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Xbox One Game Review

Commandos 2 / Praetorians
(HD Remaster)


Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Yippee! Entertainment, Torus Games and Raylight Games
RRP: £34.99
Click here to buy from Xbox Marketplace
Age Restrictions: 16+
Release Date: 18 September 2020

Relive two masterpieces, Commandos 2 and Praetorians, originally developed by the legendary Pyro Studios, that defined the real-time tactics genre like nothing before, re-imagined in full HD and bundled together for the first time ever...

Review imageCommandos 2 (2001) and Praetorians (2003) were classic games in their day, and the fact that Kalypso Media is bringing them back to life with updated graphics and controls will be welcomed by those who love to spend a lot of time working on strategies, while at the same time being ready and flexible enough to change their tactics at a moments notice.

In Commandos 2, you take control of an elite group of commandos as they venture deep into enemy territory. Use your group's combined expertise to complete a series of notoriously demanding missions set in World War II.

Review imageThe game is not for those who like to rush in, all guns blazing. That's a guaranteed way to get yourself killed. You starts off with a handful of tutorials... And I have to say straight away (and this is something of an embarrassing admission) that it took me an age to complete the second mission. No matter what I tried I was spotted and my team were gunned down. So much so, that I eventually gave in and went online to watch a walkthrough. It looked easy (and it should have been) but for some strange reason this redesigned edition appears to be a lot harder. For example, to take out the first soldier I didn't have time to knock him out and tie him up. I had to knife him. And then I had a real problem picking him up and then getting out of the way so that none of the enemy spotted me.

There seemed to be a bit of a lag issue, as I tried it again later and picking up a body, after you've knifed them, is really hit and miss. And when you're in a hurry it's next to impossible. You have to mess about getting into just the right place. Later in the level I was spotted and had to open fire. I died... and then a few seconds later the German's I'd shot eventually fell down dead. Hmmm. I may have just been unlucky, or maybe the developers need to issue a patch soon. But this is a lot harder than the original PC version.

Review imageWhile remastered, the game stays true to its roots, keeping the general look and charm of the original, but graphically looking like a more modern game. I loved the diversity of items you can collect from the soldier's when you capture them - a lot of which you'll probably never use if you're just trying to plough through the levels. But there's a lot of fun to be had trying out everything you find.

But, master the controls and invest the time and you'll find this to be a challenging and enormously fun game. It's certainly one that you can play for months and then revisit in the future and get loads more entertainment out of. Once the bugs are sorted this will be a must buy.



Praetorians is set amidst the political machinations of an emerging Roman Empire. Prove your worth on the battlefields of Egypt, Gaul and Italy in the crusade to become Emperor. But beware - the closer you get to the Emperor, the closer you get to facing the Praetorian Guard - the deadliest fighting force in the Empire...!

Review imagePraetorians, like Commandos 2, is a 3D realtime strategy game that focuses on military tactics.

In the main campaign mode you can play as Julius Caesar as you try to overpower different hostile tribes.

It opens with a 4-level tutorial (which you'll probably need to play through several times to get the hang of everything). This show you how to move, use your troops effectively as well as how to scout ahead to see any hidden enemies). There are 20 missions what start with you battling the Helvetii tribe in 59BC, and concludes with the final battle of the Civil War in 45BC.

Review imageAgain, this is a game that requires you to think about every move, weigh up every situation and use strong tactics to win each battle. Like Commandos 2, in fact probably more so, the control system is one that will take some time to get used to. Both games were originally PC titles, so the developers have really had to work hard to ensure this becomes intuitive to use on the limited controller option. For the most part it works well and is intuitive. However, there is quite a steep learning curve. But this ultimately means that once you master the controls and get a good feel for tactics you'll thoroughly enjoy the challenge.

Once again, the developers have done an incredible job of bringing a complicated PC game to the limited control functions of consoles. Yes, it takes a bit of time to get your head around it, and the tutorials help greatly in that aspect, but you're really only going to turn this around with hours of dedicated practice. But the rewards are worth the effort.


If you're buying this on the Xbox Marketplace, then you can either pick up this dual pack, or buy the titles individually.

Nick Smithson

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