W hen you boot Commando, you are loading a piece of history. Back in ’84 it became an instant hit with all arcadesters. Then Elite made it one of the first-ever home computer licences. The idea behind the game was as simple as it was revolutionary. Guide your GI through six vertically scrolling levels, kill everyone you meet, rescue a few prisoners and cause as much mayhem as possible.
The 64 version included some fantastic pieces of music and excellent graphics. The only trouble was that it was outrageously hard. Unfortunately the Amiga version has lost a lot in translation.
The difficulty has gone. It is now too easy to complete a level. Graphically the game has been toned down: you are no longer the rough edged blood and mud characters of the 64, instead you get nice clean sprites. Unfortunately, the music has lost all its strength, now it has wimpish spot effects and seems wasteful of a sound chip. Worst of all your grenades can only be thrown forward, so you tend to be better off with just your trusty machine gun.
I was generally disappointed with this version. It lacks the feel that made the action frantic in the original. Add its age to this and even this classic begins to look more than slightly dated. Still, a definite for kill-crazy Commandos, it is jam-packed with ketchup, but if you are after a healthy shoot ‘em up you might choose something else.
CU Amiga, December 1989, p.44