Go Commando! Or Not.

By Kieron Gillen on August 25th, 2009 at 6:38 pm.

The best thing about Commandos was how horrifically ugly everyone was.

Kotaku picked up on the dutch site Gamer.nl reporting that Pyro are making a new Commandos game. Blues News turns to Babelfish, which gives…

“We go certainly busy with new commandos, the time are there ripe voor” , said a spokesman of Pyro studios against Gamer.nl. the new title returns to the basis and will do think of the style of commandos 2. The game then real-time strategiegame will be, and no first-person shooter such as the last commando commandos-game, commandos: Strike Force from 2006. According to Pyro studios the overstap to 3D a bad choice was.”

However, since then Pyro has denied it, saying they never said such a thing. They’d like to do one, but turning it into a quote is wishful thinking. Who to believe?

Well, whoever you wish. If a developer accidentally slipped they were working on something – which has been known to happen – the developer would deny it. Conversely, it’s entirely possible a Dutch journalist speaking to developer from the Spanish team may have had some manner of communication breakdown. Personally? Well, I’d be surprised if Pyro don’t have a Commandos game being worked on, in the same way that I’d have been surprised if someone told me Blizzard weren’t working on Starcraft 2 before they actually announced it. It was the game which made the company. It was enormously popular, especially in Europe. Developers and publishers like making use of even their shittiest IPs. Commandos wasn’t a shitty IP. It’s probably being worked on.

2006′s Strike Force was, of course, a bit of a disaster – though the press trip to visit Pyro to see it, where – searching for a bar – we accidentally found ourselves in a Brothel proved memorable (“Do you have any drinks?” “No. Only the fuck”). As far as I can work out, they haven’t done a game since then – only Planet 51, a movie tie-in which they’re currently on. So you have to hope they’re working on something. You’d also have to hope that the game will be returning to its roots somewhat – which was basically a puzzle game with a WW2 theme. Would it be PC only? Strike Force going after the consoles and a more action player was its failing, and there’s no behaviour after the release of it to show which way their thinking is going. Could you make this third-person game work cross-platform? An interesting question. You’d have to assume that it wouldn’t be as incredibly punishing as the Commandos games.

I admit, I was never a fan. They looked beautiful and the atmosphere was spot on, but it always seemed to lean far too much to trial-and-error. Hidden & Dangerous when it appeared was often compared to a true-3D version of commandos… but that was never really true. Commandos was a puzzle game, normally with seemingly set solutions. Hidden & Dangerous was more of the freeform problem game, a design choice which always works better for me. And buggy, because you know it’s a real PC game when it’s incredibly buggy.

I suspect I’m in the minority here. Any commandos out here? What would you want in a sequel? What would you fear?

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48 Comments »

  1. Gabanski83 says:

    Sounds funny, but I see Men Of War as a sort of spiritual successor to the Commando games; the individual inventories for your men, and the almost puzzle-like setting of some missions.

    I hope they are working on a new Commandos, but please not in a first person setting.

  2. Blackberries says:

    Oh god I loved the Commandos games. I have blissfully happy memories of whiling away at least one summer crowded round our computer with my brother and two friends, working our inept way steadily through Behind Enemy Lines.

    I never played Commandos 2, but I heard it was fairly decent. If they are making a new game, and it’s in the vein of the originals (RTS sneaking), I’d be a happy chap.

  3. Zaphid says:

    Everytime some friend bitches about difficult game, I point at Commandos 1 while shouting:”PLAY THAT !” I still remember clearing some bunker that spawned patrols with green beret and the spy in some of the earlier missions. We ended up with 32 patrols which means about 150 dead soldiers, killed by two guys behind a corner with pistols.. That game has balls, Commandos 2 and 3 were way easier, some parts played almost like isometric shooter. I guess that opened the audience to more people than kids who were able to beat their head against it all day. Without internet.

  4. TheLordHimself says:

    We need more press releases like that!

  5. Mo says:

    I have fond memories of tossing a pack of fags into a soldiers line of sight to get his attention, and then stabbing him in the back as he went to pick it up. Over and over again. Commandos 2 was pretty awesome. :)

  6. Jimbo says:

    Hidden & Dangerous: Buggy game or buggiest game?

    Commandos was ace. If you played it co-op you only had one save slot, so you could get about 2 hours into a hard map – which is any of them btw – quicksave yourself into an impossible situation and then spend another 2 hours trying in vain to get yourself out of it. Ahh, such a well spent youth.

  7. Ian says:

    I WANT! WANT! WANT! a new Commandos game, but I agree that sometimes it felt like you were searching for one solution. I know this isn’t true (or not on every mission) because I tried to use solutions I’d used before but couldn’t get ‘em working and had to try something else.

