18 years later, one of my favourite WW2 strategy series is getting a brand new game

Real-time tactics WW2 game Commandos is coming back from the dead to quietly, methodically dismantle the Nazi war machine once more. Three years after we reported on the development of a brand new game in the series and 18 years after the most recent one came out, Commandos: Origins promises to tell the tale of how the games' titular commandos met.

Judging from the trailer, it looks like they all met because of that big war that happened about 80 years ago, which is a small disappointment for the part of me that hoped this would be a dating sim set in the bars of the Weimar Republic. But no, Origins—which is in the works at Kalypso internal studio Claymore—looks set to return to the gameplay embodied in the Commandos of old: Stealthy strategy that sees you slowly worm your way into enemy strongholds by cunning and violence in order to do real mean things to 'em. Think something along the lines of the recent Shadow Tactics and Desperados games, whose maker announced a sad and sudden shutdown last August after pretty much owning this style of game for the last decade or so.

I'm cautiously intrigued by this. I played a heck of a lot of Commandos 2 as a kid (and original Desperados, which had a very similar style despite being an old west game from a different developer and also recently got its own third entry), and very little has scratched that itch since. Hopefully, this brand new game will fare better than the remaster of 2, which left a fair bit to be desired and still sits at an unenviable "Mixed" user review rating on Steam.

The marketing blurb is saying all the right words, at least. You'll have to make use of the unique abilities of each member of your team—the murdery Green Beret, the technical Sapper, the Sniper who doesn't need an explanatory adjective, and so on—to get through "10 missions in historically authentic World War 2 environments," ranging from African deserts to Arctic environments that are also technically deserts, I think.

Not every team member from earlier games is returning, though. Or if they are, they're being held back as a surprise. The announcement of the game only mentions the Green Beret, the Sapper, the Sniper, the Driver, the Marine and the Spy as making an appearance. There's no word on the Thief, the Seductress (probably could do with a name change), or the, ah, Dog.

If you have the same warm memories of the earlier Commandos games or, heck, even Desperados as me, you can find Commandos: Origins over on Steam and the Epic Game Store, where it has a big wide open release window of 2024. 

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.