Developer: Pyro Studios
ETA: Summer 2003
Update (September 28, 2003)
long been a fan of the Commandos
series. Iím an absolute sucker for goal-oriented games. I can forgive
a game virtually any storyline, but I canít abide a game with no purpose.
Short snappy goals are often better than long drawn out ones, but as
long as the drive is there, Iím in for the duration. From Splinter
Cell through Tony Hawks,
I love knowing what has to be done, and then getting right on with it.
was strange, then, that I felt kind of let down by Commandos
2, which pretty much epitomizes that virtue. Maybe itĎs just that
to take something big and difficult and then increase the scale by an
order of magnitude is kind of a slap in the face, and takes some getting
used to. Itís hard to say that the game wasnít better than Commandos
but, for a game so much bigger, I certainly played it less.
one of the real treats of ECTS was getting to see a closed-doors
presentation of Commandos 3;
I was asking a few questions before a showing for overseas media, but my
timing was so good that I got a seat. I also got complimentary mints.
Who could ask for more?
to some of the criticisms leveled against the previous outing, Eidos are
pushing the improved gameplay at least as much as the technical
improvements of Commandos 3.
The presentation by Eidos strongly commented on the fact that there is
more guidance towards objectives in this game, as well as a comparative
ease of play. Whilst a part of me rebels at the idea that I need a game
to be dumbed down in order to get on with it, thereís no doubt that
theyíve hit the nail on the head with that one. Loading the first
mission of Commandos 2 was
like running into a brick wall.
time, things are going to be different; the game is not going to be
bigger than 2, for a start.
Eidos estimate around 25 hours of single player game, with missions
roughly 10 Ė 60 minutes in length Ė none of the leviathan
enterprises of Commandos 2,
then. With shorter missions, more direction and what, according to Eidos,
will be a more continuous storyline, it certainly looks like the game
will play to a wider audience (and hopefully not estrange the old one.)
There will be 3 campaigns in this version, with 12 missions in total.
You can choose to play the campaigns in any order, or switch between
them as the mood takes you.
the developers, have added several nifty features to the game, including
the ability to peer through keyholes, full 360 rotation of viewpoint for
the indoor sections (not before time), team based multiplayer and some
simple mission continuity Ė on certain missions, the number of enemies
you manage to take out will reduce the number of enemies on the
multiplayer sections of the game have great promise. There will be three
modes, with up to 12 players (6 on 6), although it doesnít look like
anybody gets to play as the Nazis. Weapons in these multiplayer missions
can be bought on a credit system, perhaps a little like Counter-Strike,
only from a ranged 3rd person perspective. There arenít a
world of multiplayer games out there like this one, so no matter how
good the implementation thereís no guarantee of online success, but
itís certainly worth keeping one eye open; it may carve a big niche.
The graphics are jaw-dropping in places, the cut scenes especially so; all rendered in real-time in the game engine, with planes flying overhead, beautiful shadow effects and detailed models. It has been a long time since an overhead strategy game really knocked me for six, so this is a pleasant surprise. Time will tell how versatile the engine is, but in the demonstration I saw there was little to disappoint Ė some of the lens flares were nasty, but thatís about it.
sound, from what I heard of it, was impressive, with appropriate bangs,
whumps, and rich explosions. The voiceovers are notably improved from
the previous two games, with consistent accents (for a change), and just
enough over-the-top gung-ho about them.
Just about every modern WWII game attempts a playable D-Day landing scene, and Commandos is an exception only in the quality of its execution. It looks about as stunning as any I have ever seen, as from overhead thereís so much going on with bullets striking the beach and particle effects going crazy. Itís nice to
see it all attempted from a fresh
perspective and, although Iím dubious about the entertainment value of
watching people get killed in their thousands, you can expect some truly
thrilling atmosphere in those levels.
so long as Pyro donít swing the pendulum too far back towards easy, Commandos
3 should provide everything that disgruntled fans of the series have
been hoping for, with a fresh new engine and Ė we hope Ė a fresh new
the time a game series hits its third installment, I begin asking the
question ďwhat new stuff could this game possibly offer?Ē
Even games that I thoroughly enjoy tend to start becoming
redundant after a couple of sequels.
So, hearing about Commandoes 3, the second sequel to a game I
found only mildly enjoyable in the first place, didnít exactly fill me
with giddy anticipation. Still,
the game has been a hit on both the PC and consoles and each of the
previous installments have been solid, highly polished strategy games.
So, even if it seems the series might have already served it
purpose, there are sure to be a number of hardcore fans of the series
and the genre who are really looking forward to the game.
Studios has been hard at work trying to make sure those fans and
possibly a whole batch of new ones like what the game has to offer.
3 is the third incarnation of the real-time strategy series that debuted
on the PC in 1998. This
game revolves around key events and locations of the last years of WWII.
Players will be able to take to ground, air, and sea in an effort
to take the battle to the evil forces of the Third Reich.
WWII campaigns: engage the enemy across Europe, from the Eastern front
of Stalingrad, to the Gestapo Headquarters in Berlin, to the D-Day
assault on Omaha Beach, each offering unique tactical situations
paths to victory: prepare
your commandos for a variety of strategies as enemy bombing raids lay
waste to environments, requiring you to change your tactics and approach
warfare: utilize ambush tactics, stealth, sabotage, and demolitions to
disrupt enemy advances.
combat: test your skills head-to-head with up to 8 other players via LAN
Improved accessibility: Commandos 3: Destination Berlin features more detailed, smaller maps providing more action-orientated missions that form part of an overall campaign. A strong narrative drives the story via cinematic briefing screens.
Screenshots and movies reveal a game that maintains the look and feel of the original while improving the overall quality of the graphics. Time will tell whether the graphical facelift and improved multi-player component will be enough to keep the game on the best-sellers list.
(June 8, 2003)