I hate to be the one to say this, but... stick to what you know
Review of the PC version. During the Second Great War, a very small(I'm not kidding... it's three people) team is sent to France, Norway and Russia where their special skills(accurate long-range shooting by the Sniper, infiltration by the Spy and, uhm, the use of assault riles(some of which can be dual-wielded), and shotguns by the Green Beret... no, those are the only Commandos to make it to this one, and that's essentially what they do... why was this greenlit, again?) are required. Oh, and there's sort of backstory, a twist and interaction between them. It's clichéd and amounts to absolutely nothing(characterization has never been the focus in these before, and this has the flattest personalities of the four). This is something that had to happen. After 3 full games and one expansion pack, the series could not keep sticking to the same formula and approach, with the bird's-eye-view and the signature game-play that they created, delivering a brand-new RTS experience. It was obvious to attempt a transplant to a 3D world. Unfortunately, while the doctor did not entirely lose the patient, he certainly didn't do a good job hiding the stitches. In spite of the success of the Hit-man and Splinter Cell franchises(that this couldn't compete with on its best day and their worst), this goes for being action-driven(and yes, you can often get away with pulling off a Rambo... this can be intense, though the three difficulty settings do not all offer challenge and when this is tough, it's like the third game... frustrating, and if you keep playing after failures, it's not because you're enjoying yourself or that you wanna show that you can do it, like it was in the first two; this also has far less atmosphere and a sense of making an impact on history than those 2 did). Sneaking can be necessary, and it can help. However, too much of the time, you'll find that it doesn't matter if you're Stealth Killing(a feature that is awkwardly activated by pressing Use... again, did they not pay attention to the competition? Only about half the moves look cool, or seem like they'd actually waste the guy... and you can't drag bodies, the only way to make them disappear is to steal their uniform, so the first time you come upon a foe of a higher rank than you, as the Spy, you can do that, any other time, well, hope that no one finds it... and that, sadly, is usually the case, taking away a huge part of the fun of this kind of thing(and that had been possible for at least 5 years before this came out), not to mention of the predecessors of this), take someone out with the silenced pistol, or you just aim and fill them with lead(you can nearly always fight your way out... and this will force you to do so, at times). This comes with a 10 and a half minute "making of", and it most consists of them talking about how they added in this or that, all the while only mentioning aspects that we take for granted in something belonging to this genre from 2006, and frankly a little before, too. Just from watching videos of other WW2 tactical FPS titles(what can I say, they're not my cup of tea), I can tell that this comes up short and doesn't compete with the rest of the market. You can't take advantage of any vehicles(only fixed gun positions), and for trying, this does not capture the feeling of being in a war zone(the occupied village works out OK, if I'd expect a greater reaction from the troops there, for all the mayhem you cause in it). I will say that the music does not let you down. We get a grand orchestral score, epic in tone and generally fitting the mood of whatever is going on as it plays. Granted, it's Pyro's first First Person Shooter, so we'll cut 'em some slack, like when Westwood did Command & Conquer: Renegade. The thing is, the latter had an exciting universe to give you a 360 degree camera and freedom of movement in, and this, well, it tried to get into a packed niche that has already seen a ton of high quality output from experienced studios. And while that was loud, dumb and fun, this tries to move towards that, and forgets to give us what we'd expect. You can't lean, you can't lay down entirely(only crouch), you can only do so much to ensure that grenades hit their intended target(has anyone been able to throw them more than a few metres?), you can't give orders... actually, I think whenever you aren't controlling a member of your Strike Force(you can switch back and forth between them in a handful of the linear(seriously, is there a single one that doesn't merely have one correct solution?) levels), they stand still. Not taking cover, not returning fire, nothing. The missions seldom feel connected to one another, and I found myself wondering where I even was, at times(or when, or if this was based on any portion of the real history, like when these started out, in 1998... or if it was now simply an idea from the developers, the briefings are short and nondescript, lacking dates and other info). Objectives are the standard stuff... get to this or that point(perhaps undetected), defend this position, and rescue and escort this or that individual. It's not boring, per se, if it is often devoid of tension. Maybe the word is "underwhelming". This is what I feared might come out of it, from playing the demo. The graphics are fine for the time, and there are no bugs or glitches. Good cinematography on in-engine cutscenes. There is a lot of disturbing content and mild(no gore, wounds, anything) violence(essentially bloodless, for some reason) and a little moderate language in this. I recommend this purely to completists, and those who must try everything that is like this. 7/10
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