Skip navigation

Commando 3: Wolf of the Battlefield


Review: Commando 3: Wolf of the Battlefield (Xbox Live Arcade)
Most developers are perfectly content releasing ultra-realistic games that engulf us in a three-dimensional environment. Kicked to the curb are the mindless, yet insanely fun arcade action titles that will keep you dusting bad guys as if you were John Rambo circa 1985. Xbox Live and PSN have been great outlets for developers that care, to make smaller yet highly entertaining games like there were in the good oleí days. Capcom has opted to bring us a one man killing spree arcade adventure, utilizing the power of next gen-consoles, with ĎWolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3í.

Commando on the NES started out as an overhead game of run and gun. Your objective: Kill everything in sight and keep on running. As far as this vague premise goes, almost nothing has changed. However, Commando 3 is quite successful in providing us with some of the most fun a downloadable console game has provided in some time.

From the start youíll be able to choose one of three characters. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses based on speed, health, and the amount of grenades you can hold at one time. After choosing, thereís little else holding you back from mowing down an endless supply of army drones that are out to get little oleí you.

It wonít be easy for them though. Youíll be able to upgrade your machine gun to blast two, or even three streams of bullets at once. If that wonít be enough, theyíll have their hands a little more than full when you come after them with a flamethrower, rocket launcher, and even a tank. To destroy enemies that are hiding behind sandbags, or to quickly annihilate a structure so you can move on without getting over-burdened with enemy troops, youíll have a supply of grenades at your disposal. When things get really tough you can pull out an M-Crash move, which shows a quick animated cut-scene over the action while your hero wipes everything off of the screen with a single blast.

It wonít be so easy for you though, either. As you progress through the game, thereís just so much more going on. I didnít go into a long description for a reason. I used Ďmoreí because thatís exactly what youíll be facing. Your television set is going to be flooded with troops, rocket launching muscle dummies, tanks, and all the ammunition that will be flooding in your general direction at all times. You face all this as you progress through five levels, and thatís where some of the disappointment comes into play.

Those five levels only last you for a little over an hour, before youíre back at the menu screen trying to decide if you should play solo again, or switch back to playing GTA IV for another month or so. Although the solo campaign is short (but sweet), there is some replay value added by having a multiplayer mode. You can play with three people locally, or online.

Playing with friends is a pretty sweet experience, but when youíre trying to do it over the internet things tend to be a little flawed. There was some minor lag that didnít really disrupt my experience, but where things really get a little goofed up is when you use your M-Crash ability. In solo mode, things kind of come to a halt while the animation comes on the screen, then your guy goes nuts and everybody gets wiped off the map. Not so in multiplayer, as your guy keeps moving and has some great opportunity to take some damage. Whatís even more disturbing is the fact that you and your friends in co-op will share your spare lives. So be careful which players you team up with, if you get someone to play thatís prone to running to the bathroom without notice, or they just suck in general, itís going to cost you.


Controls:

This game has a similar control scheme to that of ĎSmash TVí. You use your left joystick to move the body of your character, and your right joystick actually controls the way your commando is facing while firing. Your triggers are used for bringing on one of your M-Crash attacks, or lobbing a grenade at your enemies. It canít get much simpler than that!


Graphics:

For an arcade style shooter, it certainly looks the part and then some. The graphic design is three dimensional from an overhead view but thereís also a distinct cartoonish look to it as well. The levels are highly detailed and simply beautiful. Nobody slouched when it came to providing a unique look for each level, without making the game feel repetitive or lazy.

A game like this today wouldnít be as much fun as it is without the constant barrage of movement from enemies and ammunition at any given time. ĎWolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3í does have some minor hiccups in frame-rate, but they donít lag the game anywhere near the point where you would feel frustration or lack of interest.


Sound:

This game sounds pretty impressive. Gun-fire isnít completely engulfing, but thatís because the game is reserving all the explosions for your speakers. For an arcade style title such as this, I didnít expect my sound system to actually get the kind of work-out it did. Things are blowing up on a pretty consistent basis, so my adrenaline was definitely kicking my fun level up pretty high. The music for this game only adds to the experience even more. The tunes that are playing in the background are appropriately rockiní for this game. What else could go better with heavy artillery and an endless supply of bullets?


Overall:

ĎWolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3í hits the spot. Itís been a long time since Iíve played an arcade shooter like this, and Iím glad that the third installment in this series has been released. Itís high octane thrills but unfortunately stops a little too short with a play time of only about an hour or so. Once you beat the game you can select your favorite level to start at so youíre not always playing the same first level time and time again if you donít want to, but it just doesnít add enough replay value to warrant any type of glowing recommendation.

Itís not too often we get a game like this anymore, is it? This is about as good as it gets for a game that can be purchased on the cheap. If youíre looking for something thatís going to offer you a lot of variety in gameplay or in length, this one isnít for you. However, Iím going to say this game deserves a recommended rating. If youíre looking for a steroid induced next gen offering down nostalgia lane, then get on this and get on it soon while the Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is available for Beta testing!