Commandos 3: Destination Berlin Review

Challenging yourself is sometimes worth doing

Some say: If you are getting nerd with running easy to some strategic games, you would be feeling a sense of achievement in ending such hardest task in Commandos 3: Destination Berlin. Obviously, other similar games give you chances of creeping through hard tasks with falling over crime suspects, building merchant empire or just locking down the sabers with evil hits, but nevertheless Commandos 3 Destination Berlin is matchless with a mix of warcraft and Special Forces turnaround like blowing up a mighty armored vehicle to a tiny fuel dump and to trapping a German Nazi patrolling around or garroting a lone guard staying lone for security perimeter breach. Hell of fun till the end you won’t get lazy making strategies.

The missions in Commandos 3 are every bit as hard as they were in the previous titles and this raises a key question for gamers: what's the difference between challenge and difficulty? Most good game developers heed the unspoken corollary of that question, namely that designers shouldn't be trying to beat the players; instead they should try to present missions that give players a chance to overcome meaningful obstacles through planning and improvisation. That's what Commandos 3 has and that's what keeps me coming back for more.

One thing that really sells Commandos is the sense of drama. I've been a fan movies like The Eagle Has Landed, The Guns of Navarone and The Dirty Dozen and Commandos captures the essence of these films perfectly -- a small group of specialists manage to win out over impossible odds. But though it captures the tactical side of those films (which is the best part anyway), the game fails to deliver in terms of story and character. The actual commandos are more caricatured personalities than actual people. Even their names have a slightly cartoonish quality (the Green Beret is named Tiny, the diver is named Fins) that keeps me from taking the game as seriously as I might.

Hitch a Ride

But once the missions start, you won't even care about their names anymore. You'll be too busy trying to hitch a ride on Nazi trains escaping with precious art treasures, or going head-to-head with an enemy sniper in a bombed out Russian town or swimming into a harbor to sabotage U-boats before the D-Day landings. These are just three of the twelve total missions available to you in Commandos 3. This time around they're much tighter with some missions picking up literally where the last mission left off.  

Commandos 3: German Guards

You'll need to negotiate each level (some are huge, others not so much) avoiding or eliminating guards. You can watch their patrol patterns and check their line of sight to make sure you'll have an opportunity to jump out, kill some guy and hide his body before someone else wanders along. The game definitely rewards players who are patient enough to try a variety of solutions to particular problems. Hell, I even replayed some missions’ right from the start once I figured out how I wanted to proceed through them. In short, it's all about rehearsal. Though it would be great to have a game that would allow you to improvise your assault right from the start and still have a chance of winning, it simply couldn't provide the challenge that's available with the more unforgiving approach here.

Commandos 3: You Can't play on the Fly

But though you can't play on the fly here (at least not as easily as you could in a title like Rainbow Six which shares the realism and planning focus of a game like Commandos), there's plenty of room for variety. Though their routes are scripted, the enemies do different things each time you load the mission and can sometimes really surprise you by doing something new the sixth or seventh time around. Having a guard suddenly turn left where he's always turned right can throw a heck of a wrench in your plans.
Commandos 3: Snipper

Wonderful though they are, you'll have your hands full enough without these small surprises. Your team requires a fair bit of babysitting and there are plenty of commands you'll need to use to keep them at their peak effectiveness. An auto-fire command really saves my ass here, letting me focus on one squad member while others guard various approaches. Setting these covered arcs requires a few too many clicks, quite honestly, but once you get the hang of the interface and the importance of cover commands, you won't have too much of a delay between deciding on a course of action and actually implementing it.

Puzzle Elements 

Thankfully, the puzzle elements have been kept fairly simple this time around. About the most complicated thing you'll need to do is put some sleeping pills in a steak and throw it at an enemy guard dog. While it's not super-intuitive, it makes enough sense from a standpoint of gameplay. But given the freedom you have, there are probably plenty of puzzle elements you'll never use. I, for one, still haven't found a need to use the diver's grappling hook on the ship sabotage mission but I haven't felt like I needed it for anything, so it's no great loss. (A worse crime is that the diver only makes his appearance in one mission.)

Commandos 3: SpyIf I had to find another flaw in terms of graphics, it would be that enemies aren't always displayed conveniently. There's a great feature that lets you illuminate all the enemies in red (and you can even see them through certain objects in the environment), there are a few cases where enemies aren't always as apparent as they ought to be. In some cases, they're simply right on the edge of the map. Since the screen doesn't scroll all the way to the edge, there are some enemies that you can only spot if the camera is just right. Even then you may find that you can only see their feet. Camera orientation can also be a problem on maps with tall structures. Though you can see the red outline of an enemy through, say, a water tower, you can't actually target them unless you rotate the camera to get a clear view of them. And when I say "get a clear view" I'm speaking of the player's view, not the character's.

Mission Topographies

Sound-wise, the score's the best thing about the game. It fits the mood perfectly and provides a great backdrop that only heightens the action on screen. Things aren't quite as good when it comes to effects. Though they're satisfactory overall, some of the weapon and explosion sounds seem a bit on the weak side. The small unit acknowledgements can get a bit tiresome sometimes as does the constant grunting your team emits every time they touch a ladder. Unh, climb, unh, climb, unh. The accents of the squad are fairly broad, perhaps intentionally so -- then again, maybe that's just how the rest of the world sounds if you're Spanish. The varied German utterances are a bit better and add a lot of atmosphere and excitement to the game. The 3D graphics used in this game are awesome.

This third version of Commandos has finally added multiplayer options to the mix and though we think it's a great addition to the series and has a fair bit of potential, there's a lot of room for improvement here. First up there's an almost total lack of documentation and support for the feature. With this being the first multiplayer outing for the series, we hoped that the manual would outline more than just the most basic of options.

Commandos 3: Green Beret 3D View

We tend to think that taking on the single player missions with a buddy or two would be a helluva lot of fun. It certainly would present some real frustrations given the coordination of effort required to pass some of the sequences, but, at the very least, adding a few objectives to multiplayer would go a long way towards enhancing my enjoyment and strengthening the Commandos feel. Imagine how much more fun these matches would be if one team had to protect a vehicle from destruction...or assassinate a general the other team was tasked with protecting. The death match and even flag capture modes seem largely pointless when compared with the offline missions.
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About Khawar Akram

Efficient professional with approximately 3 years of experience in a medium size digital web agency and geotechnical engineering organization. Has profound knowledge of web and e-commerce application development. Expertise and experience in application deployments, analysis user requirements and client trainings and support. And proficient in adapt latest technologies, motivated and accomplished IT professional with resource management and programming skills and cooperative to peers and friendly to the starters.