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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
8.5
Visuals
8.0
Audio
7.5
Gameplay
8.5
Features
6.5
Replay
8.5
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
PlayStation Network
PUBLISHER:
SCEA
DEVELOPER:
EPOS Game Studios
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1-12
RELEASE DATE:
December 18, 2008
ESRB RATING:
Teen
 Written by Matt Swider  on March 10, 2009

Review: Worms + Contra + What you always wanted Army Men to be = Your Latest PSN addiction.




Take the wide camera perspective of Worms and the frantic, fun-with-toy-soldiers gameplay you always wanted, but never got from the Army Men series, and you have a good impression of Crash Commando. It's the newest side-scrolling PlayStation Network game in which players control a tiny Grunt (blue) or Jarhead (red) in a scheme that's a lot like a Contra game. However, while its analog controls are similar, this game is unique because it boasts versus multiplayer instead of linear missions.

There's no story or campaign here. In fact, one of the game's trailers accurately boasts, ?No plot. No Girls. Just Pure Mayhem.? So, you head into either the single-player boot camp or multiplayer mode in a learn-as-you-go style in the vein of Warhawk. Of course, the multiplayer mode makes it more fun to blow apart human-controlled soldiers with fun-to-watch ragdoll physics. But, the bots are so surprisingly realistic that it's easy to mistake them for real gamers. They're good without being cheap. The developer struck such an appropriate AI balance that most multiplayer game hosts enable bots when human opponents aren't there to fill the spots.



Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Map Objectives make up the stingy amount of game types, but the lack of options here doesn't hurt the game's replay value, as all are fairly addictive once you get started. From the pre-spawn menu, you pick from three weapon types: primary gun, secondary side-arm and explosives. The quick-firing machine gun is the default primary weapon, but you can switch out to a fair amount of alternatives: a shot gun, grenade launcher, rocket launcher, laser gun or a sniper rifle. The side-arm weapon choices are a handgun and a knife, and are strictly emergency back-up weapons. You'll never want to switch to them because they're weaker and if you ever run out of primary gun bullets in this game, you're doing something wrong.



Explosives are the game's true secondary weapon, and are really fun to use. Depending on your blast weapon of choice, R2 throws the default grenades, lays the proximity mines or tosses some C4 that you can then detonate at your convenience. You start with two, but can hold up to four explosives, so being quick to grab two more as soon as you spawn is half of what it takes for good explosives strategy. The other half is knowing how to judge the trajectory of throwing something like a grenade while hovering in the air and approaching an enemy who's hiding below cover. Sometimes there's only a small window in which your shot counts, as you cut the power to your jetpack, drop from a high platform, whiz past the enemy on a middle platform and try to take them out with perfect grenade-throwing accuracy.

All of the game's eight maps (more are likely to come with DLC) feature dual-sided warzones thanks to the handful of exits located on the 2D playing fields. They allow you to switch sides to search for more kills in a new part of the level or to make a quick escape to whatever awaits on the other side. While it does enhance the strategy, the coolest part about these dual-sided maps is that you can see all of the action going on in the murky background. Seeing rockets zooming around and the bloody aftermath in the foggy distance really adds to the graphic's excellent jungle terrain and rocky cave artwork.

Further adding gameplay variety, tanks and 4X4 vehicles travel on magnetic rails horizontally as well as vertically and are an obvious choice for running over enemies and quickly increasing your kill count. It doesn't hurt that they pack powerful guns, too. Naturally, riding in a tank or 4X4 makes you an open target for the sake of balance, as you zoom along the pre-defined track, holding down R1 to fire and smashing into everyone who gets in your way without stopping to leave a note.

Bottom Line
Crash Commando doesn't feature a whole lot of game types and while its 2D graphics are well textured, it's the type of game in which the camera is zoomed out so much that it's hard to see everything on a smaller TV set unless you're sitting extremely close. But, scooch your chair closer to the monitor if that's what it takes because this $10 is worth every penny. With up to twelve fast-moving, bite-sized soldiers scurrying around 2D maps, using jetpacks, avoiding explosions and nailing the perfect shot on the run, Crash Commando is the latest must-download online addiction exclusively for PS3.


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