Review: Commandos 2 – HD Remaster
I played Commandos 2 on PC almost 20 years ago and had fond memories of it, so when offered a review code to play the HD remaster on Nintendo Switch, I quickly put on my camouflage gear and got ready to dive back into the skirmishes of WWII.
The first thing to do was to try and memorise the control layout, which thankfully can be brought up at any time, and it took a while to commit everything to memory before it became (almost) intuitive.
Not knowing the controls too well also didn’t help during the training sequence where my characters often ended up flailing around like a 90’s rave club partygoer on acid, instead of a highly trained stealthy commando.
I of course died during this training sequence. A lot.
Dying frequently is something to get used to in Commandos 2 as it is certainly no easy ride. But hey, being a commando behind enemy lines in WWII wasn’t either, so there is some parity there.
The core gameplay consists of commanding a small squad of the titular commandos through 10 missions spanning 9 different environments in night and day, with realistic weather effects. Rather than relying on all out gunplay, these missions require stealth, forward planning, and making use of all your squad to the best of their individual abilities.
More often than not (actually, read that as always) you won’t complete a mission on your first attempt, and replaying to try different tactics and get the lay of the land are essential in your success.
As well as the terrain, enemy AI, and mission objectives, the sometimes clunky controls can scupper a mission at the most inopportune of moments. As does the occasional bug too…I got stuck a few times and couldn’t move, forcing a restart of the mission.
The voice acting is fine and the real world footage from WWII certainly sets the tone for the game, giving a feel of actually being there when each mission begins.
As a HD remaster the visuals are not much of an improvement over the original, but for nostalgias sake I enjoyed the look of it and it does look sharper, which helps when scouting ahead.
If you enjoy taxing your mind rather than your reflexes in a WWII game, then Commandos 2: HD Remaster will certainly do that, but your patience will also be taxed with some wonky controls and the occasional mission ending bug thrown at you like an enemy grenade.
Beware if playing in public, as this game can lead to involuntary sweary shouts.
Review by Dave.