Commandos 2: Men of Courage - Xbox

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Also for: PC, PS2, Dreamcast
Viewed: 2D Isometric, Scrolling Genre:
Combat Game: Infantry
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Pyro Soft. Co.: Pyro
Publishers: Eidos (GB)
Released: 13 Sept 2002 (GB)
Ratings: 11+
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


A long time coming, and shortly after the PC release, Eidos has launched Commandos 2 for Xbox. But just how much bigger and better than its predecessor is it?

Developed by those talented people down at Pyro, Commandos 2 once again plunges you into an intense war. From the deepest bunkers of Colditz castle to the bulkhead of an aircraft carrier, Commandos 2 boasts a revised gameplay strategy while simultaneously retaining the planning and investigation aspects that made the original so popular. Also, the pace of play has been boosted and now includes ambushes and shoot-outs. Although not produced in 3D, the pre-rendered backdrops seen in Commandos 2 are stunning, varied, and are of an extremely high level of detail.

Because of the limited resolution of most available TVs and Commandos 2's pre-rendered visuals, the Xbox version offers little over its PC counterpart. It does prevail, however, because of the very rounded, but easy-to-use control pad. It's all too easy to become overwhelmed by a keyboard filled with literally dozens of commands, whereas the Xbox controller is far less daunting, especially for RTS newcomers.

The most significant improvements in gameplay can be found in the characters themselves. Players are now able to carry and exchange objects and weapons, but the unique character abilities remain intact, enabling the player to make informed decisions on who does what in a mission. There is also a new selection of vehicles to choose from that include tanks and trucks, and new weapons, such as bazookas and flame-throwers.

Gameplay is, on occasion, frustrating, and there is a fine line between entertainment and irritation, but Commandos 2 rarely steps into the latter. The game is, for the most part, compelling, and can often leave its players reluctant to stop playing. And that's a conclusive and genuine sign of a great game.