Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines is an addictive, well-produced game. It is the kind of game that tricks you into playing it until the wee hours of the morning. By the time you finally stop, it is time to get out of bed.
Graphically, Commandos is great. Each level contains many intricate details. Trees, snow, rocks, flowing water and other organic scenery comprise most of the background. The decay and destruction of World War II also leave their marks on the terrain.
The game's overhead view and your team's ability to scan the landscape for Nazis force the characters presented in Commandos to be very small. This can make it difficult to spot your men, especially in areas with heavy foliage. Still, the good looks so good that it is hard to fault it for some tiny details.
The sound in Commandos is good. The rumble of tanks, the slice of a knife, the bang of a gun and the spring of the sapper's bear trap all meld to form a decent soundscape. The limited number of phrases that each commando utters can become repetitive and annoying.
I particularly disliked the French-accented Fins. Whenever I called on him to move, he sounded annoyed. There was a definite drop in his voice as he said, "Yes, sir." It bothered me so much that I eventually turned the sound off whenever a mission called for a lot of marine action.
I enjoy playing Commandos a lot. It is a tight game that misses few details. Commandos offers a great challenge, and it is the type of game that allows you to learn from your mistakes. Even if you cannot complete a level without losing one of your men, the effort usually shows you a new way to attack the mission.
Commandos is also the kind of game that teaches you to save your games periodically. I am the type of gamer who gets so enveloped into a game that I always forget to save my progress. Playing Commandos is like being hit in the head with a hammer with "SAVE" written on the handle. After losing several hours of play time because I forget to save my game, I quickly became aware of the CTRL+S function.
While I like Commandos a lot, there are a couple of features I simply do not like.
First, if one of your men dies, the mission is over. Now, I can understand this in some cases. If a mission depends on your team escaping on a boat and your marine gets killed so no one can row a boat, then maybe ending a mission is justified. Sometimes, however, a casualty does not necessarily prohibit the completion of a mission. This is war, after all, and people die in war.
Second, the intelligence exhibited by the Nazi soldiers is not consistent. Sometimes, soldiers will spot a Commando and chase him. Other times, he will chase and then give up. The same is true whenever an enemy solider spots a dead body. Sometimes, he will become agitated. Sometimes, he will not. This inconsistency makes it hard to predict what the enemy soldiers will do. This can be frustrating, especially if you are close to solving a mission and an enemy guard spots you in an area where he should not be able to see you.
Finally, there are certain tasks to complete in Commandos that are no adequately explained. In one mission, Spooky the spy is supposed to infiltrate a camp and shut down the power. I managed to use the spy to infiltrate the camp, but I had no idea how to shut down the power. I ended up killing most of the soldiers within the camp so Inferno could sneak in and steal the explosives he needed. This took much longer than simply shutting down the power to the electrified fence around the camp, so Inferno could cut it and sneak in.
Overall, Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines is a terrific game. Like every game, it has a few bugs, but if you like games that force you to think and act, you will love Commandos.
Graphics: The graphics are terrific, although the characters are very small.
Sound: Sound is good, but the team's repetitive phrases can be annoying.
Enjoyment: Commandos is addictive, brain-teasing fun. There is always a solution to the problems you encounter, you just have to figure it out.
Replay Value: This is the type of game you will have to play several times to get right. Plus, if you forget to save your progress, get ready to play a level again.
People who downloaded Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines have also downloaded:
Commandos 2: Men of Courage, Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty, Commandos 3: Destination Berlin, Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Commandos: Strike Force, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Age of Empires
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