Commandos Strike Force Review
The Commandos series has its roots in a series of strategy games for the PC that provided play that was both unique and enjoyable. You were placed in command of a team of commandos, each with their own unique abilities and roles, and sent on missions behind enemy lines. Stealth and careful planning were key to surviving the mission and completing the objectives. A few years have passed and the commandos have returned in Commandos Strike Force, but in a slightly different form. The commandos each still have their own unique skills, although the team has been paired down to three, but this time out the game is a first-person shooter. Well, not entirely a shooter because the game still retains a heavy emphasis on stealth over run and gunning. It is a first-person experience, and a solo one at that even though the Commandos games have always emphasized teamwork. Hmm, this is sounding less and less like a Commandos game and more and more like another World War II console game…
|The sniper's eye view.|
The sniper is probably the most enjoyable of the three to play, but primarily for his knife skills. It can be fun to sneak up on an enemy and let loose a knife with the flick of your wrist to silently take out your foe. It doesn’t really matter where you aim your knife though; you can hit your target pretty much anywhere and he will drop to the ground. This detracts somewhat from the challenge and thus your sense of accomplishment, but not as much as does the enemy’s inconsistent AI. Sometimes every soldier within a mile radius will notice that a comrade has fallen and at other times a soldier will be completely oblivious to the fact that his close buddy has mysteriously disappeared. Even when they do get all riled up, if they fail to find you within a few minutes they’ll calm down and completely forget that they have an enemy in their midst. On many equations you’ll go tired of all the sneaking around for nothing and resort to blasting away at enemies with your sidearm. So much for your stealth character.
The sniper’s primary weapon is of course the sniper rifle, but in Strike Force this weapon is awkward to use. The field of view through the scope is too small to be of practical use for observation sweeps or trying to track a moving target. After you fire each round, the game switches to an animation of you emptying the chamber and loading the next round, which takes a long time and takes you out of the scope view. You’ll have to go through the process of sighting your target from scratch every time you fire a shot. This may be an accurate simulation of a WWII sniper rifle, but why bother adding a realistic sniper rifle to game that is far from a serious tactical sim? This is more than a minor nuisance because the game often puts you in a situation where you need to fend off multiple attackers with your sniper rifle.