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Commandos: Strike Force Preview for Xbox
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Commandos: Strike Force 

Preview for Xbox

- William Usher, " Cyguration ", Senior Staff Writer
Friday, March 24, 2006 

Review Preview

Commandos: Strike Force

First Person Shooter
Eidos Interactive
Pyro Studios
Teen (T)

Commandos: Strike Force Screenshot Gallery

Commandos: Strike Force Screenshot Gallery

Commandos: Strike Force Screenshot Gallery

The Commandos franchise has come a long way since 1998. They brought a different kind of element to the strategy genre that had very similar features to the original Metal Gear Solid. Enemy forces had a line of sight that players had to avoid, otherwise if spotted the enemy would alert nearby troops. The game’s strong points relied on the option to switch between different soldiers who had different skills and abilities. Using each designated soldier to complete a specific task gave the game its core sense of strategy. This is something that’s holding true, even now, for Commandos: Strike Force. Even with the view going from the classic 3/4 isometric to the all-action first-person mode, there’s still a means of strategy and stealth involved.

Class of war

Throughout the mission campaign, players will sometimes be given up to two of the three classes to control. The given classes are the Green Beret, the Sniper, and the Spy. Each class will be designated to the player for the specific mission and it will be up to the player to decide how they will use them. Like in previous iterations of the Commandos franchise, the mission is not entirely linear and can be completed in a number of ways.

However, no matter what class you pick, stealth is still an essential prospect for victory. This has been complimented with a third-person camera angle of the action when you successfully take out a foe from behind. Of course, some stealth-related aspects of the mission will be more favorable to the Spy, Colonel George Brown. For instance, the Spy gets some pretty neat features besides being an infiltrator. If you’re new to this series but played a game like Hitman, then you’ll be right at home with using the Spy. Using an enemy’s uniform is one of the benefits a Spy can benefit from, along with his soundless piano wire, and silenced pistol.

The Sniper however, Lieutenant William Hawkins, can find a good position at a distance and avoid having to sneak past a patrol. Instead, the Sniper can conveniently pick off each of the guardsman without having to get close. Another bonus for the Sniper is the ability to dive underwater to avoid confrontations. The Green Beret, Captain Frank O’Brian, is the mean streak of the group, and is convenient for running and gunning, along with being able to dual-wield some weapons.

Speaking of weapons, there will be a variety of pistols, machine guns, and stationary artillery. Each category of weapon comes in several different variations each, of course, with their respective strengths and weaknesses from the German, American, and Russian armory. Some weapons are also especially needed to take out tanks and large patrols. Also making the list of useable weapons are camouflaged-covered sniper rifles, gas grenades, smoke grenades, sticky bombs, panzerfaust rockets, mines, shotguns, and sub-machine guns.

Ease and Difficulties

Being a weekend warrior could mean one of two things: 1) You’re a Game-Master who has unparagoned skills. 2) You’re stuck in the rut with a lot of other gamers, where the game isn’t long enough to last into the weekday. Commandos was not a weekend warrior's game. It took almost the entire weekend just to get past two or three levels. So one has to question, what sort of effect will a first-person, sand-boxed environment, in real-time, have on a game like Commandos? Pyro Studios has assured that the difficulty will stay in place, although for beginners there will be a choice to set it on easy. Of course, if you’re feeling like the week-long warrior, there’s the hard setting.

The way the game is designed, the difficulty affects some nifty aspects of the overall gameplay. For instance, the enemy AI is designed to thwart your every move. They remember, look for inconsistencies, and spot anything that looks out of place or peculiar. The AI is still similar to prior Commandos games, only better. Since the environments are designed with freedom in mind, players can carefully choose which attack plans they want to go with. Timing and stealth are effective partners to have when combating a smart AI. Therefore, strategy and planning are still a big part of this game, despite being a real-time action game.

Raids, bombs and on-line play

Along with the multiple ways of playing and completing missions; playing three different characters, and facing off against some intense foes; you’ll also be taking part in some intricate and delicate missions. Missions that expose just how gritty and daring soldiers had to be during World War II. Sabotages, rescue missions and raids are just a few of the exploits found in Commandos: Strike Force. In addition to all this, you can play with up to 8 of your friends on-line either across Live, or the PS2, and 16 of your buddies on PC. One notable mode, aside from deathmatch and team deathmatch in Commandos SF, is Sabotage. It's a bit like Splinter Cell's multiplayer mode with retrieving the data disk. Only, in this mode opposite teams must try to find and capture an NPC and interrogate them for information before the other team.

You can look for Commandos Strike Force to hit shelves April 4, 2006.

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