Developer: Backbone Emeryville
Release date: Available now
Review by: Ryan Asher
When you play a game that is mindlessly fun and addictive, but really has no redeeming value whatsoever, how exactly should it be classified?
I think it shouldn’t be. It’s beyond classification, one might say. It’s like your drunken buddy who always does something embarrassingly hilarious around respectable company, or playing midnight street hockey and being obnoxiously loud – these things are all highly entertaining, but you’re looked down upon for enjoying them.
Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 is a game that falls into this category. It’s a standard top-down shooter that hits you mercilessly with hordes of cannon fodder, while doing nothing particularly inventive or remarkable in the process. When it comes to substance, Commando 3 is very much like a B-movie, which is fitting since the three playable characters emulate stars of said movies.
These characters, which might as well be referred to as Cobra, Raptor and Black Mamba because their names are so trivial, are known as The Jackals. They’re an elite squad of soldiers who are dropped into the most desperate situations and blah, blah, blah, you’ve heard this all before. The game starts as your avatar, and the two supporting characters if you’re playing with buddies, storm a beach level (conveniently referred to as “beach”) under a constant barrage of gunfire, mortar fire and screen-sized tank fire. Like most top-down shooters, the action is relentless for the game’s entire duration (about an hour and a half).
While Commando 3 has generic characters, generic levels (beach, prison, mountain, island and fortress), generic enemies, mediocre graphics, poor attempts at particle effects and pitiful story elements, it’s still frustratingly addictive. I say frustrating, because it’s hard to figure out why a game with such mediocre elements is so much fun, considering that it’s also maddeningly difficult. I had to turn in my Man Card and play Commando 3 on the easiest of four difficulties (my attempts on the hardest and medium difficulties were in vain), and even then it took me three tries to beat it. You’re expected to plow through the game’s five levels with six continues, and if you lose those continues, better luck next time, you’re starting from the beginning!
Much like renting a movie the quality of “Leprechaun in the Hood,” Commando 3 is the perfect title for when you have a few friends over, want some good laughs and don’t plan on spending the next couple of hours doing anything revolutionary.