Shadow Tactics : A Love Letter to Commandos

Eighteen years ago back when Eidos Interactive was one of the top publishers in the industry, back when games on PC was sold on CD-ROMs they published a game called Commandos Behind Enemy Lines the game was Pyro Studios a Spanish developer, it was well received (IGN 8.2, GS 8.4) and it was followed by another title called Commandos Beyond the call of duty which was based on the same engine but with some really difficult levels. my history with Commandos goes back to 1999 when my dad used to work at the UN, one of the expats had a copy of Commandos and gave it to my dad and he had it installed on our state of the art Pentium I, 32MB Ram, 1 GB HDD which I have no idea what kind of graphic card was on it, before that I used to play games like Age of Empires and Command & Conquer on it so I was familiar with the mouse based strategy games despite my start with consoles like NES and SNES. I fell in love with the game right away and it started my love for stealth games, the rush I felt after taking down a squad of Nazis without being seen was unlike anything I felt before it.

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Commandos is a tactical strategy game that let you control a group of special soldiers that are sent behind enemy lines to sabotage the Nazis and win the war in the allies favor, each soldier has a number of special abilities and you need to use it all to win against usually overwhelming odds, there are missions that you could lose if the enemy raised the alarm and those were the really memorable ones, also the mission doesn’t end the moment you take down a target or kidnap a general, you need to escape and that could be tricky as well, over all if you don’t know what you were doing and don’t experiment chances are you can’t beat it.

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in 2001 Pyro released Commandos 2 Men of Courage that introduced a more sophisticated gameplay that was much more action oriented, to me the game was a lot easier than the previous games but the fun missions and beautiful graphics made it one of the games that I enjoyed a lot, in 2006 the final Commandos game Commandos 3 Destination Berlin came out and it brought back the difficult gameplay that I loved about the first two games, from here the series had a downfall first the series went the FPS rout with 2006’s Commandos: Strike Force that wasn’t well received commercially or critically I personally didn’t play it because it had nothing to do with Commandos and after that the series didn’t see a new release especially after Eidos was sold to Square Enix. the series I loved for years is lost.

Enter Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun:

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Developed by German indi developer MiMiMi Production and set during Japan’s Edo period the game has nearly identical game play to Commandos the major difference being the characters are so well designed to play together they all become a very big part of your success, in the more action oriented missions of Commandos some of the team members became pointless to use that is not the case with Shadow Tactics. the game is much more stealth based and very difficult even on beginner difficulty,  so far I have only played four missions and I am loving every second of it.

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Author: Aza Jabar

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