Commandos 2: HD Remaster – Review
Follow Genre: RTS
Developer: Pyro Studios, Yippee Entertainment
Publisher: Kalypso Media, Kalypso Media Digital Ltd.
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Commandos 2: HD Remaster – Review

Site Score
5.0
Good: Visuals, Still solid gameplay
Bad: Controls hamper the entire experience and sometimes even ruining complete missions because of it
User Score
4.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 4.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Living in the day and age of remasters and remakes can have a lot of benefits, as some games tend to be better in your head than they actually were upon revisiting them. We have awesome revisions of older games, such as the recent Spyro and Crash Bandicoot games that received a new lick of paint, as well as much better controls. Of course, some remasters provide you with the bare minimum, and this might not always go down well with gamers, especially when having to pay a premium price. This time we take a look at the 2001 classic, Commandos 2, in its HD remastered form for the Nintendo Switch.

Story

For the story of Commandos 2, we are taken back to World War II. We get to play as a small strike force who thwarted many evil ploys of the German invaders, preventing the war from being even worse than it already was. While you get a few snippets of story value, this game has always been more about the actual gameplay than the overall story value. Yes, the story of meddling with very big Nazi plans is certainly appealing, but it does take a backseat for the biggest part of the game. Is this a bad design choice? Not at all.

Graphics

The game has come a long way since 2001, where blurry characters would run across static maps, trying to move silently behind enemy lines. The game still has much of the appeal of the original, albeit clearer and with modern-day graphical quality. The new character designs are nicely implemented, while still keeping that old static feeling intact. The sceneries are nice, and everything has less visible polygons, which is certainly a plus in this remaster. While things are not lifelike just yet, the game does look good in its rehashed version.

Sound

The sound design is still decent, with proper voice work and a decent backdrop. The proper vintage 1940s feel is very much present, not only thanks to the visuals but also because of the sound design. Everything sounds a bit grittier, a bit more old school, and that perfectly suits this title.

Gameplay

Commands 2 – HD Remaster is a very classic approach to the RTS genre, where you control individual operatives to clear missions behind enemy lines during the Second World War. Each character has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to exploit those in order to clear your objectives. While you can take on a murderous approach to the different missions, they mostly end with you going home in a body bag. Stealth is very much recommended in this game and missions can take a fair amount of time, so it’s advised to only look into this one if you have a lot of patience.

The goal of the mission at hand is always quite straightforward but the game immediately gets hampered by its frustratingly bad control scheme. In this review we’ll also add the ‘help screen’ picture you get as the only explanation in the game, which will already show you what to expect. Nonetheless, the game feels like it’s still very much from 2001, and not designed for console play. There are many buttons that don’t clearly indicate what they do, and when you finally figure out what the proper command for an action is, a new hurdle will appear on the horizon. More than often we found our missions ruined because of the controls, or the fact that we could not respond swiftly to dangerous situations because you cannot even properly aim your weapons at your enemies. We also don’t understand why the Switch version does not have any touch controls present, as this would actually make the game playable and probably even enjoyable.

Conclusion

Commandos 2 – HD Remaster is a nice attempt at making a nearly forgotten franchise relevant again. We have to commend the studio on nailing the visuals and the sound of the game, sadly ignoring the most important aspect, its controls. It feels like we are still dealing with the original PS2 control scheme and that just doesn’t fly on our modern-day consoles, especially if you have a Switch that can use touch controls. This is one of those games we really want to like, but sadly it messes up in too many departments to make your play enjoyable. Nonetheless, if you are not picky when it comes to controls and you can get over having to constantly save your game in case you mess up, you can still find a very good old school game underneath the current rubble.

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Rating: 4.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Commandos 2: HD Remaster - Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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