months on end to complete it. The problem isn't so much that it is slightly too hard, it is sometimes frustratingly hard. Commandos 2 is an exercise in patients, you will probably find yourselves loading up your previous save games time after time before completing a mission just like I did.
Graphics & Sound
Commandos 2 does its best to live up to the graphical style and detail that the PC version has. It manages to hold up to the PC version quite well actually, but the problem is that some of the characters seem too small on the TV screen and thus are hard to see and control, while this isn't too much of a problem when on open land with a clear view, in undergrowth and jungle areas it becomes very difficult to see where you character, or enemy characters are. The camera can also sometimes be quite jerky which is a shame when 90% of the time it is very, very smooth. The backgrounds in the game are still just as excellent as the PC version though, and look great on the TV screen.
The sound is not too bad either, while the voice over early on in the games tutorial may bring on suicide attempts, the in-game characters are voiced well enough. The music is excellent with a great score by Mateo Pascual adding to the games war-time atmosphere.
Commandos 2 does its best to become a console title, but it doesn't quite turn out as well as the PC version, the control system can be hard to master, but with practice it can be - but will a console gamer who wants to pick up and play be willing to spend the time trying to get to grips with them? The game is hard, there is no doubt this is one of the most difficult games I have played anywhere on any console or PC, if you have the choice between the PC version or the Xbox version - then go for the PC version, it is a very good game, but it can be very testing on the Xbox.