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Commandos Strike Force Review
game: Commandos Strike Force
two star
posted by: Sean Hilliard
publisher: Eidos Interactive
developer: Pyro Studios
ESRB rating: T (Teen)
date posted: 11:50 PM Thu May 18th, 2006
last revision: 11:49 PM Thu May 18th, 2006

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Click to read.Does the Xbox - or any system - really need another World War II-themed first-person shooter? If anyone thinks they do, then at least game developers are listening. To them, at least. The rest of us are banging our heads against the wall (if playing them) or shaking our heads in dismay (if seeing or reading about them) at game developers\' sheer audacity. How often do we as gamers see a WWII-based game of any genre fall flat on its face?

So when Commandos Strike Force was introduced as an FPS, I shuddered. However, it does get one thing right - start off with an interesting idea. Unfortunately, that\'s the only thing it gets right. The Commandos series has been around since the late 1990s, and its blend of an isometric, top-down view and real-time strategy tactical action made it into a chess-like series of games. And if I must have chess to play, I better be able to shoot somebody. Commandos got it right.
The series always put three American soldier characters deep in WWII-enemy territory with the goal of throwing as many monkey wrenches into the German military machine as possible. Usually this involved blowing stuff up and offing soldiers by the truckload - two of my favorite things to do virtually.

Unfortunately, Commandos Strike Force takes this basic idea and only lets you off soldiers - but mostly by stealth. Yeah, the three American soldiers are there, but all you do is sneak or shoot your way through different linear paths. You may get to control two of the soldiers during the mission, but the game encourages you to pick which soldier you want to play and you can basically plow your way through with him.

Worst of all, the stealth system is garbage. I found myself getting instantly detected no matter where I hid - in the first mission! Then, more often than not, I\'d wait to get killed and find that it would take the stupid soldiers five minutes to get the job done. Now, having grown up on Metal Gear, I figured it would be better to sneak my way through each mission, but I changed my mind after this proved nearly impossible to do and pointless on top of that. Why sneak through a mission armed with throwing knives and your wits, when you can bust out a silenced pistol and blast everyone while they\'re trying to aim at you?

However, some missions force you to go all Solid Snake on them. These missions basically turn into a trial-and-error nightmare. Fortunately, you can save anywhere, so it\'s basically reload and then retry. Over and over and over. But at least the characters are pretty cool.
You have a spy, a green beret and a sniper. The sniper is the before-mentioned throwing knife expert and is good at swimming, too. The green beret is the close combat tank who gets all of the cool guns, and the spy is the leader of the group and dresses up like a German commander and takes the extra dangerous route - offing officers.

The graphics aren\'t anything worth writing home about, either. They\'re actually pretty grainy/terrible. I found myself having to squint at the screen when indoors in the game to figure out where exactly I was going when there weren\'t any enemies on the screen. It all got pretty bland no matter where you were. The outdoors aren\'t exactly pretty, per se, but at least you can make out what you\'re seeing.

In the end, Commandos Strike Force feels like it was a rush job that was just meant to rake in as much money as possible by attempting to fool fans of the Brothers In Arms and Call of Duty games. This is one of the reasons that I read game reviews before I buy games that sound more interesting than they really are. Because then you can avoid falling for games like this. It\'s the difference between buying Psychonauts and Psychotoxic - one\'s worth the purchase and the other\'s worth the trashbin. Just because it has \"toxic\" in its name, doesn\'t mean it\'s worth the purchase. And just because it has \"Commandos\" in its name, doesn\'t mean you\'re going to be getting a current- or next-gen version of the Commandos series.

Stay as far away from Commandos Strike Force as possible.

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