PC Game Review: Commandos 3: Destination Berlin
"Just another evil game in this evil, evil series, or something new...and even harder?"
Why, oh why, Pyro?
Why subject us poor gamers to another evil incarnation of the famous, infamous, Commandos series? I’ll go ahead and say it now: this game is difficult. Evil hard. Mind-numbingly, white-knuckled evil hard with a capital “F” for Frustration, a capital “F” also used for one other, less friendly expletive. Anyone who has played either of the first two games in the series knows this, but for anyone who has not, consider it a warning: there are hard times ahead. Commandos 3: Destination Berlin is not likely to bring weak, whiny gamers to the table.
Again, the Commando series has us back on the fields of World War II, fighting back the Nazi scourge through a succession of tough strategy missions set both in Europe and Russia. All of the familiar Commandos are back, including the cussing Green Beret and the fun, fun Sniper. But, with such a high difficulty, is Commandos 3: Destination Berlin fun, or just an evil wink, smirk and chuckle from the developers across the ocean, secure in their comfy UK game studio?
Commandos 3: Destination Berlin ships on three discs and uses almost 2 GB of hard drive space once installed. The requirement for Commandos 3: Destination Berlin states that it requires about 2.5 GB, but I found my installation hovered around 1.8 GB, not including save files. The game runs like a dream and never once crashed on me, even online, although the latter was anything but a lag-free experience.
Docs and Tutorials
The included manual for Commandos 3: Destination Berlin is a very nice starting point for new, or old, players. It covers the basics, and also describes how to crack the interface and actually empower the player with enough knowledge to do something other than crawl or run around with his troops. The basic and advanced in-game tutorials, when combined with the manual, will help all players get a decent start in any of the three main campaigns.
The visuals are very well done, overall. Some areas are simply stunning, while others are barely average. Most of this difference in the graphics comes from the 2D exterior areas and the 3D interior areas. The outside visuals are wondrous, painted 2D areas full of movement and fine art direction. Interior areas are built upon a fully 3D engine but they just look…ho-hum. Nothing special, really, and the camera is a bit weighty due to some very counter-intuitive controls. Unfortunately, the exterior areas, although they are viewable from four different angles, lag way too much when switching between camera angles, which can get ugly in a tense situation. I tended to stick with one view and only rotate when I knew I was safe, and even then I wasn’t always safe.
Friendly and enemy troops are very well done, though, both outside and inside. They walk, run, crawl, climb and shoot in fine form, featuring smooth and realistic animations, not to mention some great death animations. Nothing quite like sniping another sniper off of his pole and watching him tumble to the ground.
All in all, Commandos 3: Destination Berlin features a gritty, if at times clashing, veneer, and the locations and animations make the game that much more engrossing.
The music is top-notch. It rumbles and drives forward, creating tension and a sense of atmosphere. The voices are also top-notch, featuring interesting dialogue between the commandos that propels the action and is often humorous. Every commando is well over the top, which is great considering that Commandos 3: Destination Berlin is a bit over-the-top itself in its depiction of infiltration and destruction.