First Look at Field Commander
Don’t look now, folks, but SOMEBODY just made the… phht… “first military-based real-time strategy game”… if somebody doesn’t choke the words “Advance Wars clone” I would be surprised.
Because somebody has to attempt to climb Mt. Advance Wars, it looks like Sony is attempting to come out with their own military strategy gamer with Field Commander. However if you were hoping for something as quirky or original as Advance Wars you’ll be disappointed… doesn’t make Field Commander a piece of (bleep) mind you, it just won’t be the slice of gaming you’d be looking for if you’re looking for your first taste of Advance Wars on the PSP.
Promising a full plate full of lengthy single player campaign mode action, and a robust multiplayer takeout menu, you are promised a promising military strategy game that may shine brightly in it’s own way (and not just be shown off as some Advance Wars also ran clone game attempting to garner some success from the comparison to the highly praised Nintendo portable franchise).
Locked down with a platform of hardcore content that will make players appreciate it’s gameplay on it’s own merits (and not just because they’re suffering from an Advance Wars fix), it is a promise of an open field of easily accessible combat that will both challenge the die hard strategy generals (whether or not your last name is Rumsfeld) as well as the newcomers with it’s in-depth tutorials and in-game assistance that promises to make sure new players will not become easily frustrated by the game (which is a plus in my book since more games should be as newbie friendly).
Also it may finally get me into online play as a promised expansive network modes will make the game appealing to PSP players looking to bust a new one into a total stranger player in some distant land of Michigan, or California, or Honolulu… yes, so called video game expert for KHNL News 8, I’m calling you out of your white tower of a news building for a little one on one online massa-- I mean play.
So what is the story of Field Commander? I mean we all know the story of Advance Wars by heart, so what is going on here in Image 1 of 10. Click to enlarge
Field Commander is set in the FUTURE… (quick, act surprised!)… at a time when “well funded criminal organizations have declared war on the world’s governments. Yeah, yeah, first one to find psuedo Cobra Commander or Destro wins, COBR-- cough cough… damn cold… cough…
Anyway you have been recruited by the… don’t laugh… Advanced Tactical Legion for Allied Security (which is not so much bad that the organization is called ATLAS as much as they worked in the word “Advanced” (Advanced (cough) Wars) into the title) to safeguard the world from terrorism, black market trading and (oh, right) that whole “world domination“ thing mentioned above. Yeah.
Image 1 of 10. Click to enlarge
As the new “Field Commander” (thus the title of the game) for ATLAS, you’ll pick up tech and vehicles from 50 nations, along with “legions of highly trained operatives” which will all follow your marching orders as you head out to smash enemy. Oh, and don’t worry about having to ply political and international intrigue with your tank smashing because the governments in this game all pretend they don’t know you (like Mission Impossible, only without you having to be either A&E Biographies Peter Graves or Scientology shiller Tom Cruise).
The meat of the game for us solo players is the single player campaign. With 30 or so missions promised, each of which move the storyline forward, you’ll find a full platter of kick butt to go with your storyline (and a fully voice acted storyline to boot). Oh, and this won’t be a game you can overcome in one rainy day afternoon so that is another good point about the game, along with the unlockable content and new forces you can open up for use as you go through the game.
If you are on the road, and don’t have enough time to invest in a Campaign mode battle, spin on over to Quick Battle for a little fast moving thrash and slash without having to worry about completing said mission before you reach your stop (or the end of your battery life even if the PSP is really forgiving about playing to the point of the system shutting down). Image 2 of 10. Click to enlarge
As in Advance Wars only a certain amount of scenarios are open at first (most likely not the depth of missions available in, say, Advance Wars : Dual Strike though) but as you play
Image 2 of 10. Click to enlarge
Here you’ll get Advance Wars déjà vu as you’ll be able to pick a CO, your division, and team color (your flavor of favorite nation?) as you head into battle. Sounds abit Advance Wars-ish, eh? Hopefully it’s only in the most cosmetic way that the comparison is made between Advance Wars and Field Commander.
Tutorial mode is Tutorial mode. Learn the game’s ins and outs on the fly, or refresh your memory on certain aspects of the game if you forget a move after spending weeks playing X-Men Legends II or Metal Gear Acid 2 and forgetting parts of your training in the interim.
After that we have the Versus mode, which is your multiplayer option.
At the top of the Versus mode menu is Infrastructure mode, which allows you to use any internet connection to contact a remote server so you can jump right into the Field Commander’s online lobby. Once there you can scroll through a number of open games, or set up your own “booth” and host your own game. If you decide to be the host instead of the guest, then you’ll decide on all the parameters of the match like a possible time limit, weather condition, unit count, which kind of sounds like Advance Wars to me.
The depth of customization available in Field Commander is supposed to be deep, and yet totally easy to master since the interface is supposed to work with you and not against you.
There is also the usual wireless function which means two players can go at it against one another using the same scenario customization process available in the Infrastructure mode. Promising to be just as simple, and just as muss and fuss less as a quickie in Quick Battle mode, you should have no quarrels with this especially since the game promises minimal lag time when you are engaged in actual mortal Kom-- I mean combat. Combat. Combat with a C and not a K… yeah.
Next up is hot swap mode, where two players share one system and take turns back and forth (you know, if you want to play against another human but that one happens Image 3 of 10. Click to enlarge
Finally you can take it nice and slow with a leisurely Sunday drive through a war zone with the chess style gameplay known as Transmission mode, where a single game can stretch on for days and days : a perfect mode for retired former US Military Advisors and Generals looking for something to pass the days away.
Why is it SOOOOOoooooo slow? Because it’s basically play-by-email, so once you get into this you can take a turn pretty much at anytime, even when your opponent is doing that thing called his or her life and not present to wait for you to finish moving.
Image 3 of 10. Click to enlarge
Unlike Advance Wars, however, the game doesn’t take advantage of the things that made Advance Wars shine. For one thing you have to constantly balance your budget since you apparently can’t earn a fortune during gameplay (unlike Advance Wars where capturing lots of resources means a chance to rake up the money for more things to use to blow stuff up with). You’ll also suffer the slings and arrows of environmental obstacles (which probably will not be as easy to overcome as they were in Advance Wars) and the ever present (seen it in a ton of games) Fog of War.
The key to mastering this game is mastering your individual units, and knowing when to hold them, when to fold them, when to walk away and known when to stop parodying some old card gambling song… like me, I wish I knew when to walk away… uh, sorry.
Another thing you need to learn is the full useage of your resource building locations like Factories and Shipyards (ala Advance Wars)… in fact quite abit of this seems to borrow from the Advance Wars book, and yet does it without the cutesy wacky gameplay wrapping paper that envelopes Advance Wars.
But again it’s not to say Field Commander is an Advance Wars clone, as you will find merit here from what I read about it, it’s just that it will remind you abit of Advance Wars.
In short once I get my hands on the full story of this game I’m betting this is going to be one of those PSP games that will actually justify you owning a PSP in the first place. Stay tuned, more to come.
Fist of the North Star“
A legendary fighter able to call on secret powers, he is an unrivaled practitioner of a martial art that fights violence with worse violence to enforce justice. Kenshiro is the man with the seven scar...
Currently Playing by Yung Burnout
am I supposed to be serious here.... by Miketoms
HDMI cable by crihstyma
Satoshi Kon 1963 - 2010 by nikejersey0
Teams Of Pandora Charms by pandora2013