The nutshell we’re about to stuff Crash Commando into, essentially saving the you effort of reading any further should you so wish, has two distinct halves. One is brightly coloured; with lots of pinks and greens clashing in nauseating ways. It has been decorated like an Easter egg in the style of the Worms games. The other half is darker, more serious. The Easter egg-style hand-painting contrasts starkly with the other half. It looks a bit like Warhawk. There you have it. Crash Commando is part Worms and part Warhawk. But do keep on reading.
There’s also a bit of the brilliant Bionic Commando Rearmed in there, in so much as it’s a 2D game with natty 3D graphics, but you can’t paint that on a bloody nutshell! Instead of swinging around levels with a f**k-off massive metal arm, you have a jetpack strapped to you and you rocket from side to side and up and down to your heart’s content. Or at least until the little jetpack fuel meter thing empties and you plummet to earth again. So you zip about against up to 11 other players, blasting them into a sticky red mess. Referring to that nutshell again, that’s it. Yet it’s shamefully whole-heartedly addictive. Maybe it’s that sticky red mess; it’s like a bottle of Ketchup nuked in the microwave for half an hour and never loses its cheap appeal.
Strictly speaking there are two planes to the game: the foreground and the background, but alas no actual planes with wings and bombs and that. There are tanks and jeeps however, and doorways big enough to accommodate them to allow you to flit between the two halves of each level – you’re also able to keep an eye on what’s happening in real time in the plane behind you. Thus you’d have to be daft to fall out of the loop.
There’s a wealth of big dumb weapons to choose from and also pick up in each level. Chainguns, rocket launchers and lasers can all be found and will temporarily replace your main weapon for a few seconds. Plus there are the vehicles and their unlimited bullets – unlimited until someone puts a rocket up your arse. A primary and a secondary weapon can be alternated between, and you can chuck a range of handy explosives which have the comedic habit of bouncing up off the ground into enemies’ faces.
Eight levels are included in the game, with more promised, and they look like a) Moore-era Bond villain bunkers or b) Eighties/good-era Indiana Jones sets. Some support vehicles by way of rails which loop all the way through – inevitably these are the most fun to play. It’s a shame there aren’t more vehicles. Seeing more tanks and jeeps rocketing through the air is great (the jetpack applies to these as well), but again hopefully, that’ll be sorted in the future. Enjoyable as it is, CC has its flaws. we’ve already said it’s shallow, but it’s also fiddly to control. The Left stick moves you while the Right stick aims and this feels unnatural while you fly around shooting people. So, in lieu of more content, this is fun, but limited.
Dec 18, 2008