Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 Review

Player(s): 3
Memory: 136 MB
Extra Support: Online Co-Op, Leaderboards

Around the time when Billy The Cowboy was rustling up outlaws in the wild west in Gun.Smoke and Arthur was battling hordes of demons in Ghost n' Goblins, another hero by the name of Super Joe was annihilating enemy armies and rescuing their captives in Commando. The original Commando was the first isometric shooter from Capcom that went on to spawn a sequel in the early 90's by the name of "Mercs". Mercs (or Commando II) greatly improved the action of the original and brought in extra weapons and vehicles. The Japanese title of both Commando games was "Senjou No Ookami" which translates to "Battlefield of the Wolf". With the incorporation of the Japanese title along with the American title, Wolf of the Battlefield (WOTB): Commando 3 also combines the gameplay of both original Commando titles and brings in some new gameplay enhancements and graphics for the newer generation of gaming.

Upon first starting up WOTB: Commando 3 the change in art style was definitely noticeable. The original realistic character designs of the first two games has been replaced with a Cartoon Network-like art style that is full of color and exaggerates the character emotions with its still drawings much like a Samurai Jack episode. The menus are full of little animations here and there while exploring the game's options. The new art style works really well with the new characters that are introduced this time.

Speaking of the characters, there are three selectable characters that may be chosen from the start of the game - Wolf, Coyote and Fox. Unlike Mercs, Commando 3 differentiates the characters stats a bit in order to make each one feel different. One character can take more damage than the other two, one character has average attributes, and one character can hold more grenades and is faster but she has a very small life bar.

After choosing a character, you will notice that the game is still showcased with an overhead view reminiscent of the first two games but the controls have changed a bit. Firing is now down with the right analog much like Assault Heroes. This new control setup allows one to move in any direction while firing in another making it a most welcome change of control compared to the other games in the series where you had to quickly face a certain direction to fire. The HD graphics are showcased in full 3-D. The characters and enemies are a bit bigger than those found in Assault Heroes and they're animations are fluid while walking though the main characters lack a bit detail and look blocky when stared at each one from up close. Environments such as trees buildings have a lot of detail however.

The game plays much like Mercs. Each of its five levels has swarms of soldiers that will be running toward your character and there are many environmental objects that may be destroyed. Different weapons can be picked up throughout each level. You have the choice of a normal machine gun, a spread fire, a flamethrower, and a rocket launcher. Grenades have been brought back once again from the original Commando and each character can stockpile a certain number of them. Each character must pause a bit during the grenade tossing animation, which can get you hit, so each grenade toss must be planned out. Each of the characters also has their own unique special attack that will bring up a short animated sequence then trigger an on-screen explosion that will take down most surrounding normal enemies.