Reviewed by Malc

I hope you like mud. Commando must be the muddiest game ever, mind and bring your wellies. Another Capcom classic, Commando played a mean game of soldiers, and was a welcome break from the plethora of space shooters available at the time. They repeated the success with Gunsmoke, which had a much better shooting system, using 3 buttons to fire in different directions. The whole point of Commando was to slog your way to the top of the screen, running past bunkers, motorbikes and a whole lot of (for the time) intelligent enemy soldiers. I'd have loved a proper 2 player update to this game, in 2D of course, where you could have more weapons and jumped on the bikes, and you and your chum could cover for each other whilst grabbing grenade powerups, or storming the blockades at the end shoulder to shoulder. I should have been a game designer, I'm telling you! :)

Commando must also be one of the very few games to show smoking, as this screengrab will attest! Imagine a 2 player mode, Bill and Hank sharing a joint... heh heh!

Commando is a pretty hard game, and it was the intelligence of the baddies which helped make it so. They seem human, chasing you round rocks, hiding and throwing grenades, pee-ing in the bushes, and running away and firing backwards at the same time. At the end of each level you attacked a fortress, and swarms of soldiers burst out and attacked you from all sides. Being used to squadrons of spaceships flying on in a neat shootable line, it took me quite a while to get used to Commando... if only more games had this amount of sly enemy design!

You could tell a good Commando player by the 'manic swivel run'. This meant running straight up the screen twisting the joystick from side to side in an attempt to spray your fire as wide as possible - whilst keeping an eye out for the extra grenades, often hidden right next to a bunch of enemies.

I was overjoyed when it came out on the Commodore 64, but disappointed by the lack of levels - only 3! The arcade one had at least 7. However, these were the most enjoyable 3 levels of any game at the time, blasting up screen with the fabulous Rob Hubbard music blaring was an intense experience.

Score 8/10

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Cheers mate, see you in a couple of hours... HEY!! where's me backup guys!!?? Bloody suicide missions... that's the last one I volunteer for...

One of your chums is being forced to do the Time Warp.... I'm sure there's something in the Geneva convention about this! Either kill his captors or shoot him in the back... heh heh:)

I'm not going in that underpass. I don't like underpasses. Where I live, it's a great night out for youths to stand in underpasses, writing on the walls and peeing in corners, whilst downing vast quantities of that fortified wine, Buckfast. Never saw the attraction of it myself. In the game, you have to scoot through quickly as well, as you can get bashed into by an enemy coming from the other side. One knocked elbow in this game and you're dead.

At the end of the first level, soldiers run out the door and attack you from all sides. Use the manic swivel shot method here. It's quite amusing how the bloke in green managed to get out the door before it actually opened! Watch out for it....:)

Later levels get horribly difficult with bikes, jeeps and blokes in trenches. Mind and pick up the wee boxes of grenades you see lying about, they come in very handy for trench-men.

Running through the outdoor toilet level, baddies pop out and surprise you. Worryingly, two of them come out the same toilet sometimes.

Is it just me or does this mound look like a skull? The best bit here is to play chases round it, the ememies will follow you right round!

The death animations are short but funny. You can just hear them shouting "Aiiieeee!!!", as they do in the best boys' comics.

Shooting the walls is fun, but ultimately pointless. Aim for the soldiers instead.

2 seconds later....dead. A posse of rocket launcher wielders gang up on you. At first you don't think there's much variety to Commando, after a few levels though you'll meet all sorts of ways to die.

Believe it or not this used to be state of the art home computing. The C64 version in all it's hi-res glory.

See, look, it's exactly the same as the arcade! My dear old C64 is sadly neglected now, haven't taken it from its box in years. Keep meaning to, but never get round to it. I think


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie