Not many of you may remember Commando back in 1985, a vertically scrolling shoot’em up arcade game released on several entertainment systems that included the Amiga, Commodore, and the NES. The game was one of the first off its kind and helped spawn many copy cats that later followed. Capcom thought it would be a good time to bring back this aging franchise with a lick of HD and next-gen paint. Was it a successful reincarnation?
Like the original, Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 is vertically scrolling shoot’em up game and this time finds its home on the Playstation Network and on Xbox Live Arcade. The version been reviewed here is the Xbox 360 version which you may remember comes with a little Street Fighter treat; more about that later on. The game may belong to Capcom but this time round Capcom are not developing it. Development duties fall with Backbone Entertainment, whose main development background involves developing for the PSP and Nintendo DS.
The game starts off with you attempting to take the beach; this is after you choose what character to play the game with. There are three characters to choose from: Wolf, who is pretty much good at everything and specializes in infantry and anti-armor, Coyote, who out of the three has the best health but lacks the speed, and Fox, who lacks health but makes up for it with speed and grenade techniques. There are four difficulties to choose from, with Achievements awarded for those of you that complete it on Black Ops and Suicide Mission (in other words, hard and very hard). It is here that you can also have two other players join you on the same local Xbox. You just have to make sure you have three joypads to accommodate your friends.
There are a total of five levels ranging from a beach to deadly swamps. Each level will take about 20 minutes to complete and as you probably already know, its your job to get from one side to the other without dying and killing all the bad guys you can on your way. The main type of enemy to come at you will be on foot ranging from normal infantry that take a couple of shots to kill to much bigger opponents that carry big machine guns and rocket launchers; these suckers take a bit more firepower to take down. There will be the odd tank and infantry carrier to deal with, along with enemy look out towers to blow up. To help you destroy the enemy, there are power ups throughout the levels that upgrade your gun or even change the type of ammunition that you are using. Flamethrowers and rockets can be found as well as plenty of health packs to help you on your way. There are the typical grenades that can be used to help against tanks or a group of enemy infantry as well as the all powerful M-Crash which, when activated, takes out the surrounding enemy; of course, there are only a certain amount of times you can use this weapon but there will be pick ups throughout the game that gain you an extra use.
The action is fast-paced with lots going on; you have to have a quick eye to see where the enemy bullets are heading so you don’t get hit by them and loose your health while at the same time shooting them. The action can get repetitive at times as you will be doing the same thing over and over again with not much level variants to keep it lasting. One thing that is noticeable throughout the game is the slow down that can be seen when there are lots of enemies on the screen at once, something that I didn’t expect for an Arcade game. Again, this is one of those games that once you loose all your lives, it’s not just the start of the level: it’s the whole game, no matter how far through the game you are. So in order to complete it, make sure you are willing to sit through the whole game in one sitting. Xbox Live is implemented in the way of online co-op that adds a few more hours of fun with a couple of friends but again, no different to the single player campaign,which can get repetitive fast.
The graphics are cel-shaded cartoon graphics on the characters and 3D models for the surrounding scenery and buildings. There not quite up there with the best seen in an Arcade game but by no means the worse; it does, however, look a bit rough round the edges with maybe a bit more detail needed on the characters. Overall the game is a decent shoot’em up that will keep you entertained for a few ours, and lest not forget that once purchased you are invited to the Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix beta. Is that just worth the 800 points? No. Is it worth 800 points for the game and the beta? Yes.