Commandos 3: Destination Berlin - interview

Third chapter of the tactical strategy series Commandos seems to be much more action oriented than the previous games. Would you like to know more about this game? We have spoken to Ignacio Perez Dolset, Chief designer of Commandos 3 and today we bring you the brand new interview about this title. Don´t hesitate and find more about the enviroments, gaming situations, multiplayer, demo or release date.
Commandos 3: Destination Berlin - interview

Doupe: First of all, please introduce yourself and tell us what is your role in the development of Commandos 3: Destination Berlin.

Ignacio Perez Dolset: I am Ignacio Perez Dolset and I am the director of the studio and chief designer for Commandos 3.

Doupe: You have sold more than three million copies of Commandos games worldwide. With the distance of time, how pleased were you with the previous games in the series? What game of the Commandos series has been the most successful?

I.P.D.: We are very pleased with Commandos success. We have had much more success with them than we ever dreamed of when we started working on Commandos. Both games have been equally successful, but the most merit I think there was on the original Commandos, being our first game and with a relatively low production budget.

 

 

Doupe: What is the inspiration behind the third chapter of the series? Aren`t you afraid you are going to lose players with a new game and old theme at the same time? What about other tactical strategy games like Robin Hood or Korea: Forgotten Conflict - what do you think about these projects?

I.P.D.: For the third part we have taken our inspiration again from some famous WWII battles and movies but the idea is not just translating this inspiration on the maps and settings but we want to take it to the gameplay itself. We want a very intense experience. That is way the game will have countdown missions, ambushes, assaults, enemy bosses, etc...

We believe that Commandos 3 is going to be the most intense experience of the whole Commandos series and the most fun to play.

Games like Robin Hood etc... I think that are very well developed and fun to play. It is always encouraging having people competing with you as that stimulates you to do your best.

Doupe: The main part of Commandos 3 will consist of three main campaigns: Stalingrad, Central Europe and Normandy. Will there be any kind of conjoint background story? What will be the player´s initiative and main task?

I.P.D.: There will be a story for each of the three campaigns where there will be dynamic changes on the missions, on the objectives, etc... For example in Stalingrad the player will start having to kill a very dangerous enemy sniper (a level boss) and will go trough a series of events only to end up at the end of the campaign at the Gestapo headquarters in Berlin.

Doupe: Commandos 3 seem to be more action oriented than the previous games in the series. What exactly does it mean? Do you plan to "reduce" the difficulty or will there be some other changes? How exactly will the player have to remain stealthy?

I.P.D.: Action oriented means that there will be lots of variations between the different situations in the game. Commandos 2 was a very homogeneous gameplay experience and the missions were played all of them in a very similar way. On Commandos 3 each mission will be very different and will force the player to change the way he plays the missions. There will be stealth missions but also much more dynamic missions, like taking beaches, assaulting enemy fortresses or ambushing a German convoy, not to mention one of the most beautiful missions in the game which is taking control of an enemy train heavily guarded before it leaves France and gets into Germany.

We do not plan to reduce the difficulty but just make the game more accessible through tutorials, an affordable learning curve (Commandos 2 first mission was already very difficult) and rewarding the player so he/she can see a progress through the game.

The player will have to remain stealthy in some infiltration missions and will have to play a very similar way to traditional Commandos gameplay style. What we have tried to do is to create situations where we can make the maximum out of these stealth situations and environments that justify this. On Commandos 2 there was really not stealth missions but a stealthy way of playing.

 

 

Doupe: Could you tell us what concrete changes have you made to make the third instalment in the series more "accessible" also for players they never before played any of the Commados games?

I.P.D.: As I mention before, we are simplifying the interface, making guided tutorials and creating a reasonable learning curve so the difficulty increases as you progress through the game

Doupe: Many players look forward to new skills, weapons and vehicles they will be able to use in Destination Berlin. Could you reveal any news about this part of game?

I.P.D.: Just some of them like big machine guns, artillery, sidecars, etc...

Doupe: You have promised to bring new gaming situations with the new sequel, including ambushes, assaults, level bosses. What can you tell us about the level bosses - with whom will we fight? Any example of new situations and player´s tasks?

I.P.D.: Do you remember Ed Harris as a Nazi sniper on "Enemy at the gates" movie? There will be one mission were we will have to locate and kill this sniper in Stalingrad.

One example of a new situation would be controlling a platoon of ten soldiers with whom we will have to prepare an assault to a German garrison with over 100 men, tanks and other vehicles. Prepare the assault, infiltrate the enemy lines stealthy and attack whenever you are ready. Intense, isn`t it?

Doupe: You have announced players will visit a lot of historical locations like Omaha Beach, Berlin or Stalingrad. What other enviroments can we expect to see? How important is for you and the development team the term "historicity"?

I.P.D.: We will also see other locations around these places and very different ones like:...London. Yes, London. In one of the missions which happens before the war starts, the thief will have to infiltrate the German embassy to steal some documents.

Doupe: Very important for both of Commandos games was the overall atmosphere but this was/is affected by many other facts. How have you dealt with music and sounds in Commandos 3, who is going to do them? What about any AI improvements?

I.P.D.: We are working with our internal music and sound team headed by Mateo Pascual who was already responsible of Commandos 2 sound and music.

The artificial intelligence will be seriously improved as we need very different and complex enemy behaviours for the different missions in the game. You would expect enemy soldiers to behave very different ways if they are in Berlin than if they are in the middle of Stalingrad. That is the idea.

 

 

Doupe: The engine looks great in Commandos 2 a I think it´s not an easy task to improve it. What new graphics features will the third chapter in the Commandos series offer? Do you have an idea about the game´s hardware requirements?

I.P.D.: Half the engine is new to allow us to have more enemies on screen, bigger and better explosions, weather and particle effects, etc... Also the engine for the interiors will be 100% new. We expect the game to run on any machine beyond P1000 with a 3D card Geforce 2 minimum.

Doupe: For the first time ever there will be a deathmatch multiplayer mode for up to eight players. How will this multiplayer issue look and function in the concrete? Is it possible we will see any other modes (Capture the Flag and so on)?

I.P.D.: There will be at least two different death match modes. One of them will be one player against the other in a sort of capture the flag mode while there will also be some other gameplay styles with enemies in the map.

Doupe: According to information from your development studio, your game will hit the stores in summer 2003. Do you plan to release a playable demo before? When could we expect it? And also, at what development phase is Commandos 3 right now?

I.P.D.: We have 70% of the game developed. We are finishing the last maps, and putting a lot of time on gameplay balance and the multiplayer. The game will be ready by the end of September and we expect to have a demo ready sometime this Summer.

Doupe: We have heard (and a lot of players speak about it) Commandos 3 will be the last of this type of Commandos games. Is it true? What exactly could we expect from your company in the case of Commandos franchise?

I.P.D.: This will be the last of this Commandos type of games. We will be investigating other gameplay styles for the future. Can not say any more at this stage. Sorry!!

Doupe: And final question - after Praetorians and upcoming Commandos 3, does your development team have any plans for further games? Could we expect your move into another genre?

I.P.D.: We are doing another two games that we will announce in the future and which are different from what we have done before. Just wait and see.

Doupe: Thank you for your time, I wish you good luck in the development! Is there anything else you would like to tell to our readers?

I.P.D.: Never quit gaming. Games are a lot of fun.

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