In addition to the single-player campaign, Commandos Strike Force offers an online multiplayer mode that's roughly the same on the PC, Xbox, and the PlayStation 2. You can theoretically get up to 16 players going on the PC or in a system link match on the Xbox, though the console versions are normally limited to an eight-player limit. But good luck finding people to play with. During a week's worth of attempts, we found only small handfuls of players on any of the given versions of the game. The matches we did get into felt laggy, meandering, and unfocused, lending themselves to lots of sniping. Playable modes include the typical deathmatch and team deathmatch, as well as a mode called sabotage, in which spies may attempt to interrogate fallen foes for a code to sabotage the enemy base. Of the small numbers of people that were playing Commandos Strike Force online, next to no one seemed to be bothering to try to get a grip on this team-based mode.
This stuff may be conceptually interesting, but the quality of the underlying action isn't particularly impressive. The game's modeling of stealth is fairly simplistic, as you can just walk right up to an unsuspecting enemy as long as he's not looking your way. Keep a low profile by crouching, and even enemies looking straight at you will have a hard time seeing you. Enemies may be alarmed to find the dead bodies of their comrades, but since bodies simply disappear after a little while, this isn't much of a concern--just another knock against its sense of realism. Meanwhile, a highly convenient radar reveals all foes in the vicinity and often the direction they're looking in. This is useful while sneaking, but it feels almost like cheating when you're running and gunning, since you'll always know when there's an enemy around the next corner. Combine that with lousy, slow-on-the-draw enemy artificial intelligence, and you'll find that brute force rather than tactical prowess tends to be the path of least resistance through Commandos Strike Force. However, some missions force you to avoid detection, requiring you to slowly inch your way through a level you know you could probably just blast your way through if only the game let you. You can save anywhere, which will compel you to take a trial-and-error approach in each new situation.
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