More action, less thinking!
World War II scenery, weaponry and characters 100% perfect. They look so good that you may think that the war is not such a bad thing after all. The missions' locations - exotic; a submarine base, a polar action set, a Japanese Pacific island and so on. Each mission delights the eye, each map is filled with eye-candy details and somehow this affects gameplay too. You can ride elephants, fight sub-aquatic battles, wear polar suits so that your men don't die from cold and many, many more. Last, but not least, you can enter any house/room and take the tactics to a higher level. In short, it looks damn great.
Indeed, Commandos 2 offers the player a faster way for solving problems. Why sneaking cautiously behind a guard trying to knife every sleeping soldier from the barracks when you can simply throw a grenade inside the room through the window, blasting everyone and knocking down the guard? Why stress yourself about the alarm when you can trap every house location, assume some nice positions and gun everyone? Why not charging a well defended location with your team once you get your hands on a couple of rifles and some ammo? You don't really need patience for this and in most cases you will succeed and finish the mission in less than one hour. So the action is more intense and more appealing.
As in any Commandos game, the sounds are well suited. From the background music to the explosions, everything is in place and works great.
Each map has a little thing that makes it unique. It is not only the graphics, the sound or minor gameplay adjustments, but you really feel like you are there. No more guessing of what is inside the buildings or with what a soldier is equipped, no more running half a map for one machine gun in a supply crate. Bring an enemy down and take his weapons, free an ally and use him as you see fit, and make use of even the most common objects like bottles or cigarettes.
1. The enemy has not a chance.
You can finish any map with any of your team members, you don't really need to and you don't need any of their special abilities. You don't need a sniper, a diver or a sapper. You just need one soldier and one weapon. The rest is history.
2. The "scenario"
Each mission is based upon a movie scenario: "Save private Ryan", "The guns from Navarrone", "A bridge too far" and so on and so forth. While this is great if there were only a couple of these missions spread through dozens of hardcore, real war action missions, the sad thing is that you can play only the "candy" missions and not even one "serious" mission. Another thing is that mission goals are restricting the gameplay! No more "blow the bridge up" or "kill the damn Nazi general", goals that you can manage to accomplish in any way you see fit. Now you get to: "infest the soldiers' wine with sleeping pills" in order to "steel the key to the safe" so that you can "get your hands on the papers"... That kind of action is great if you can manage to figure out by yourself, not just to follow one goal after another. And why not, if someone gets the papers without serving sleeping wine to the officers, isn't that a way to finish the job?
3. The toy box
Commandos 1 was HARD. Unforgiving and painful! And this is how a war game should be. Commandos 2 is more eye-candy, movie-based, Superman action like and, in the end, too easy to finish. It's like playing with a nice, shiny, but stupid toy.
I have played this game and finished it, but the only thing that I remembered after 5 years was the graphics and the script, unlike Commandos BTEL and BTCOD.
The Bottom Line
When I first purchased this game, I did not know what to expect, I have previously played all "Commandos" games and enjoyed them very much. I did not know how they were going to manage to do something better until I played Desperados, so I thought to myself "OK, if Commandos 2 looks like Desperados, it will be just great." But now I think I should ask for more.