Assault Commando in Review: Capcom’s Commando for 2010?

It was kind of interesting to see Capcom release Commando as part of their recent Capcom Arcade freemium game, because I remember thinking to myself the first time I played Assault Commando: “This is what I would picture Capcom releasing if they decided to modernize their old game Commando”.  I still feel that way when I load it up and play it.  There are no complex mechanics – it’s a nice run and gun and destroy everything in your path type game.  And just like Capcom’s Commando, the game can be quite challenging at times.

I suppose there’s a bit of a story here – disgruntled war hero, megalomaniacal villain, yada, yada, yada.  What’s really important is that you’re deep in the heart of some jungle and you get to blow lots of stuff up.  In fact, as one reviewer put it, “if it’s not you, blow it up”.  That’s a pretty fair assessment of the game.  Sometimes simple is more than enough, and this is just one of those cases.  Thankfully, though, what’s simple in premise is not a walk in the park when it comes to the execution phase.

This is a 1 ½ stick controller.  Well, not really, though you do have a virtual joystick to control your hero.  Weapons are fired using one of the four available buttons, as long as you have enough ammo to use the weapon.  The down side is this means you have to fire in the direction you are running.  Additionally, to use a grenade you actually have to press the grenade button, wait until the crosshairs is where you want to throw it, and then release the button.  It’s workable, but not very practical when you’re trying to dodge bullet fire at the same time.

There are plenty of targets to hit, including lone soldiers, bunkers, jeeps, boats and more.  Most refill ammunition will be found lying along the path, though some things that you blow up will leave goods as well.  The one thing that doesn’t get left is health, which you only recover when you reach a checkpoint.  You will learn to love checkpoints.  There are plenty of levels to keep you entertained, with a variety of things taking place on any given level.  So far I’ve ridden shotgun in a Humvee (which felt a bit like a Disney ride), and ran amidst a convoy to protect me from the bad guys.  Then there was that big, nasty helicopter I had to take down…

I’m not sure how many levels there are altogether, but the average gamer should have plenty to do even on Easy.  That’s the level I’m playing, and I still haven’t finished the game.  There are statistics dealing with how you’re progressing in the game, but it’s all local.  No social integration here.

The 3D visuals look really nice.  The landscape and vehicles are well rendered, and effects like explosions look decent.  Buildings that have been destroyed do seem a bit cheesy, however, since every single one looks exactly the same.  Still, at least they look like they’ve been destroyed.  I do wish the view wasn’t zoomed out so far so you could see more details on the people.

The sound effects are pretty much what you’d expect from this type of game.  It sounds like there’s a war going on, complete with “commentary” from a wise-cracking lone hero.  The music is not really my style, but it’s decent enough.  At least it keeps things from being silent in between gun shots and explosions.

Assault Commando hearkens back to the good old days of gaming, before all this need for an intricate story line and advanced “realistic” physics.  It’s really just a bunch of shooting, pattern memorization, and more shooting.  I’ll admit that dual stick shooters have spoiled me against the “shoot in the direction you’re running” mechanism, and there are actually times where I’ve hit the wrong weapon button because they are close together on the small screen, but overall my romp through the world of Assault Commando has been quite enjoyable.

App Summary
Title: Assault CommandoDeveloper: 3D Magic Kft.
Reviewed Ver:1.2Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$0.99App Size:23.22MB
  • Lots of action
  • Lots of explosions
  • Challenging, even on easy
  • Nice graphics
  • Prefer dual stick shooting to “shoot where you run” mechanic
  • Weapon buttons too close together

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