If you dont
conquer this game, youre history.
Thats the basis
of Activisions Time Commando (DOS/Windows 95), which pits you against
enemies from past to future.
The premise is simple:
a computer virus has invaded the militarys "super cyberbrain"
and the time warping effects it causes threaten to take over all the worlds
computer systems. You have to restore the core memory scattered all through
time and space, punching, chopping and shooting your way past a variety
of enemies charged with preventing you from accomplishing your mission.
Its a pretty
standard scenario for a computer game, but where Time Commando leaps to
the forefront is in its graphics. Each time period, and there are nine,
is rendered with beautiful 3D graphics and uses roving camera angles that
follow your character (it isnt first person - more like a window
onto a movie), while panning, tilting and zooming in the best Hollywood
You arrive in each
time period weaponless, with only your hands and feet between yourself
and various kinds of unpleasantness. Fortunately, the first people you
encounter are reasonably easy to subdue - and once youve done that
you gain whatever weapon they were trying to use on you.
You progress from
clubs and spears to swords and six guns, dynamite, hand grenades, machine
guns, lasers, etc.
a selection of hidden rooms and bonus areas you can find along the way,
and as you collect the computer chips you can also replenish your strength
which, considering the number and variety of enemies youll face,
is both helpful and necessary.
you let something slip past you on the screen, whether chips, life energy,
or secret rooms, theyre gone forever - or at least until you reload
the game. This is too bad; it would be nice to go back and fix your mistakes
without having to exit the game and begin again from the last "save
Weve never liked
fighting games, like "Street Fighter," in which your only raison
dêtre seems to be bloodlust, and thats what we expected
with Time Commando. But we were dead wrong: its more like Dark Forces,
except it isnt in the first person perspective. Like Dark Forces,
however, theres no gore. Time Commando is definitely violent, but
it isnt merely mindless mayhem. As the name implies, youve
been sent on an important mission and all these bad dudes and dudettes
are trying to keep you from accomplishing it. Its kill or be killed.
Be careful not to
have any other programs running when Time Commandos loaded or the
game might hang up, usually when theres a camera move or scene change.
If this happens youll have to press "escape" and then
re-enter the game repeatedly before itll continue, or reload it
from scratch. This is really annoying.
Otherwise, Time Commandos
a terrific game
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