Commandos was once an elite unit who made their debut on computers until they arrived on PS2. They have been missing since their luke warm 3rd outing but titles like Shadow Tactics and Desperados 3 has brought their finest moment out of annals of history and onto consoles for one more hurrah.
Commandos 2 HD as the title implies is a high definition remastering of the original title from 2001. The original being one of the finest examples of a squad based Stealth/RTS fusion which is still fondly remembered today.
Commandos puts you in control of a crack team of specialist who all have different abilities allowing you to pull of the grandest of military based heists. While you have guns and will on occasion use them, stealth is the key to survival and mission success here.
The game has over 10 missions which will no doubt cause first time players to spend easily over an hour on each mission while they figure out the parts to each intricate puzzle. Being each of your units has a certain set of skills be it swimming, climbing poles, explosives and various others its down to trial and error to figure out the cleanest way of finishing the mission.
The beauty of the levels within Commandos 2 has always been how intricate they are and just how downright atmospheric they are, fortunately the Remaster does them justice. This is about where the remastering ends, while the graphics have been tided up they still don’t quite match the levels set by other more modern games in the genre and as such look like a shiny 2001 game which is very much what is presented here.
The controls in Commandos 2 Remastered are wild to put it lightly, at no point did I feel I truly had a handle on them, while I understand this is a port of a game best played on computers games like Shadow Tactics have proven that it is more than possible to translate them to pad. I would often find myself repeating the same actions over and over again trying to get into the right position while fighting with the camera controls which require holding the R Button down and use of the D-Pad.
Another issue with this port was how poorly it would run, several instances of slow down, juddering and long load times seem to plague this port and really give it the feel of not quite being in the oven long enough. With it just being a small graphical tidy up you would expect a game from 2001 to run flawlessly even on the Switch and unfortunately this isn’t the case.
Commandos 2 Remastered is still a brilliantly fun, atmospheric and challenging game, unfortunately its married with performance issues, complicated controls and a rather high asking price considering it was bundled with Praetorians HD on other consoles. The only major upside to this version is its perfect for pick up and play but its really down to you if you can justify the downs for the ups. I do recommend the game for strategy fans just don’t expect the smoothest ride.
A great game hidden in strange control choices and lack of extras in terms of Remaster polish
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