The hit PC strategy game by Pyro Studios can now be enjoyed on the PS2 with the release of Commandos 2. As Sergeant "Tiny" McHale, players lead a group of eight military and demolitions experts, including a canine named Whiskey, through a series of missions inspired by actual World War II events. Although concessions were made in historical accuracy for entertainment purposes, each mission offers realistic secondary objectives. Objectives can be carried out in a number of different ways, with players being rewarded most for tying enemies with a rope, followed by silently killing enemies with a knife. Gunning down enemies earns players the least amount of points.
As points are awarded, the player's rank gradually increases, with the ultimate goal being to achieve the rank of Field Marshal. In addition to the manner in which players deal with the enemies, points are earned for each secondary objective completed, for receiving little or no damage, and for finishing the mission as quickly as possible. Commandos 2 can also be played on one of three difficulty levels, each affecting the range and speed of armaments, the reaction time of enemies, and the prevalence of helpful first-aid kits and ammunition, among other things. The objectives remain the same no matter which difficulty level is selected, however.
Each of the game's 12 missions begins with a debriefing on the current situation and key objectives. Players can select one or all of their commandos at once to position them in strategic positions within the 11 mission environments, which range from Germany to the South Pacific. Accomplishing goals may involve shimmying up poles, swinging from cables, knocking on walls, and stealing vehicles. The action is played from an overhead perspective, but players are free to rotate their view a full 360 degrees, as well as zoom-in on the environments from various levels. Moving through the terrain is referred to Interactive Mode, while engaging in enemy forces switches the game to Offensive Mode.
Offensive Mode automatically targets enemies in range by highlighting them with an icon. Players can then choose a character and a weapon with which to take out the enemy, or use a diversionary tactic such as throwing packs of cigarettes or using the thief's pet rat Spike to run and perform somersaults. Each character possesses distinct abilities, such as the spy's ability to don enemy uniforms, the diver's ability to spend longer time in the water, and the sapper's talent for clearing minefields. Progress during the game can be saved at any time to a memory card and a bonus mission can be unlocked by finding pieces of a puzzle spread across the different environments.