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! :)
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...
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
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
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
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
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