    The other thing is that I sometimes struggled to find ways to complete missions without killing almost everybody, which was fun but didn’t always feel like the point.

  8. MacBeth says:

    “we accidentally found ourselves in a brothel” – oh sure, it was an accident

    I loved Commandos, and parts of 2 but strangely couldn’t summon the enthusiasm to finish it – I think the mission with the mined bridge where you had to prevent it being destroyed eventually burned out my enthusiasm for it. Couldn’t get into 3 at all.

    Admittedly it’s easy to misinterpret Pyro… hudda hudda hudda!

  9. Nero says:

    Ah yes, I remember the “trick” with the inflatable boat where you could load your people on it and then pick up the boat with all people on it and everyone would fit nicely in the backpack.
    Haven’t played the series in a long time but I remember having some fun with it, trying different tactics etc. Not sure how a new version would look today if it were multiplatform.

  10. Kieron Gillen says:

    MacBeth: It was a situation that I suspected for the 10 minutes beforehand we were actually going to a Brothel rather than a club. It had a sense of tragic inevitability.

    KG

  11. Antsy says:

    Read Mo’s comment from an American perspective. Go on.

  12. rocketman71 says:

    It’s easy to misinterpret a Spaniard speaking English. The accent is usually really thick.

  13. jsutcliffe says:

    There was no trial and error in Commandos 2 (Commandos 3, sadly, was rife with it which made it unpleasant) — it was all about figuring out how to exploit the enemy AI and endless pattern repetition (“Oh, some cigarettes… ” *stab* *carry* *hide* *toss cigarettes* “Oh, some cigarettes…”).

    Though it wasn’t at all as dull as that makes it sound. Commandos 2 was bloody marvellous, apart from the bit at the end of Target: Burma http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wBV1pbAXXs which I survived by pure chance the first time and had to cheat myself past every subsequent playthrough.

    Wonder if it works on Vista. Wonder if I can play it windowed, or hack it to a good resolution. Wonder if I still have the discs…

    Well, there goes my weekend!

  14. Metal_Circus says:

    Commandos 2 is very, very, very good.

  15. MacBeth says:

    @KG: I notice there’s no ‘…so we beat a hasty retreat’ mentioned at any point. Exactly how tragic was the inevitability? Or does what happened on a press trip stay on a press trip? Inquiring minds want to know (as long as it wasn’t more RPS slash fiction…)

  16. Kieron Gillen says:

    MacBeth: There was no booze there. Hence, it was tragic.

    KG

  17. Carra says:

    I’ve thought a few times that they should bring the original games to gog.com. Was a bit too hard for met the first time I played it. Would like to give it another shot, now armed with more patience.

    And thoughts of commandos crosses my mind while playing men of war. I mostly enjoy men of war playing with just a handfull of units. The rest is just dumped somewhere in a trench.

  18. Rob says:

    Commandos 2 was great, nothing quite like rendering all but one man in the map unconcious and tied up, then letting that last man discover them and watching a chain reaction of rope loosenings and befuddlement.

  19. jsutcliffe says:

    @rob

    Been there, done that! Then I caught all the buggers again and stabbed them for good measure (or spite — I’m not sure which). Good times.

  20. l1ddl3monkey says:

    GIANT NIPPLES. That is all.

  21. DarkNoghri says:

    Dangit, someone already took my “It’s easy to misunderstand Pyro” joke.

  22. Ginger Yellow says:

    I never had the patience for Commandos. Loved the concept, but way too hard for my feeble gaming brain. H&D was more to my liking, but I never really got the hang of it either. I am a bad gamer.

  23. Railick says:

    I liked the Commando game as much as the rest of you but I liked the Men of War series of games better.

    Nothing really compares, for me, to the first one Soldiers: Heros of WW2 when you have to attack an armored half-track full of soliders with a knife :P And the first time I actaully beat it made me feel extremely powerful. I mean it’s like you’ve given an American Ninja who can toss a knife 10 feet and through the tiny aiming slit in the half-track turret, what can’t you do!?! :P

  24. Railick says:

    My favorite WW2 solider based game has to be Silent Storm. I just wish it didn’t have so many game destroying bugs ( I could never get to the part where you get the Panzerkleins without the game crashing and having to be totally restart from the start of the game :( ) Still the ability to totally destroy the entire map with explosives and rocket launchers REALLY made the game a ton of fun for me. Men of war series is my close second.

