Commandos was created by Spanish-based developer Pyro Studios and published by Eidos Interactive in its heyday. A real-time tactics video game series loosely based on historical events during the World War II era.
Following the adventures of a fictional British Commandos unit, the game was known for its sabotage, stealth and guerilla combat gameplay.
The success of the original spawned multiple sequels and grossed $41 million at retail. Join us now as we count down to the best Commandos game.
5. Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines
|Release Date||24 June 1998|
Using small unit tactics, players take control of six Allied Commandos with missions across the European and African continents. Varying mission objectives include rescues and assassinations with each commando possessing unique abilities.
For instance, the Green Beret is adept at moving boxes with prodigious knife skills at his disposal and the Sniper is the only commando able to use a sniper rifle with the added ability to treat injuries. The emphasis is on stealth as any overt hostile activity will result in enemies being more alert and losing a single commando will result in mission failure.
With so much variety in playable character options, the game is quite linear in having very definite ways to be completed. This can prove quite frustrating when you’re trying to figure out what it is exactly the game wants you to do to progress.
The difficulty level is also quite high and it’s not really suited to everyone’s tastes. That being said, the difficulty level might make up for the overall duration of the game as there are only a few till completion.
Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines was well-received at launch and was even considered Spain’s greatest contribution to gaming.
4. Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty
|Release Date||7 April 1999|
Technically a standalone expansion pack, it included eight new missions and players were treated to higher resolutions with which to immerse themselves in.
New abilities and equipment were also added for all the commandos, such as the Spy now being able to steal uniforms and use them when needed. Enemies are still pretty much the standard from the original with Gestapo agents and wild animals making surprise appearances.
The game is still plagued by the same issues as the original. The linear gameplay won’t appeal to gamers used to having open worlds to explore and getting creative with ways in which to complete given missions.
It is also still incredibly hard and only hardcore fans of the genre will gain any satisfaction out of completing its grueling missions. Still, if you enjoyed the original, this one is definitely worth getting.
3. Commandos 2: Men of Courage
|Release Date||20 September 2001|
|Platforms||PC, PS2, Xbox, Mac OS X, PS4, Xbox One, Switch|
The only game in the franchise to be designed for the PS2 and Xbox consoles as well, Commandos 2: Men of Courage is still set in World War II.
In order to thwart the efforts of the Germans and the Japanese forces, players are now able to use enemy weapons and explore interior locations. The addition of three new commandos also adds to the level of gameplay depth.
The original six make a return, but with added abilities, the Sapper can now locate and disarm landmines, whereas the Diver now has access to a grappling hook to travel between various areas. The inclusion of the Seductress, a female commando, also adds a few interesting gameplay elements.
The game is still infuriatingly hard, even with the inclusion of the new training missions. Controls can be unwieldly, especially when you consider the limitations of a controller.
The linear gameplay can also become tedious with the graphics not doing much to alleviate the discomfort. It also doesn’t quite measure up to similar games in the genre, when compared to gameplay and presentation.
2. Commandos 3: Destination Berlin
|Developer||Pyro Studios, Zonic Limited|
|Release Date||14 October 2003|
|Platforms||PC, Mac OS X|
The third instalment in the franchise sets a precedent for being the first one to use a true 3D engine and the last to make use of the real-time tactics gameplay.
The original six commandos make a return; Green Beret, Sapper, Spy, Diver, Sniper and Thief. The controls have also undergone a slight change with many of the commands now allocated to the action bar at the bottom of the screen.
The new “cover mode” also allows for unique gameplay features and strategies. Campaign location are divided into Stalingrad, Normandy and Central Europe with a time limit attached to most missions.
While issuing commands to each character gives the player finer control, it does slow down the action a bit. Trial and error is still the name of the game and newbies are warned to steer clear considering the franchise’s infamous difficulty setting.
The camera can prove quite problematic in more confined spaces and the game is still criticized for its linear gameplay. Being the last in the tradition of the genre, Commandos 3: Destination Berlin is well worth the trip down memory lane.
1. Commandos: Strike Force
|Release Date||17 March 2006|
|Platforms||PC, PS2, Xbox|
The first in the franchise to adopt the first-person shooter view, Commandos: Strike Force still contains many of the elements fans have come to expect. Stealth is still an option in certain sections of the game, whereas brute force is encouraged in other sections.
Players are tossed into the fray of World War II with missions spanning across France, Norway, and the Soviet Union. The number of commandos has been reduced to three, with only the Green Beret, Sniper and Spy making it to this installment.
Their abilities and equipment have been upgraded to suit the new playstyle with fans of the genre now presented with a game that is easy enough to get into.
The developers also finally listened to the fans and made the difficulty setting more evenly balanced to allow for a challenging yet satisfying romp.
Purely on the issue of innovation, Commandos: Strike Force gets our nod for the best Commandos game in the franchise. Of course, fans would be disappointed with the departure from the previous style of gameplay and there were even complaints about the game being less difficult than the previous titles.
This goes to show that you can never satisfy everyone and one has to congratulate the developers for being brave enough to risk their series entering into a new genre.
Though sales were poor in general, Pyro Studios did receive an award for most units sold in their native country, Spain.