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Reviewed: Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Pyro Studios
Genre Type: Real Time Strategy/Role Playing/Puzzle
Price: $29.95
Required System: P166, 32mb Ram, 2mb Videocard, 225mb HD, Win95+
Reviewer's System: PII300, 64mb Ram, TNT, Win98
Related Games: Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines
ESRB Rating: Teen - Animated Violence, Animated Blood, Mild Language
Overall Rating:
Author: Chris Kim       Date: September 4th 1999
Page: 4


 
Final Breakdown

Gameplay:

The concept behind the game is extremely fun with lots of strategic planning and mission based puzzles which require a lot of thinking rather than just blasting the way through a level. However, the great gameplay is ruined by two major things, the interface and the difficulty of the game. Unlike most games, Commandos is a very unique in the way the game is approached, the player does not receive unlimited units or unlimited supplies. Rather, everything is based in strategy, on how to correctly use proper items. Without proper use of weapons and supplies, the mission will turn out to be massive failure. Given the six different commandos (and two others who appear for one mission a piece), with several different abilities, offer a lot of variety among the gameplay. However, all the commandos have some extremely silly restrictions on them, only the Driver can drive cars, only the sniper has a long distance weapon which is quiet. These restrictions can really be annoying at times, sometimes can even be head pounding annoying. Even with these silly restrictions, the game still has a lot of strategy to it which can be a ton of fun, however, only the most patient of gamers should mess with it because of how different it is from the regular strategy, gun blazing games.

Graphics:

The graphics are very pleasing and graphically nice looking. All the textures are very nicely aligned, the graphics are extremely clean and quite realistic looking. With support from 640x480 upto 1024x768, the game almost delivers photo realistic graphics. Because the game runs in software mode, things do get a bit pixelated when the zoom feature is used a lot, however, the zoom won't be used a lot. At 1024x768 resolution, the slower processors (like the test machine), the game can slow down a lot. The environments look very well done and excellently laid out and drawn, the models of the buildings, cages, explosions, and other surrounding features look great. The player models look cool, they could be a bit more detailed, though. The animations of the players are not that impressive, however. A lot of them are quite choppy, unsmooth, and clumsy looking.

Sound and Music:

Impressive musical in the background really helps the game maintain a tense feel. The upbeat classic military music in the game during the menu sounds really cool. A lot of the sound effects are typical sounds that would be come to expect from other videogames, so it's nothing special. The speech of the units are cool though, with acknowledgements of actions and being attacked are really cool. But some of the commandos do cuss, so it might not be appropriate for younger players.

Multiplayer:

Multiplayer is nothing special, playing is available through MPlayer, but there is just cooperative play on the various missions with the ability to control any of the commandos available on the mission.

AI Intelligence and Difficulty:

The AI can be smart, but it can also be stupid at times. The game tries to maintain a realistic real life physics. Enemy soldiers will be alerted by sounds, sights, dead bodies, or bait (cigarettes, EVIL :-) which will lure the enemy soldier over to that area. The alarm will be sounded if anything suspicious happens, like if a soldier sees another body of a dead solider, the alarm will sound, sight of the commandos will alert the alarm, and other events like that. But, some stupid things that sometimes do not grab the attention are those of footsteps, the player can easily run upto a soldier behind them and kill them with a knife without ever alerting any other surrounding soldiers. The blood stains of the player also don't alert soldiers... As before, the difficulty of the game is way to hard for anyone's good, even the veteran players of the original Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines will have a tough time with this game.

Controls and Interface:

Control of the commandos is extremely clutsy and hard to execute. Controlling commandos are done by simply using the mouse, weapons and other items in the knapsack can be used by either clicking the extremely cluttered item in the right (or left depending on customization) interface or use the hotkeys. Even with hotkeys, which can't be customized, switching between weapons and items are extremely clumsy and difficult to control. Movement of the commandos is also very clumsy because the pathfinding of the commandos are absolutely appalling. The player could click somewhere, and if the commando is not supervised while controlling them, the commando could end up dead without ever having the player know because the commando ran right into the line of fire of enemy soldiers.

Overall:

Could have been such a good game, but because of many niggling bugs, control malfunctions, and extreme difficulty, this game will not be remembered as one that will take the new genre anywhere.

Pluses (+)
  • Historically Inspired
  • Pretty Graphics
  • Cool Sound and Music
  • Minuses (-)
  • Just Too Hard
  • Clumsy AI
  • Horrible Interface and Controls
  • Bland Multiplayer
  • Some Chunky Animations
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    Added:  Saturday, September 04, 1999
    Reviewer:  Chris Kim
    Score:
    Page: 4/4

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