There are certain truths in video games. The good guy can live through anything that doesn’t knock his HP to zero. Women will be unnaturally proportioned. And violence solves everything. Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3, which Capcom recently released on Xbox Live Arcade, takes this third truth to the limit — and then proceeds to blow it up.
The controls to this XBLA title are pretty simple: the left stick moves your guy, and the right stick controls your weapon’s aim. The right bumper lobs grenades, and the left bumper clears the screen in a Rambo-esque fashion. The rest of the controller goes unused.
You’ll play as a member of the rugged squad known as the Jackals. Like all elite, uber-patriotic squads, the Jackals know they can solve all their problems be picking up the biggest gun they can find and shooting everything that moves. With that backdrop, Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 lets gamers play as Wolf, the blonde guy, Coyote, the mustache guy, or Fox, the girl. The only real difference among the three is that Wolf has the most health and Fox has the least, with the characters getting more grenades as you decrease in health. Really, though, those two extra grenades don’t make up for all the dying you’ll be doing if you choose Fox.
The game goes for a comic-book style and actually nails it pretty well. The levels are broken up with some light-hearted text explaining what you will blow up next. The art style is cartoony, and almost everything in the environment can be destroyed.
Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 consists of shooting wave after wave of enemies. You can do this with an assault rifle that shoots blue bullets, a shotgun that has green bullets, a flamethrower that shoots view-blocking flames, or a rocket launcher that will kill you. All of the weapons’ firepower and range can be increased with power-ups.
This model ranges from easy to hard, and there’s unfortunately no middle ground. In a nod to old-school games, losing all your lives means going back to the main menu, although you do just start from the beginning of the level in which you died. As an Xbox Live Arcade game, there’s also three-player coop play, but the team shares lives, which (if you play with a bullet sponge) doesn’t exactly make things any easier.
Fortunately, the mass-produced henchmen are relatively easy, as they’ll generally die in one hit regardless of weapon choice. The bigger guys live slightly longer and shoot more bullets, but it’s the end-level bosses that provide the real challenge. These guys usually take up the entire screen and shoot tons of bullets in every direction. Sometimes they shoot a very big gun in one direction. Sometimes they do both. You won’t encounter them too often, however, as there are only five levels, and not all of them have a boss.
Overall, Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 doesn’t last more than a couple hours on any of the manageable difficulties. Getting all of the Achievements will require you to up the difficulty and separate the boys from the men, but only those men who care to get 200/200. All in all, Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 is a fun game, and like the blockbuster movies of summer, it’s pure “popcorn” entertainment.
- Score: 7
- If you really like guns and explosions, this game is for you. Otherwise, pocket your points and save your ammo.
— John Dempsey