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iPhone  header logo

Assault Commando

For: iPhone

All brawn and no brains

Product: Assault Commando | Publisher: Uprising Games | Developer: 3D Magic Kft. | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.1
Assault Commando iPhone, thumbnail 1
Although many people will tell you that Soda Streams, rock band The Smiths, and Back to the Future are the best things to have come out of the cultural wasteland that was the 1980s, I consider the numerous numbskull action movies of Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Lundgren to be more memorable.

Developer 3D Magic Kft. agrees, as this iPhone shooter is every inch a loving tribute to the thinly plotted, explosion-heavy flicks of the '80s.

Predictably, you assume the role of the lone soldier tasked with destroying the empire of a stereotypical drug overlord.

Dropped into dense jungle armed only with your wits and military training, you need to pick up various weapons along the way to ensure you have the tools required to take down the drug baron's considerable army.

Is that a gun in your pocket?

Pick-ups include grenades, rocket launchers and shotguns, as well as the dependable machine gun. Each of these items has limited ammunition, so you need to keep your eyes peeled for munitions drops as you send enemy troops on a one-way trip to hell.

Conducting this carnage is straightforward: you move using a virtual analogue stick, while attacks are levelled by tapping weapon icons on the right-hand side of the screen.

When you consider the size of your armoury, this scheme has problems. During the heat of battle it's common to accidentally press the wrong weapon icon.

Since certain buildings and enemy vehicles can only be taken out with specific weapons – the ammo for those weapons is limited at that – mistakes can be frustrating.

Thankfully, the game's checkpoint system prevents things from becoming infuriating. Each level is divided into short segments, and once you reach a fresh checkpoint your health is replenished.

This allows you to tackle levels in bite-sized chunks, and if you happen to bite the bullet you re-spawn at the previous checkpoint, which is never too far away from the scene of your untimely demise.

Dimensional shift

Visually, Assault Commando is striking. The 3D environments feature a lot of detail. Sadly, the main character and enemy soldiers are 2D sprites, which look curiously out of place.

Because your soldier's movement is based on frames of animation rather than a 3D model, you're sure to find that sometimes bullets actually fire in a slightly different direction from where your gun's barrel is pointing. It's an unfortunate side-effect of marrying 2D and 3D objects, and one that makes aiming artificially difficult.

Repetition is also an issue. Achievements and high scores via OpenFeint and the overall stern difficulty level mitigate this, but ultimately you’re just blowing lots of identical-looking baddies to smithereens across similar environments.

Despite the samey nature of the gameplay, what's on offer is enjoyable enough. It’s unlikely to stick in your memory for long, but then isn’t that the perfect homage to the classic no-brainer action movies of old?
Assault Commando
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 27 September 2010
Although its appeal won’t last forever, Assault Commando still offers some enjoyable shooting action and neatly invokes warm feelings of classics action games and movies
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