May 30, 2002
Commandos 2: Men of Courage - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
6/9/2002EidosPyro Studios1$99.95

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Is it the Titanic? Probably not.
At a time when most new games are using the latest 3D polygon pushing graphics engines its refreshing to see developers returning to more old-style graphics, such as the isometric viewpoint in this game, Commandos 2: Men of Courage. As a port of the hit PC game Commandos 2: Men of Courage will have you travelling from the deepest bunkers and artillery posts of the Third Reich or the dreaded Colditz castle prison, to the bulkhead of an aircraft carrier at sea in order to successfully complete a series of missions to turn the surpremacy during the war. Commandos 2 features some of the most realistic and detailed gaming environments ever seen. Players take command of an elite platoon, where you must utilise each of the soldiers unique abilities to complete missions deep in enemy territory.

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Check out the castle detail.
In case you haven't noticed yet Commandos 2 is a real-time strategy game set during World War II. The developers, Pyro Studios, have taken inspiration from many movies, such as Saving Private Ryan and The Guns of Navarone, and based missions upon them. During the game you will select from 9 different characters, 3 of which are new to this game including Whisker the dog. The different soldiers include sappers, Green Beret, drivers, thieves, or snipers among others. Commandos 2 also includes new character abilities as team members are able to carry and exchange objects and weapons and perform shared actions such as swimming or driving, but still retain their unique speciality abilities.

Commandos 2 has also had a speed increase over the original and now includes more ambushes and shoot-outs - but retains the hallmark planning and investigation elements. A variety of new vehicles and weapons, including jeeps, tanks, trucks, ships, bazookas and flame-throwers are also available as well as more standard weapons such as rifles and hand grenades.

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Sneaking up on the planes guards.
While the PC controls were based around the use of a mouse the Playstation 2 port of Commandos 2 relies on the Dual Shock controller. Any potential problems should be overcome with some cleaver mapping of the buttons. As a port Commandos 2 looks pretty much identical to the PC. The only other omission is the ability to have multiple windows open to track the movements of each soldier although it will be possible to use a split screen mode to keep an eye on two soldiers at once.

Pyro Studios have developed a completely new game engine enabling 4 camera views with playable interiors which adds a whole new dimension to the game. The dozens of missions available are all set in 10 different environments from Paris in France, to Denmark, Indo China, India, and Normandy. As you can see from the surrounding screenshots the detail is stunning, even though the game has been reduced from the PC's 1024 x 768 game resolution.

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Detail in the jungle is impressive.
While it's been in development for several years now and slipped several times from it's initial late 2001 release, Commandos 2: Men of Courage looks all the better for it. While most games have moved to 3D worlds Pyro Studios have remained in an isometric viewpoint giving the game a refreshing look compared to most other titles on the shelves. Hell, 5 years ago we used to live on these graphics and the worked well. Throw in some superb gameplay, realistic settings and a lengthy game and Commandos 2: Men of Courage becomes an extremely impressive looking title. Expect a release in late August.