reviews\ Nov 1, 2003 at 7:00 pm

Commandos 3: Destination Berlin - PC - Review - PC - Review

The Commandos series has been thought of as the tactical strategy treasure always one step ahead of everyone else.  Pyro Studios, developer of all three, does it again in Commandos 3: Destination Berlin.  They have kept many aspects of the game intact which has made its predecessors famous, but have also given it more action oriented game play.


In the heat of World War II, the commandos must prepare for their deadliest mission yet.  The Third Reich has deeply entrenched itself in France and there seems to be nothing to stop the German war machine…except you.  Using a small special forces team, you will infiltrate hostile territories and suppress the Nazi power any means necessary.


Whether you’ve played C1 and C2 or not, Commandos 3 meets the demand for veterans and newcomers.  There are 3 main campaigns: Stalingrad, Central Europe and Normandy.  Each offers its own unique strategy and story and I really enjoyed the option of choosing the order in which to play them.  One of the first things that you’ll notice when playing is how difficult the game really is.  This varies between improved enemy AI and harder missions.  I had many failed attempts but I quickly learned from them.


The game play, outside of the additional action, is much the same as its predecessors.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because its much easier to pick up without having to use the tutorial before playing.  There are 6 characters that you will be able to control in each of the 12 missions:  the Diver, the Sniper, The Allied Spy, the Green Beret, the Demolitions Expert, and the Thief.  Not to much of a surprise, each character offers the standard abilities of everyone else such as gun wielding, grenade throwing, and car driving, but also brings a special skill along for the ride.  For example, the Green Beret is the only character that can sneak up from behind an enemy and take them out with a knife.


I have to be honest, I hate stealth combat.  My idea of a good game is going out in a blaze of fire.  Fortunately, Commandos 3 satisfies both preferences by focusing more on action and tactical planning.  One thing that also added to the spice was enemy bombing raids that destroy anything in its blast radius.  This makes you think on your feet, always changing your approach.


Multiplayer is also back, offering 12 player head-to-head action.  There are two new modes, deathmatch and capture the flag.  Though I enjoyed the experience of playing with others, finding a server was harder than rummaging through your cereal box looking for that sticker prize.  It will offer the option to install GameSpy arcade.  If you don’t already have it, there is really no other option outside of LAN.


Now what we have all been waiting for…the graphics.  Everything was pleasing to the eye, from the units to the interior and exterior environments and maps.  Camera position allows you to get better perspectives of the situation though some may complain that it can be a little awkward.  I couldn’t have asked for a better weather and day/night system, which added incredible reality to the game.  Also, I can’t stress enough how detailed this game is, neglecting the fact that the highest resolution it offers is 800x600.  Sound is also outstanding, bringing the familiar sound of impending doom and rising hero.  The voices were ok but I was hoping for more.  Sound FX was also ok though with such a game like this, there should be no competition.


There is no doubt about it, Commandos 3 is a must have for anyone who appreciates the art of tactical strategy.  The general package left a taste of blood in my mouth, and I couldn’t be more satisfied.


Reviewer's Scoring Details

Gameplay: 9.0
Much similar to the other games, Commandos 3 focuses more on action than stealth combat which may or may not be what you are looking for.  It’s still incredibly solid.

Graphics: 8.9
Wide enough to see a beautiful explosion, but detailed enough to see the snowflakes in the air. 

Sound: 8.5
The music was ambient, but I’d like to see more in the sound FX category.

Difficulty: Hard

I’m not going to lie to you, this game may cause you to lose sleep at night.

Concept: 9.0
Taking out some Nazis, one kill at a time.


Multiplayer: 8.0
Give us easier server selection and its an 8.5.

Overall: 8.9
Commandos 3 is definitely worth checking out, whether you have played the original before or not.


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