AVAILABLE ON PC (Reviewed), PS3 & XBOX 360
Command: Gaea Mission
is the long awaited and highly anticipated re-imagining
of the 1988 groundbreaking PC classic Carrier Command. Instead of being
a straight strategy game like its predecessor, this next-generation
remake combines the real-time elements that made the original great with
first-person shooter segments in an attempt to bridge the gap between
the genres? Does it live up to the hype? Sadly, no it doesnít. While
Carrier Command: Gaea Missionís ideas are brilliant, they are poorly
implemented, and may leave fans of the original game severely
As Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is a hybrid
of a first-person shooter and real-time strategy, itís difficult to
comment on the gameplay as a whole. You play as Myrik, a lieutenant of
United Earth Coalition, who leads the fight against the
Asian Pacific Alliance to gain control of the planetoid, Taurus, after
an apocalyptic war destroyed the Earth and its resources.
The gameís campaign begins with the first-person
level, which may come as a surprise to fans of the original game that
were expecting a game solely focused on strategy. Iím just surprised
that it was included at all because it is just plain awful. For
starters, your character canít jump or sprint, making your efforts to
traverse the environment feel sluggish. The cookie-cutter enemies you
face go down with one hit, and you only have one gun at your disposal.
The radar indicator showing where your enemies are doesnít work half the
time, so youíll be constantly hearing bullets and getting hit, but with
a fast generating shield and your extremely overpowered rifle thereís no
need to worry. This section of the game has a complete lack of tension
and is a terribly poor attempt at setting up the story.
The strategy section of Carrier Command is
where the gameplay shines the most but it too has some major flaws. Like
most real-time strategy games, players are given a birdís eye view
perspective of the map, showing their units, statistics and the location
of resources. What Carrier Command does differently is allowing
you to manually take control of your vehicles and switch you to a
third-person view of the environment that you are trying to take control
of. Itís a really cool idea; I myself have often wondered when a game
company would ever have an attempt at making a game like this.
The main purpose for taking over one of the 30+
islands in the campaign is to improve the quality and quantity of
vehicles at your disposal for your next outing. This proves difficult
however when the execution of the gameplay is quite disappointing. The
vehicle that you control manually works fine, however AI controlled
vehicles that follow you act like someone from the 17th
century is playing a video game for the first time. Theyíre constantly
get stuck in the environment, forcing you to manually take control of
them and leave your vehicle prone to enemy fire.
When you finally get your vehicles into a formation
you are happy with, I wish you all the best with getting them to do what
you want. The gameís broken control system seems to only work when it
wants to, your AI teammates feel more like moral support than the brute
force you expect, so youíll constantly be fighting waves of enemies by
yourself. For the majority of the campaign however, the enemies are just
pushovers, making Carrier Command a fairly easy game, but an
extremely frustrating one due to its unpolished gameplay.
is a mixed bag when it comes to presentation. The game runs on a brand
new engine developed by Bohemia Interactive, and it sports some great
viewing distances in the first-person shooter segment of the game.
Environmental detail is impressive for the most parts, with the decent
variety of locations quite cool to look at and explore.
Character designs, on the other hand, are quite poor.
The walking cycles are stiff, mouths donít synchronise with the voice
acting and thereís a limited variety in the character design. Some of
the character animations are so bad itís hilarious; one of the female
characters canít decide whether to stand like a man or execute an
awkward pose that looks like sheís trying to hit on you. The game seems
to lag a bit as well; I regularly noticed that my character would walk
faster and then slower at random, and that the frame rate dipped a
little in darker environments. Overall itís quite a dated engine, which
is rather disappointing for a game with such a long development history.
You can almost smell the cheesiness when any of the
characters speak in this game; the voice acting is so bad itís bad. Your
character, Myrik, has a fairly standard British accent, but I
doubt whether a British person provided the voice. Heís meant to sound
like a badass clearly, but the flat delivery of his lines and terrible
dialogue doesnít help the situation. The other characterís voices arenít
any better. For a game set in a post-apocalyptic war scenario, they seem
pretty chipper about the whole situation; it appears they believe
theyíre in a training simulator the whole time.
Thereís just an overall lack of excitement in what
youíre meant to be doing in Carrier Command; thereís little to no
ambient sounds while playing through the strategy mode, and the
orchestral score during the first-person section is decent but makes it
feel like your run-of-the-mill shoot Ďem up like Call of Duty. Thereís
nothing truly special about the audio production in this game.
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission
suffers from a classic case of ĎDuke Nukem syndromeí. This game had a
rather extensive development period (news of a remake has been buzzing
around for about a decade) and just too much hype for anyone to expect
that it would live up to all of their dreams. It sports quite a lengthy
campaign so you wonít be finishing it in a day, but with the poor
gameplay, bugs and issues youíll face along the way, you may not even
end up finishing it.