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Carrier Command: Gaea Mission Review

2012 has been one hell of a year at Bohemia Interactive. With ArmA III in development; members of the development team being arrested for taking suspect photos in Greece and the sudden popularity of the multiplayer mod, DayZ, but somehow they've still managed to find the time to remake the 1988 game, Carrier Command for the current consoles and PC market.

Carrier Command was released in 1988 to a wonderful reception. Once called the "seminal game destined to change the state of gaming," it came out on every platform under the sun at the time. It was a very ambitious project; you piloted a carrier which had to move around a series of islands and lands gaining control of them to improve your strategic position. All the while the computer controlled enemy did the same thing. The two ways of winning were by controlling all of the land available or domination of the enemy, seems simple by today's standards.

Bohemia Interactive's remake of the classic is a real time strategy at it's core but with some first person shooter elements. As mentioned before, the main aim of the game is the control all of the 33 islands on the expansive map. Once you've gained control of an island you're able to designate each for separate purposes, Mining/Production/Stockpiling, although it's best to take advantage of the islands with large amounts of resources so that you can build up your force and continue your attack. You're also able to upgrade owned vehicles, buy new units and reinforce your captured islands defences. Taking over island is a little more complex than you'd think, you can't just barge in explode everything in sight and claim it with your oversized flag, oh no. Attacks need to be planned - one devious way is to have your air units wear down the enemy allowing your ground units to move in with relative ease. The more land you take, the more you can improve your carrier and so on and so forth, there's a large focus on conquest in Carrier Command.

The game has a few FPS moments scattered around, but thankfully they don't happen that often and just seem to be in there to show that you can actually walk around, showing off your fancy captain status with your futuristic rifle and handy shield. As your rifle can dish out a fair amount of damage and your shield can take the brunt of most oncoming attacks, these sections don't come across as too challenging and are often quite disappointing at times, but don't worry the heart of the game lies within it's strategy elements and those are the sections that shine the brightest.

Graphically, Bohemia has put the Reality Engine to good use within Carrier Command: Gaea Mission, showcasing some of the most impressive large scale islands seen on the Xbox 360, complimented well with some dynamic weather effects, nice lighting and brilliant water effects. Just as in ArmA the different terrain looks superb, you'll be traversing over thick snowy arctic areas, marshy bogs, mountains and in a throwback to the original game - Volcanos. CC:GM's HUD is unobtrusive and nicely set up, a small picture in picture camera allows you to track other units that might be in transit. But those compliments aside, the game isn't going to be winning any awards or setting a new graphical standard with its visuals.

Now, as with past Bohemia Interactive games, Command Carrier: Gaea Mission has quite a few bugs embedded within the game. I remember countless times where my soldier or vehicle in Operation: Flashpoint would just fall through the map and Gaea Mission is no exception with its flaws. Most of the faults this time round surround the artificial intelligence forcing you to keep an eye on things a little more than you really should have to. For example you can send your units off into battle only to find that one of the units selected has decided to stay in the exact same spot as you left it due to being completely stuck on the ground some how. Little moments like that don't happen all too often, but once it happen a few times paranoia sets in and you find yourself being quite thorough with your gaming.

Gaea Mission is a pretty challenging game, don't come into it thinking it's something you'll win easily, you really have to put a lengthy amount of time into managing and understand everything under your command. One major disappointment with the game is the glaring omission of any multiplayer of any kind, it would have been an ideal game to pit your Carrier against a mate whether that be online or off, but the lack of multiplayer game modes shouldn't be used against the strong single player campaign.

Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is an ambitious, challenging, unpolished game that will appeal to the hardcore strategy fan at heart. It's form of classic strategy and first person shooting is almost unique on this generation of consoles and in some cases even on the PC over the last few years. While it's good to see that some publishers aren't afraid to take a risk with a game such as this, perhaps some extra time and polish would have done the title some good. If you can look past the bugs and first person shooter moments, you'll be rewarded with large scale open worlds with plenty of strategic options and a generally fun experience.

Review Policy (Version tested: Xbox 360)

Edited On 03 Oct, 2012

( 1 )
Shnoorum's avatar
Shnoorum 4 years ago
It sounds quite interesting but with a few exceptions I'm not huge on RTS games. A demo would be nice albeit unlikely

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