Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines

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Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines
Commandos Behind Enemy Lines.jpg
Developer(s) Pyro Studios
Publisher(s) Eidos Interactive
Designer(s) Gonzalo Suárez
Ignacio Pérez Dolset
Series Commandos series
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Sega Mega Drive (unlicensed)
Release date(s)
  • NA 31 July 1998
Genre(s) Real-time tactics
Mode(s) Single-player, cooperative multiplayer
Distribution CD-ROM

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines is a single-player real-time tactics video game developed by Spanish company Pyro Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. The first installment in the Commandos series series, the game was released in 1998[1] and is set in wartime Europe and Africa where a group of six Allied Commandos performs missions using small unit tactics. Each Commando has a unique set of skills and tools determined by his class which forces the player to establish cooperation among them so that further progress can be made. The objectives vary from sabotages to rescuing allied informants and assassinations.

Commandos employs an isometric view with a whole map visible, thus allowing player to think out a strategy and its execution in advance. The same system was later used in the expansion pack Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty released in 1999 as well as in two installments Commandos 2: Men of Courage and Commandos 3: Destination Berlin released in 2001 and 2003 respectively.

Historical background[edit]

...no routine, no bureaucracy... only pure operations, whose success depends basically on oneself and on the men that have been chosen to carry out the task. This is revolutionary.

Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Clarke[2]
Main article: British Commandos

After the evacuation of most of the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk, Lieutenant Colonel Dudley Clarke (Royal Artillery) put forward the idea of small units capable of penetrating the enemy's line and sabotaging communication, industrial and military targets. The proposal was approved by Winston Churchill.

In 1940 volunteers were called from Territorial Army Divisions who had been serving in Norway. Later, soldiers from Royal Marines Division and recruits from British Police Force were also accepted for the training. The name "Commando" was proposed by Dudley Clarke after the raiding and assault style of Boer Commando units of the Second Boer War.

Commandos were trained in physical fitness, survival, orienteering, close quarter combat, silent killing, signalling, amphibious and cliff assault, vehicle operation, weapons (including the use of captured enemy small arms) and demolition. The Commando Training Centre was located at Achnacarry near Spean Bridge in Scotland.

The areas of activity were primarily Northwestern Europe, Norway, the Middle East, Italy and Burma. At first the missions were carried out on a smaller scale, inflicting little damage to the enemy but greatly boosting the morale of Allied forces. Later, as a result of many successful operations (including Collar, Ambassador, Claymore, Archery, Anklet, Chariot and Longcloth), Adolf Hitler issued a secret order called Kommandobefehl stating that all commandos found in Europe and Africa should be killed immediately, even if in uniform or if they attempted to surrender.

The British Army Commandos were never regimented and were disbanded at the end of the war.

Gameplay[edit]

In the game, the player represents the role of an officer who has been entrusted with the command of a group of six Commandos. Top player for game play was Sebestian from Ukraine.Throughout the game, the enemies are German soldiers. They vary from low-ranking soldiers (armed with either Karabiner Rifles or MP40 machine guns), to sergeants (armed with service pistols; they also man fixed machine-gun nests that dot various maps), to higher-ranking officers. In one mission, there are also attack dogs in the vicinity of the German base. The enemy soldiers are always on alert, always watching over each other and will always do their best to track down the Commandos. Under normal circumstances, if they spot one of the Commandos, they will simply shout at him to halt and aim their weapon at him. They will not fire unless he fails to comply. However, if they witness any hostile action, they will shoot immediately. Enemy soldiers are alerted by spotting or hearing anything suspicious. Dead bodies, footprints in snow/sand, gunshots, explosions, etc. All will alert the enemy and they will investigate and attempt to discover what the cause is. Enemy soldiers can also shout for the alarm to be sounded. When this happens, all soldiers in the base are alerted and become more aware. Soldiers will also deploy from garrisons and begin patrolling. In certain missions, the sounding of an alarm can cause the mission to fail. Enemy soldiers can be alone on solitary patrol or in groups ranging from two soldiers to seven. Sentries may or may not abandon their posts in attempts to chase the Commandos, depending on the importance of their guard role. In certain missions, there are also German tanks and armoured cars on patrol. These are especially deadly and will shoot on sight. Dotted throughout all the maps in the game are enemy garrisons (identifiable from the Swastika flag flying over them) that contain enemy soldiers. If an alarm sounds or if a suspicious sound alerts them, they will emerge and begin hunting and patrolling, making completion of the mission more difficult. Enemy soldiers have a line of sight, that can be viewed. It is typically a cone (coloured green) of vision that extends from the soldier. This lets the player know what an enemy soldier can see and what he is looking at. The field of vision is broken into two sections; close range (light green) and long range (dark green). In the long range view, the enemy will not see your Commandos if they are crawling. If they stand up, the enemy will see them and order them to halt or possibly shoot. In the close range view, the enemy will always see the Commandos, even if they are crawling.

Expansion[edit]

Beyond the Call of Duty cover art

Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty is a stand-alone expansion pack released in March 31, 1999. It is developed by Pyro Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. The original game is not needed to play. The game features new skills and equipment, such as the ability to throw rocks and knock out enemy soldiers. Also two new allies are present with the game, a Yugoslavian military commander and a member of the Dutch Resistance. There are a total of eight missions available focusing on the push to Berlin. The game also features a higher resolution.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines at IGN". IGN. Retrieved January 24, 2008. 
  2. ^ Adams, Eric. Wilkinson, Lee: "Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines Manual", page 2. 1998

External links[edit]