The Xbox since its conception has been a console much more for the "mature" audience. You can see this by the genres that are the most heavily represented on the console, which in my mind is obviously sports games and FPS. For all those who loathe console shooters as opposed to those on the PC, the Xbox has shown that it can be done with a very high degree of success. Today we are checking out the latest shooter from Eidos and Pyro Studios, which does its best at bringing another shooter to make its own unique mark on the Xbox. So what does Commandos: Strike Force brings to the table? Read our full review to find out!
It was kind of weird to see the Commandos series, which has been traditionally a more strategy based series, transformed into a FPS. I was surprised more at the fact that the developers would want to take this series into such a different direction when the previous was actually somewhat successful. To see the game go to a FPS isn’t a bad idea; it is just going into a very crowded market, especially with those being based on WWII.
You can see that one of the prime ideas that the developers of Strike Force were trying to do is bring in a storyline that just engages you and keeps you interested. To do this they have you in a three-man squad, each obviously has their own unique abilities and personality. The story itself starts out with some power behind it, but it quickly loses steam and loses its uniqueness. In the end, the story really just doesn’t do anything that any other FPS hasn’t already done already.
So the gameplay is still a tactical experience but one that is much more action oriented then what we saw in the previous Commandos titles. In fact although the game does have some strategy and some stealth involved in the experience, there is still a very standard FPS feel to it that most have become somewhat bored with. Having the three different characters, is really what the game tries to use to separate itself from other games, but in fact none of the three playing styles are all that exciting. The only real interesting character is the Sniper, who is the most deadly while the Spy character is more of a hassle than anything.
What really stops Commandos: Strike Force in its track is not so much that the gameplay is bad, but instead is because it doesn’t really strive to be anything. I wanted to see this game go for so much more, but they went with so much "textbook" concepts that the game just really hurt tremendously from it. You see this game and read about it, and even start it up and see the glowing potential, especially coming from such a strategic sound background. But then you get yourself into the game and find just a standard FPS that just never manages to make any progress past that.
Visually Commandos: Strike Force is a title that just didn’t manage to bring anything new on the visual end of things. The character models are about the only thing that give some extra spark, with a good deal of detail and just a nice realistic feel to them. On the other hand you have the environments, which just don’t manage to bring a whole lot to the table making the experience feel a bit blander then it should have. In the end, the visual style is just about average, giving nowhere near enough imagination to take the game to the next level.
I was a fan of the previous Commando games, but this game really managed to put the series in a way that it really didn’t need to be in. The series was doing just fine in its traditional isometric RTS style, but the developers must have though that, that genre was a dying one and thought they needed to redefine themselves in the FPS market. Unfortunately the transition isn’t without its faults, with an over simplistic storyline and gameplay that never manages to get out of this rut and just feels much too "average".
Unless you just have a dying urge to see the Commandos series go from being a strategy game to a FPS, then you are probably better off just skipping on past this game. The Xbox is a console that is rich full of great FPS, and this is a game that just gets the basics down and really feels like a game that aims low. So in the end, this is a game that shows signs of potential but never takes advantage of them.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.