Purchased as part of a bundle from Bundle Stars. I played the first two games in the series to death back when they came out.
Commandos stands tall among action strategy games. It was a simple formula: a set of men are dropped into a mission, each with a certain set of skills and using them in concert you dismantle the enemies defences and confound their long term goals.
While the games does lean heavily on the two most useful characters (Tiny and the Spy) the situations force you to think creatively and apart from a few small instances you are completely free to tackle the mission as you see fit.
It's almost bewildering that no game has successfully recaptured the formula since, even the successive games in the franchises have failed to really improve or even live up to this classic piece of strategy.
Each mission can take minutes or even several hours to complete on your first run through and while the Merit system on completion gives you a score (based on damage taken, damage done and speed of completion) you can be drawn back to try and complete the mission quicker and more cleverly there is ultimately no reward for doing so.. other than your own satisfaction.
The biggest issue is that the Steam version of the game installs poorly and in an almost unusable state. the game runs impossibly fast on modern PCs, the config file is missing the line to allow saving, multicore PCs will make the game unstable and widescreen monitors have black bands at the boarders. thankfully all these can be fixed and I've collated all the fixes I used on the Commandos wikia as noted below.
See the page on the 'Commandos Wikia' for 'Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines Fixes'.http://commandos.wikia.com/wiki/Fixing_Commandos
*A classic formula that stands up today for it's simplicity and functions.
*Missions can be tackled many ways.
*The settings have a historical context and introduced as such.
*Missions are diverse.
*Fast save/load system makes experimentation less frustrating than you'd think.
*Huge sense of triumph from executing a plan that takes out even a single awkward guard.
*Looks pretty good considering it's age.
*Terrible install from Steam that makes the game unplayable without some searching and tweaking.
*Merit is heavily determined by speed which I don't find fun.
*The leveling mechanic 'Merit' never had a function originally nor now.
*Vehicles are overpowered but also limited.
*A few missions have an element that only has one solution...
*Leading to some missions having to be restarted unless you keep lots of saves.
Recommended for: War, Action and isometric strategy fans.
9/10. Once the screen, stability and speed issues are fixed it's a huge blast.
Posted: November 26th, 2013