Commandos 2 is the sequel to highly popular RTS game, Commandos. I must admit to not having played Commandos or the Expansion pack at all, I did catch the demo but by then C2 was already on the cards and I just never got round to playing it.

The aim in Commandos 2 is to successfully complete a series of missions with your given commandos, each commando has their own specialty and skills, furthermore objects in the game such as weapons and items such as enemy uniforms and weapons can only be used by a select few of the commandos meaning that you need to use each one individually but also as a group where they help each other out.

A good example of this is the Spy, he is the only one able to wear enemy uniforms above the rank of soldier, using this disguise he can order the enemy soldiers to go somewhere or look in a certain direction. If you combine this with the ability of another commando to stun and tie up the soldiers you can clear huge areas of the map without anyone even noticing. I did this to great effect in the second proper mission where I had cleared the whole bottom half of the map of soldiers and had them all stashed in a building.

Another great effect of stunning the enemy is that you can use their weapons against their own comrades. Take a rifle or machinegun off a soldier and you are able to use it in other parts of the map to quickly get rid of a group of enemy soldiers, which is much quicker and better then using your pistol. I did find a rocket launcher in one of the missions but as much as I wanted to try it out, at the time I could not get it back to my sapper and alas that opportunity has long since passed.

The missions themselves start off easy and you are introduced into the game slowly via 2 training missions, which show you how to use the game engine and how to control your commandos. After finishing the training missions you are literally thrown into the deep end. Missions have a simple introduction, which explains what objectives you have to meet to successfully complete it, however you do end up with more and more objectives thrown at you for good measure and to keep you on your toes.

The enemies you have to contend with in the game are all reasonably smart, when you carry out certain actions you make sound as you would in real life, this is translated onto the screen as a small wave moving out from your character or the origin of the sound. If any enemies are within earshot of the sound then they will react and investigate the cause of the sound, meaning that in certain cases you'll need to be as quiet as a mouse, while in other cases the sound can be helpful in distracting a guard while you sneak up to take them out.

Enemies don't only hear things they can also see things, each enemy has a range and line of sight which is represented by a cone showing you where they are looking and how far they can see. Certain units such as snipers and officials have better lines of sight and can spot you further away.

Commandos 2 is an isometric based game with maps that can be rotated in 90turns, this allows you to see behind tall buildings and get a better view of who is able to spot you and where they are looking. The game also allows you to rotate the views inside of buildings 360so you can see if there are any guards hiding around corners, doorways or in dark corners

The graphics are very well done, the characters are well animated and the moves are seamlessly put together no matter how many different actions you give them. The commandos can climb up ropes and ladders, swim, dive, knock out enemies, tie them up, pick them up, drive vehicles, disarm bombs, cut barbed wire, jump through windows, wear guards uniforms and many, many other things that all make the game such fun to play.

The missions are also very varied and in most cases tie in with actions have objectives you have completed in previous missions. You will have to fight the German menace at night and in the daytime, in the cold conditions of the artic and crocodile ridden jungles. Once you have played through 2-3 of the missions you will be completely familiar with the interface and the only problems you'll have to tackle are the 'how do I get from here to there?' or 'how do I take him and him out while avoiding him?'

Commandos 2 is a very good game, playing this kind of makes me wish I had played Commandos and could compare both games to see how far they have taken it, but I'm not bitter and as long as I have to take out some Germans to finish a mission, I will be fine.

Theres so much to Commandos 2, which makes it a great game, the intro sets the story out well and the movies between missions tie it all nicely together. Even though the missions are very long and very complicated, and you always seem to be heading in every other direction except for the direction of the mission goal, it does not detract from the game at all and this is one game, which will definitely be in my top 10 of the year.