Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty
For those who missed last year's Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines, it was the creeper hit of the summer, establishing itself at number one and lurking there for an impressive 12 weeks. Some feat - although, to draw a tenuous comparison with the world of music, previous summer hits have included contributions from such questionable talents as Scandinavian chanteuse Whigfield, and the similarly shortlived Outhere Brothers. "Boom, boom, boom, let me hear you say, hosepipe ban," indeed.
Likewise, whereas a lot of people clearly got into Commandos at the time, it has now largely been consigned to the dusty shelf of history, with cries for a sequel proving muted, to say the least. Nevertheless, for those clamouring for more, the news is good Commandos 2 is on its way.
This, however, isn't it. The much maligned mission pack plays a murky role in the crazy, mixed-up world of games: a supposed enhancement to the original, but without the conviction to call itself a fully-fledged sequel. This is pretty much the case with Commandos: Beyond The Call Of Duty, with the words 'gap' and 'stop' springing immediately to mind, although not necessarily in that order. Essentially, it's more missions for the first game, with some token new weapons thrown in for good measure. If you don't own a copy of the original Commandos, there's no need to tumble headlong into a pit of despair, as Beyond The Call Of Duly is a standalone product. However, if you haven't played the first game, you probably won't have a clue as to whether you're going to like this version.
It's the same thing, and the same feelings of frustration come flooding back within seconds of attempting the first mission. This is strategy gaming at its purest: that is, a clear strategy is needed if you're going to make any headway whatsoever. Running about like a blue-arsed fly simply isn't going to work; patience and precision is the only way forward.
However, the interface is fiddly, and with more items to select from, manual dexterity is imperative, with death often being meted out because of cack-handedness rather than naivety.
For the record, the new tricks include throwing a stone to distract enemy soldiers and, more bizarrely, leaving a packet of cigarettes on the ground - the idea being to lure the enemy with the promise of a free snout, then mercilessly butcher them as they stoop to pick up their quarry. In fairness, there was a war on. More conventional tools include a long-range, single-shot rifle, chloroform, a club and handcuffs.
As for the missions, they span such scenic locations as the Channel Islands, Rastenburg, Neubrandenburg, Bonn, Belgrade, Nijmegen and Crete, with goals including kidnapping a German officer, destroying a train-mounted gun, and sabotaging prototype aircraft.
Here's the bottom line: the original Commandos has 24 missions and cost 40; Beyond The Call Of Duty has eight missions, and costs a score. You 'do the math'.
Download Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
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2019-01-17 Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty game added.