[Review] Commandos 2 – HD Remaster – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Yippee! Entertainment
  • Publisher: KalypsoMediaGroup
  • Release Date: 04/12/2020
  • Price: £26.99 / $29.99
  • Review code provided by KalypsoMediaGroup

Introducing: Commandos 2 – Nintendo Switch Review

PC ports always make me nervous. There’s no telling if the keyboard and mouse will translate well to console controls. There have been countless games which have attempted the transition over gaming generations and many have failed. Commandos 2 – HD Remaster sets out on a mission to succeed where others have failed. Fortunately with Kalypso Media Group’s recent track record on the Nintendo Switch, it seems this military adventure is in good hands.

The Night of Wolves

Commandos 2 is set during World War II. As the war rages across Europe, the Allies need any advantage they can get. Specially trained soldiers are called upon to carry out great feats of valor behind enemy lines. These specialists are the Commandos.

Commandos 2 has a decent story that adds tension the deeper these troops find themselves. Operating within enemy territory is hazardous to say the least. Each of the characters have a unique personality and approach. This helps add life to the experience and makes you care whether or not they make it home alive. 

Das Boot, Silent Killers

Commandos 2 is a tactics game, though not in the vein of an RPG. Everything is real time and you have direct control of the soldiers. Strategy is the essence of the experience and switching between specialists will see the missions accomplished. This puts more emphasis on stealth than outright combat. Commandos 2 offers an isometric view looking down on the map. Since these operations take place behind enemy lines, each board is swarming with Nazis. They have a cone of view which is best avoided as you sneak around heavily fortified bases.

Each Commando you control has skills which separate them from the others. The sapper can disarm bombs and tie up knocked-out troops. The diver can throw deadly knives for silent kills. The seductress can distract guards by flirting with them. You won’t have access to each Commando on every level, so learning how they work and utilizing special skills was fun to experiment with.

Commandos does a great job keeping you occupied and thinking outside the box. There are several ways to solve a problem, you aren’t just pigeonholed to one option of play. The missions came in all shapes and sizes with night operations and weather effects with vehicles sprinkled in. Some of the levels did feel like they dragged on. Long loading times didn’t help matters when you had to restart for any reason. There is a handy quick save/load command but if you mess up and save in a bad spot when you meant to load, it could be a real drag.

White Death

Commandos 2 originally came out nearly twenty years ago. Since that time, the HD Remaster version has got a new coat of paint. It honestly looked similar to me with varied textures and colors. One downside to the graphics when playing in handheld mode is it was very difficult seeing enemies and around corners. Even when rotating the map, some German troops blended in a little too well. There is a command to highlight all enemies and interactive objects but that didn’t fully alleviate the difficulty while playing portable.

Target: Burma

I had even more problems with the sound. The music was passable, but it was the voice over from the characters that grated on me. They would incessantly repeat the same phrases over and over to the point I wanted to pull my hair out. As far as any other technical issues, I’ve already addressed my main gripes above, namely the long load times and the graphics in handheld mode. I will add that the updated user interface worked well with the Switch and was a nice touch over the point-and-click stylings from the PC.

Final Wrap

Commandos 2 – HD Remaster isn’t as polished as I would have liked. The gameplay is engaging enough to hold my interest for a time, but long loads dampened my willingness to play at long spurts. Difficulty seeing items and enemies on the map also added angst while playing handheld. The UI was a decent improvement despite the overall look being more or less the same. Commandos 2 is a passable port which will garner the attention of retro gamers, but if you’re looking to play on the go, you may want to pass on this war saga.

Pros

  • Classic Real-Time Tactical Combat
  • Several Characters with Diverse Skills
  • Smooth Port with Functional UI

Cons

  • Graphics Blend Actors and Environments
  • Redundant Sounds
  • Long Load Times

Verdict
Commandos 2 – HD Remaster is a smooth port with old problems.

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