Commandos Strike Force Reader Review
Just finished this myself. As a WWII buff, who appreciates realism without being obsessed with it, I really quite enjoyed this title. As someone who enjoyed Commandos 1 & 2, I also enjoyed this, but not because it bares much resemblance to the previous games. Only some of quality German idol animations, and the silent kills reminded me of the previous games.
I can imagine two categories of people who will not like Strike Force : those who expect 'state of the art' graphics and those who play this game all "run & gun" like they would Call of Duty. The graphics are not brilliant by today's standards. Though good features are the ragdoll deaths, slow motion kills with sniper rifles, and some nice explosion effects. Some of the level design is also very creative and quite attractive - especially the ruins of Stalingrad. Because Commandos is one of the few WWII games made in Europe, the maps actually look and feel more European to me.
A lot of time has been put into the stealth dynamics of this game. If you run thru guns blazing - which you could mostly do - you'll get thru the whole game in just a few hours, especially if you just grab the primary objectives. Strike Force bears comparison to a blend of Call of Duty and Hitman 2 (or Hidden and Dangerous 2). The stealth and combat is meant to be a bit arcadey and accessible, rather than striving to be totally realistic.
I found the combat AI to be pretty good, as one would hope from Commandos. It gave me some really pleasant surprises - spotting (and firing) at me through dirty windows (which shatter nicely), and chasing me up and down stairs. The stealth AI is pretty good too. There are several different suspicion/alert states for German soldiers, though they calm down fairly quickly after seeing a buddy killed, which will please those with little patience (like me).
As Eurogamer review says, the best missions are creeping around as the spy, silencing guards & avoiding the Gestapo! ;-) The spy is more like an assassin than a spy, and has a fair chance of fighting his way out if his cover is blown. These do make for some of the best moments of the game. Although there are three Commandos in the game, I can't think of a mission where you can actually switch between controlling all three at the same time. In fact even controlling more than one in a level is probably less than 50% of the game.
It has to be noted that Strike Force is a very short game. By comparison I think Tomb Raider Legend even may be longer! There are not many missions, and only three settings : France (for me only one good mission and one very short one), a couple of longer missions in Norway and a few in Stalingrad. One should not be put off by the first couple of missions in France which had me considering a quick uninstall. There are some really creative and great missions after the first couple.
There is some multiplayer too, but I haven't given it a go yet.
Incidentally the demo for Strike Force showed both the dullest and most frustrating missions from the full game. I was successfully put off the game from the demo, but Eurogamer's good review convinced me to give it a go. I have not regretted it. I hope there will be another Commandos game in a similar vein. I agree with Eurogamer's score, but I give this an extra point as a WWII fan who can never get enough...
8 / 10