Commandos is a stealth-oriented real-time tactics video game series. The five games released between 1998 and 2006 are all set during World War II and follow the adventures of a fictional British Commandos unit. Each mission is loosely based on historical events during World War II to carry the plot. The series was developed by the Spanish developer Pyro Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. The series has sold a total of 3.3 million copies and generated $41 million of revenue at retail
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Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines (CBEL) was released on 1 July 1998. It was published by Eidos Interactive, and developed by Pyro Studios. It features 20 missions. The view is isometric with tactical gameplay. A Sega Mega Drive/Genesis version of Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines, with the first 5 missions, was also made by Russian homebrew programmers, but lacked sound and certain other features of the PC version.
A full sequel, released in 2001, was rebuilt with a 3D engine, more interactive environments, more skills for the commandos, and new characters. Like its predecessor, it drew heavily from war films and titled its levels in reference to such films as "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Saving Private Ryan". The game received even greater praise. Several new characters were added to the series in this sequel: A thief called Paul "Lupin" Toledo, a dog called Whiskey and Wilson, a shot down pilot claiming to be from the Light Brigade.
Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty, a set of new Commandos missions issued as a standalone game, was released on 31 March 1999. Despite it being much shorter than Behind Enemy Lines, it is a much more difficult game containing levels on a far greater scale to the extent of being comparable to those that were to be seen in Commandos 2. It has 8 missions, with locations including Yugoslavia and Greece.
This is the third sequel in the series and was released in October 2003. In this game the mouse wheel can be used to rotate the player's vantage point. It was the first in the series to use a true 3D engine. However, the game has been criticized for its short missions and lack of hotkeys.
Released during the first months of 2006, this game marks a diversion from the first three games. Although the missions are set up in a similar fashion (several different objectives, some to be achieved through stealth, others through use of force) and in most occasions the player is allowed to change between different characters, this is the first game in the series to apply a first-person perspective, like many Medal of Honor or Call of Duty games than to earlier entries of the series. The game attracted an overwhelmingly negative reaction, especially from fans of the earlier games in the series who saw this as a massive modification, concurrent with a great reduction in the series' trademark difficulty. Similarly, it was promoted as mixing elements of strategy from the past games with traditional first-person shooter game-play but instead only hinted them and whilst being predominantly action oriented. As a result, both critics and fans felt it did little to distance itself from the recent flood of similar games.
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