  25. Vandelay says:

    It’s good to know that I’m not the only one to have an accidental trip to a brothel whilst in a foreign country. Count yourself lucky Kieron, the one I ended up in did have drinks, which were at extortionate prices, and large scary Phil Mitchell look-a-likes that liked to demand money for said drinks…

    Anyway, I loved the Commandos games. Zaphid is right when he says the original was a hard game, but it was nothing compared to the add-on, Beyond the Call of Duty. That one was insanely difficult, with levels that took hours to complete. 2 was significantly easier, particular as it was possible to simply position your commandos round a corner and set them on auto-fire, killing everybody that came around the corner. Playing the game as it was meant to be played proved to be a bit more tricky, but still not in the same league as the originals. It was still an absolutely fantastic game, that added some nice changes. It looked beautiful for the time too and the levels often seemed huge when you first them loaded up.

    Never played the other two, due to not hearing good things about either, but I would be pretty excited about playing a sequel.

  26. aion kinah says:

    It is a rock solid game, just killing a single enemy can be a pain in the ass as they can spot and kill you from half a map away while the best weapon you have a a sniper rifle that the owner only ever brings 4 bullets for. So for me – Go commando! Let’s see if I can still accommodate it once I’m into Aion online already.

  27. Mika says:

    Commandos 2 is excellent. Hands down the pinnacle of the series. Perfect difficulty in that game too. Finished it once on Normal and after found that too easy completed it two more times on Very Hard. Commandos 1 on the other hand was just too brutal for me and after mission 8 or something it became too tedious and frustrating and I never finished it. And I never bought 3 or Strike Force after disappointing demos.

  28. RiptoR says:

    Better (manual) translation of the article:

    New Commandos game is coming according to Pyro Studios

    Developer Pyro Studios is planning on working on a new Commandos game. The studio confirmed this to Gamer.nl.

    “We will certainly work on a new Commandos game, the market is ready for such a game”, a spokesman for Pyro Studios confirmed this to Gamer.nl. The new title will return to the roos of the series and will remind the player of the Commandos 2. The game will once again be a realtime strategy game, and no first person shooter like the last Commandos game, Commandos: Strike Force released in 2006. The switch to 3D was a bad move, according to Pyro Studios.

    The studio is working on Planet 51 at the moment. This game, based on the movie of the same name, is planned for a november 2009 release. As soon as this project is completed, two new projects are waiting to be started. The new Commandos game is one of these projects according to Pyro Studios.

  29. RiptoR says:

    “roos” should be “roots” (I miss the edit option :p)

  30. JonFitt says:

    So apart from sounding like a press release from Yoda, this seems like good news.
    I only played Commandos 1, but remember it being difficult but fun. I also have vague recollections of there being a Robin Hood spin off. Ah yes, The Legend of Sherwood. Turns out there was also a cowboy one: Desporados.

  31. Railick says:

    Thanks Riptor that makes a lot more sense!

  32. The Colonel says:

    In my experience, Commandos 2 is the best co-op game ever. It’s one of those games where the fun begins before the first load screen even pops up as the scuffle begins over who gets to be the green beret and the marine and who gets to be the stupid woman or thief who can’t actually kill anyone.

    I think this prospect of a new one in the spirit of the first two has got me more excited than anything game-related in recent years. If they focused more on the co-op side and balanced the characters abilites more like the first game than the second (giving them all punch, hide body and carry long range rifle mode) it’d be amazing. A little bit of story and in-between mission mini-missioning would be interesting too.

  33. jarvoll says:

    Oh, come ON, RPS! “WhoM to believe?” “WhoMever you wish.” It’s not difficult, and it helps remind us that you’re better than the rabble, which you certainly are. Pretty please?

  34. Fenchurch says:

    THE SPY!

    Disguising as an officer, walking into a room of underlings, and pointing to the dusty corner, making everyone look, whilst the Beret wandered through knocking them all out and tying them up.

    Without anyone protesting or batting an eyelid.

    I guess the Germans really do respect the chain of command! =-P

  35. qx says:

    Fantastic news. Commandos 2 is one of my all-time favorite games.

  36. WJonathan says:

    Wow, are those twin Sten SMGs, or is she just glad to see me?

  37. Kommissar Nicko says:

    Wow, apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought that Men o’ War was like a killier, ‘splodier version of yon Commandos. I also thought that Men o’ War was a fancier, less buggy interpretation of Silent Storm. For me, it goes:
    Men o’ War > Silent Storm > Commandos

    I never really liked Commandos, partly because I was very young when I first tried it, and partly because there was really only one way to finish the game. I didn’t understand at the time that they were using a battlefield as a thinly veiled puzzle game.

  38. Mr.President says:

    Loving the Yoda-speak in the babelfished press release.

    Also, it turns out that accidental foreign-brothel-entering is a much more common problem than one would think. Been in the same situation this year, except I was looking for a hot meal instead of booze.

