Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 Review
|Release Date:||June 11th, 2008 (UK)|
|Reviewer:||Andy Hemphill (Bandit)|
Another day, another XBLA game, but this one is something of a rarity amongst the hundreds of dial-a-clone shooters that litter the marketplace - this one is actually fun.
Commando 3: Wolf of the Battlefield (WOB), delivers exactly what you'd expect from an old-fashioned arcade shooter - heaps of guns, a never-ending supply of rent-a-cannon-fodder and some plucky heroes to do all the work. But this game has got something that so many arcade shooters lack- style.
The comic stylings of this game don't just add to the game, they are the game. From the loading menu to the options to the player select, the comic book-like animations add a real sense of class to the game, elevating it above the rank and file shooter.
For example, the options screen features a large image of the lady-soldier on the game's titular squad of misfits- Fox. She pops up from the bottom with a pistol in hand and ejects the magazine, which she catches with her other hand. Printed on the mag are all the options, which, after you've had a decent fiddle with, she snaps back into the pistol with a realistic click.
While only an aesthetic contribution to the game, these little aspects of style really bring a sense of fun and adventure to the action.
The comic style is reflected in the gameplay, with your character hurling grenades and firing their guns one handed while sprinting at the army of enemies, and the top down style of the shooter does nothing to remove the big, brash and ballsy gameplay.
The plot centres around the three members of the 'Jackal Squad,' an elite group who are sent to take on the worst of the world's worries.
The squad consists of the Rambo-like 'Coyote', the Schwarzenegger-clone 'Wolf' and the 'Stealthy' Fox. Each of the characters come's equipped with their own stylish skin and kit, but the appearance is merely a coat of paint, as each is basically the same as the others when it comes to the shooting.
And there is plenty of shooting to be had. The gameplay is fast and exciting, with wave after wave on enemies advancing on you and only your trusty gun and grenades to fend them off. Movement is achieved with the left thumbstick and aiming with the right, and it's just a case of pushing your thumb in the direction you want to shoot, so clearing an area of surrounding enemies is as simple as moving your right thumb in a circle and watching the bullets tear your foes apart.
Your characters also come equipped with the 'M-Crash' move, which can clear out an entire screen of enemies in one go. The odd thing is that it's never explained exactly what an 'M-Crash' is, or what it means. However, sticking with the theme of the game, each character's unique M-Crash features it's own little animation, keeping the game rolling along.
Along with the game's rather sparse plot (stop some guy from doing something to take over the world blah blah blah) the game also features a nifty multiplayer mode. This offers both offline and online play and you and your friends can team up and take on increasingly difficult scores of enemies with only a little of the terrible lag that Live services have been suffering lately.
Sounds like fun so far, right?
Well, it's not all good: The game is ridiculously short, featuring only a handful of levels, and while these can last a while, it is fairly easy to blast your way through the entire game in an hour at the most. The multiplayer, while fun, doesn't present much of a challenge as it is simple to clean the screen of enemies when three of you have the maxed out weaponry that the game provides via handy pick-ups.
Plot-wise the game is almost totally lacking, but as it wasn't aiming to be a thriller, this is no major loss to the action as a whole, and who really cares with a game like this anyway?
The whole point of this type of shooter is to blast your way through a million soldiers and feel like a badass, an element that WOB does with style.
- Classy design and nice style
- Easy to play
- Fun multiplayer
Not so good stuff
- Very short
- Low replay value
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