Everything old is new again, and everything once overlooked by publishers is cool once more. Today, publisher Kalypso Media (Sudden Strike, Tropico, Dungeons et al) went and bagged themselves the rights to all of Pyro Studios’s old games, which means the entire Commandos series of stealthy tactical puzzlers. Better still, the publisher has already confirmed that new games in the series are on the way, as well as “an extensive adaptation” of the older games to current systems, which sounds like remasters to me.
This does seem to be one of those deals where everyone involved goes home happy. In Kalypso’s official announcement, Ignacio Pérez, founder of Pyro studios is quoted as saying:
“We have been looking for a suitable partner for the continuation of our products and brands for a long time. Kalypso has great expertise and experience with rebooting well-known titles, and we are delighted to have our IP in such good hands.”
Kalypso founder and Global Managing Director Simon Hellwig went on to say:
“-we see it as our responsibility to want to revive and further develop these beloved games for the fans around the world. Of course, this will include the development of completely new games for all platforms, but also an extensive adaptation of the existing titles for contemporary technologies and platforms. We’re incredibly excited about the opportunities, and will begin speaking to potential development studios in the near future.”
The mention that they’ve not begun talking to any developers yet is a little concerning, but the publisher do seem to have their eye on rebooting the Commandos name, so fingers crossed. The deal also included rights to Pyro’s less-good games, including the forgettable Praetorians and Imperial Glory. I’ll be honestly surprised if Kalypso does anything with those.
For those unfamiliar with Commandos, they’re a very distinctive series of squad stealth-puzzle games. You’re given an objective, a handful of characters with different abilities and equipment, and a large map full of patrolling (and very deadly) enemies to navigate. Sneak here, pick off this guard here, snipe that watch tower there, all in the right order and with perfect timing and maybe you’ll get to your target in one piece. They were often frustrating and encouraged frequent quicksaving/loading, but they were intense games and satisfying when you pulled a job off right.
Fans of its particular blend of miniature stealth and tactics should check out the excellent Shadow Tactics, if they haven’t already. The similarly styled (but older) Desperados also recently received a major patch to make it play nice with modern PCs.