|System: X360 (XBLA), PS3 (PSN)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Backbone Ent.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 11, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-3||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jonathan Marx
Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 has blasted its way on to XBLA and PSN. Following in the rather large footsteps of Commando and Mercs, Commando 3 is a mindless shoot'em-up with crisp visuals and solid co-op play.
Unfortunately, serious arcade players will probably beat the game on the first try (even on Suicide difficulty). In fact, after leaving a trail of carnage through a measly five levels in just a couple of hours, I couldn't help but expect more content. If you're looking for something masterful from this simplistic shooter, you'll be disappointed. However, the highly stylized world, various secrets, and familiar controls make this a title worth picking up for fans of analog stick, top-down, arcade shooters.
In Commando 3 you'll choose from one of three special ops mercenaries. These elite fighters are codenamed Wolf, Coyote, and Fox. These commandoes are not only distinct-looking, they also have varying abilities such as speed, health, and grenades. Sadly, the differing ability levels don't do enough to differentiate one character from another. In fact, other than the amount of grenades each can carry, I couldn't find a whole lot of difference between them. Nevertheless, any member of the Jackals can kick a lot of butt.
Your goal in Commando 3 is to muscle your way through the levels by destroying everything and everyone in your path and finding hidden medals and free caged POWs along the way. Making life impossible for your pursuers is enjoyable, though it does get extremely repetitive, not to mention very easy. This is especially so when playing with three players. If you've each powered-up your weapons a couple of times, you'll be spitting out so much lead that the enemy will never have a chance. Add to this the ability to destroy everything on-screen with the M-Crash special attack, and you'll rarely find yourself in a sticky spot.
Most of the time you'll be marching through levels on foot. However, Commando 3 mixes things up a bit by including occasional vehicles to ride around in. Vehicles are powerful in that they can plow through the enemy onslaught and protect the characters, but the mounted weapons are either very weak or too slow. When all is said and done, a character with a powered up rifle is far more effective. To make matters worse, controlling vehicles is very awkward, and there isn't enough room on the screen to truly let them rip, as you'll constantly run up against the edge of the screen. Thankfully, vehicles aren't particularly necessary; your arsenal is more than adequate to get the job done.
Weapon selection includes a machine gun, a green plasma rifle, laser-like projectiles, and a flamethrower. All of the weapons work well, but there's no real substitute for a powered-up machine gun. The only other one that comes close is the flamethrower, which is worth toting around simply because it is so comically employed; setting enemy minions alight never really gets old. Inexplicably, the flamethrower is more effective against vehicles and buildings than it is against troops. I guess you have to suspend disbelief. As fun as the weapons are, I would have liked to see more variety.