Commandos was one of the best strategy games of all time, and one of the best WWII strategy games. Early on, Commandos was one of the few strategy games that pushed the genre forward. It was linear but allowed creativity and could be played cooperatively The game was just so well designed. The missions were varied, the pacing was great, and it was addictive. The series held up throughout its short lived life, but strayed off to the FPS genre and didn’t do so well. What’s happening with Commandos now? No one knows. After the disastrous Strike Force in 2006 no one heard hide nor hair of the game. If you have an appetite for a great WWII strategy series, this is it.
Release Date: 7/31/1998 — PC
GameRankings: PC: 80%
Behind Enemy Lines was praised for its tight gameplay, fun mission structure, and excellent map design. It had crisp sharp 2D graphics which was rare for strategy games back then. It was really overlooked and didn’t get a spotlight, but hardcore strategy fans ate it up like candy. The game was linear, but allowed room to let you do things your own way. The game was just well made and fast paced. It didn’t have the slog of some other strategy games like Civilization. A lot of fans say this was the best in the series, but later games were also solid.
Release Date: 3/31/1999 — PC
GameRankings: PC: 79%
The expansion for the first game was alright, but added new things that kind of broke what didn’t need to be fixed. It was also more difficult and was just too much like the first game. This is usually okay, but don’t change core mechanics that don’t need to be changed. The game was just not balanced as well with too many troops to really handle or deal with, and just various other things that fans didn’t like. It wasn’t terrible, but could have used improvement.
Release Date: 9/20/2001 — PC
GameRankings: PC: 84%
Men of Courage is considered the best one in the series by everyone. It was just bigger and better. It was in 3D and allowed a 360 degree view of the battlefield which was high-tech back then. The only problems were that it was too difficult and had some pretty bad bugs. Men of Courage was probably the most popular in the series and even went on to have a console port which was rare for RTS games. It seems Pyro hit the sweet spot with fans, what more could they do?
Release Date: 8/28/2002 — PS2, Xbox
GameRankings: Xbox: 74%
Commandos 2 was so popular on PC that a console port was greenlit. The biggest challenge was translating the PC controls to a controller. It was a challenge, and as decent as the controls were, just didn’t translate well. This was the biggest issue with the console version, also the resolution was lowered so the small men on screen were hard to see. The game had major camera issues, but these were only apparent to players of the PC version. Console players who never played the PC version would be none the wiser. It was a solid strategy game on consoles and one of the few good ones on PS2 and Xbox.
Release Date: 10/14/03 — PC
GameRankings: PC: 74%
Destination Berlin was the long awaited sequel to Commandos 2. With better graphics and more gameplay ideas fans were pumped. One underlying issue plagued Commandos 3 more than the other games, it was extremely difficult to the point that people gave up on it. It had excellent graphics, some of the best at the time, but more long running issues remained unchanged. There were some interface issues, bugs, and various AI problems. The game was fun online like before, but the game didn’t sell as well as Commandos 2 and no one heard of the series since and haven’t for 10 years. Strike Force came out three years later, but fans raged and refused to by the game leading to its ultimate demise.
Commandos is one of the best strategy games around and it seems Company of Heroes has picked up the torch. It offered excellent maps, missions, and extremely difficult challenges. The multiplayer was fun and the graphics and sound were good and it continued to please fans. The ultimate demise was due to poor sales in the end. It wasn’t profitable enough for Eidos and they eventually canned the series after the dreadful Strike Force FPS. If you really want an old school strategy game and some WWII mixed in this is the way to go.