Fans of Pyro Studios' niche-y tactical World War II series, Commandos, will be in for a shock if they pick up the next instalment in hope of finding more of the same, as publisher Eidos has this morning announced that Commandos Strike Force, due out in spring 2005 on PS2, Xbox and PC, will dispense with the isometric perspective and strategy-esque controls and plant gamers in a first-person shooter instead.
Pyro Studios is still handling development, despite the dramatic genre-switch, and judging by the description is aiming for a first-person perspective game that still requires the tactical mindset of the isometric originals, rather than simply going for a gung-ho Medal of Honour or Call of Duty approach to World War II.
You will control one of three members of the Strike Force unit, and each will have particular skills useful in completing the mission. The Green Beret is an expert in combat and heavy weaponry, the sniper snipes, and the spy gives you a stealth option. It's not clear whether you'll be able to switch between units on the fly as you could in the original games, but Eidos does say that the plan of attack for each mission is entirely down to you and how you choose to combine the Commandos' skills, which will hopefully calm down anybody bemoaning the loss of a classic franchise.
We're also told that missions will be set in France, Russia and Norway, that objectives include scuttling a Nazi ship, ambushes, freeing Resistance prisoners and kidnapping a general, and that some degree of online multiplayer is planned. And Pyro CEO Ignacio Perez is confident that the shift of focus is a good thing, although we can imagine it's going to prove difficult to stomach for some fans.
"By combining the tactical approach of the previous Commandos games with the intense action of a FPS, Commandos Strike Force will provide a more cerebral approach to the war game genre," Perez said. "Strike Force is our most ambitious project ever and we believe that this game will set a new benchmark for World War II videogames."
We'll let you know how it's getting on when we see it in action. In the meantime, here are the first screenshots of the game in action.