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Feb. 14, 2002

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


Commandos 2: Men Of Courage

Pyro Studios



Medium (But Rising)

Step aside and let the true men of courage lead the way - ok, so maybe they weren't equal opportunity employers.

Pyro Studios and Eidos Interactive are gearing up to release the sequel to their award winning PC title, Commandos. Under the name of Commandos 2: Men of Courage, this upcoming sequel distributes the same thrilling action as the first, along with new tweaks and truly stunning visuals.

Commandos 2 could be categorized as part of the real time strategy genre. The game does however mix in several other gameplay types for good measure, such as action, adventure and even puzzle solving. Together as one genre, the Commandos series sets itself apart from the games around it.

Set in the World War II environment, the player must lead an elite team of nine commando soldiers throughout various mission-based objectives based in deep enemy territory. Team military forces include a Green Beret, sniper, demolitions expert, seductress, thief, and even yet, a barking dog. Each has been designed with specific missions in mind, as a squad they will need to exploit the smallest piece of strategy and teamwork offered.

Commandos 2 also features a sum of 10 missions spanning 9 diverse locations in both night and day weather effects. Assignments range from both indoors to outdoors, and take part in such areas as the Eiffel Tower (Paris, France for you geographically challenged), the Taiho aircraft carrier, the heart of the third Reich, a northern European submarine installation, the headquarters of the Japanese army and the renowned Colditz prison in Germany.

In the newest (Xbox) edition of Commandos 2, an extra degree of interaction with the environment is accorded. Cutting the words short means that players can now steal enemy uniforms and weapons, climb poles, swing from cables, swim, utilize vehicles, and climb in/out of buildings, ships, and planes. More options and communication just means a more enjoyable game.

New vehicles including tanks, jeeps, trucks and ships give the player more excitement to look forward to. The weapon stockpile now includes bazookas as well as flame-throwers. In order to help add to the realism of their title, Pyro has also added some pretty neat environmental obstacles such as fences, traps, water, trees and elephants (yes, the big fat cuddly ones).

The Xbox version of Commandos 2 takes advantage of a totally reworked control system. Lacking the mouse and keyboard combination, gamers will now be available to directly navigate their characters using some sort of new format, chances are that it will involve the Xbox controller. It is expected that gameplay will move much quicker thanks to this option, resulting in even more fast-paced action.

Controls have always been an issue with titles of this genre on consoles, but it looks like Pyro has the bases covered this time around. Utilizing the multiple controls and directional pads of the Xbox controller, gamers should be just about free to do what they would wish without various combinations of buttons. A new innovative camera control always players to simultaneously work with several gameplay windows in real time. Let's hope Pyro and Eidos can keep the controls simple and standard for even the newer console players.

Pyro CEO Ignacio Perez has already commented on Commandos 2's visual form. The studio and team is hoping to take full advantage of the advanced graphical aspects of Microsoft's Xbox console. Their goal is to create a game that looks just about as real as the life around us everyday. Thanks to a new 3d engine, players are able to rotate the environment at a full 360, zoom in/out on specific locations via the map, in addition to moving flawlessly in and out of building like structures, submarines and planes.

A multiplayer mode enables players to hit the sand banks with others in a fully cooperative setting. This feature was used in the PC version of Commandos 2, but Pyro has yet to confirm this option for the Xbox version of the game. Looking at the game's release date, an online ready game is just about out of the question, but like always, system link play is an option.

Commandos 2: Men of Courage (PC version) has scored exceptionally high marks from top media outlets around both the Internet and magazine businesses. Fans of the first Commandos title should really look into adding this upcoming title to their library. Expect Eidos and Pyro to ship their latest title sometime this spring for both the PS2 and Xbox consoles.

Matt Thomas
The elephant/bazooka combo is always a hit at parties.

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