  39. dingo says:

    I love Commandos + the addon.

    Compared to them Commandos 2 and 3 were piss easy but still enjoyable.
    I hope a Commandos 4 similar to Commandos 2 is in the works. I would buy it day one.

    Ah and by the way: Pyro fix the original Commandos so it runs in normal speed on modern CPUs. It’s way too fast right now and ignores CPU limiting programs completely for some odd reason! :p

  40. James T says:

    I don’t really recall how maps played out in Commandos 1, but the better Comm 2 maps certainly didn’t prescribe “one way” to completion (Paris and Castle Colditz are obvious examples).

    I’m not holding my breath over the truth of this, nor would I assume that this’ll be remotely as good as Commandos 2 after, well, everything that’s come since… but jeez, it sure would be great.

    …I loved the cast too, gotta keep those guys!

    The Colonel: You meant “more like the second than the first”, I take it?

  41. Bongo says:

    Played alot of Commandos when younger. They hade some nice ideas and could be very fun. Sadly the could be enormously frustrating too at times.

  42. DMJ says:

    Commandos was awesome. Each new map was hours of frustration followed by the feeling of intense manliness as you finally “get” the map and proceed to pick apart the German fortresses without a single missed step. Perfect puzzle gaming. With extra blood.

    Even better are the rare moments where you’ve reached a part you haven’t planned for yet and you’re winging it, but you’re in the zone and you’re doing it right. Suddenly you’re directing a heroic war movie.

    More commandos please!

  43. lumpi says:

    God, “Commandos: Strike Force” sounds awful. First time I heard of that, also. I always liked the first games, though.

  44. The Colonel says:

    @James T: No I did mean it that way round. In the first game each character had pretty much unique abilities. In the second they all shared a lot of them, meaning they could all throw cigs, punch people and tie them up. This meant that using the GB’s knife and radio bleeper thing was totally unnecessary. I’d like to see the characters made a bit more unique again. It makes for better puzzle solving in my opinion. However, the scope and multiplayer of the second one far outshone the first. I was just saying I liked the way the first one diversified the characters. Keep the Marine’s throwing knife though!

  45. James T says:

    Colonel: Ahh, I misread you, I see now. Yeah, I do think “universal” abilities should be minimised. And throwing stones was both riskier and potentially more effective than throwing cigs — I wouldn’t mind if stones were put back in and cigarettes removed. It’d probably make the radio beeper more competitive again too.

    I’d like to see a bit more of a ‘natural’ field of view when soldiers are patrolling, too; just a bit of extra ‘random’ to-and-fro sway on top of their usual routines that would prevent you from placing commandos in areas which a soldier SHOULD obviously see, but doesn’t because his cone of vision is pinned in a neat cone straight ahead of him. It wouldn’t make things impossible, but it would demand extra caution.

    (…although Commandos is a bit like Streetfighter, in that aficionados find the AI too forgiving, and everyone else apparently finds it much too hard…)

    The way graphics are these days, a good art department could make environments as pretty as the Commandos 2 stages, in actual 3D! Nice…

  46. Catastrophe says:

    I bought the latest Commandos game from Steam. Biggest waste of money I’ve spent on Steam to date.

    Nothing like Commandos 1 or 2.

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  48. The Thirst for Glory says:

    Let’s make no mistake…we all know how deep the memories of Commandos 2 are etched into our souls. And not one of us… not a single one… would reject the opportunity to relish once again the fantastic sensations we all felt when playing those missions. If Pyro has a heart, let them write Commandos 5 in the style of 2, and write it soon. If Pyro has a soul, let them give us back those wonderful incentives like rank, medals, bonus missions, etc. If Pyro knows fantasy and delight, let them include those little important details, like the Golden Monkey on Savo Island, and those bunkers we just loved to explore. Please Pyro, please… give me a sapper with a mine detector. Give me SS search parties, hunting me down after I’ve been naughty and bold. Give me a semi-sunk fighter plane in a watery gully. I know I speak for all of us when I say these things, I can feel it. No game ever touched us like Commandos 2. You have no idea what you created. Please leave aside whatever you may think about new market tendencies, about breaking new ground, about the future. Sometimes that which went before, is what should be again… And Commandos 2 was perfect, you DON’T NEED to make something better. You don’t need it… Please. I am appealing to you to think about what is right and what is wrong. Look into the faces of your fans. Take a long hard look. What do you see? You see a whole host of gameplayers, just wanting to return to what you made for us. We are loyal. Our imperative sense of duty will make us buy this game, no matter what. Every man, woman and child who ever played this game, has their memories. They know it. And they know what they want Pyro to deliver now. We all want Commandos 5. We want it. I want it… I want it now. Thank you in advance.