Platform played: PC
Platform games are slowly rising again and most independent developers are going back to classic platform elements. There are certain numbers of mix platform games with unique elements that prove to be great. A good example of this is Commander Cool 2 that recently received a Greenlit from Steam. The game brings that old school challenging platform atmosphere to players. Developed by Orlyapps, Commander Cool 2 shows potential as a platform game.
Commander Cool 2 is a side-scrolling action comic-style platform game. The main objective of Commander Cool 2 is similar to most platform games like Super Mario Brothers and Commander Keen. Additional challenges are also included in each level that makes the game challenging. Just like any other platform titles, Commander Cool 2 can be a less difficult platform title when skipping those hard optional challenges.
The game lets the player choose to skip the short introduction video of the story. I choose not to skip it. The brief cinematic shows an old grumpy janitor who was belittled by the well-suited aged bald businessman. Out of anger, the enraged janitor went inside the ‘Top Secret’ labeled door. He discovered a white television time machine and used it to time travel. The penny-pinching old businessman discovered the time machine disappeared. Calling for desperate help, the muscular arrogant playboy protagonist (Commander Cool) was hired to recover the hijacked device. To recover the snatched technology, the protagonist will need to chase the antagonist through time-travel.
Following the events occurred in the short cinematic begins the player in the Stone Age. Let’s start with the basics, this is a side-scroll action platform game where you jump from one obstacle to another with the ability to use firepower. You may notice some similarity with the classic platform game Commander Keen in terms about gameplay. Commander Cool 2 gives a solid element of a platform game that requires a lot of jump timings.
Even with almost similar gameplay of Commander Keen, Commander Cool 2’s weaponry makes it different. Commander Cool uses a rectangular brown log that shoots rocks to kill enemies at the start of each level. The player gets to acquire unique amusing weapons with different damages on their progression in the levels. One of these fun weapons includes a unicorn head that spits explosive rainbow rays from its mouth. Showing at least 4 unique weapons in this alpha build, Commander Cool 2 make players want to continue through the locked levels to see its list of weaponry.
The alpha version of Commander Cool 2 has only 20 levels unlocked in the Stone Age chapter. Each level does not give out that unique experience aside from the level where you’re chased by a not-so terrifying tyrannosaurus rex. Given that this is still an alpha build with limited access to levels and weaponry, there might be more things to discover in the next stages when it’s released. According to the people behind Commander Cool 2, there is a multiplayer mode in the game. Players can play through the game in co-op mode and complete the game’s main story. Or players can go head-to-head in a deathmatch mode. Looking at the multiplayer gameplay videos, it gives out that great classic Metal Slug feel in the game.
The controls of the game is, honestly, poor at its current state. The key binding of the interaction and fire buttons are under one key [Q], which makes certain challenges impossible to achieve. An example of this is when a player needs to avoid shooting more than twice, and the level has three levers that needs to be activated. Another thing that needs be cited is the intermittent response of the jump action. At certain times when pressing [Spacebar] won’t let your character jump for some unknown reason. Once Again, the game is still under its alpha stage and there will be more improvement before the Commander Cool 2 releases.
The visual presentation of Commander Cool 2 was good in a way it was pleasing to the eyes. The game’s art is made of a simple comic art with onomatopoeia effects. The game had graphical issues when enemies are pushed to places, like what the image above this paragraph shows. Also, something that I didn’t expect was the character’s feet goes along with the beat of the game’s music that made the game feel a bit alive there. Speaking of music, the soundtrack of Commander Cool 2 corresponds well in each stage with its retro music to add more ambience and thrill. The retro music goes along to the game’s overall visual presentation was a decent choice.
Overall Commander Cool 2 is a good comic art retro style side-scrolling platform piece. Despite its graphical glitches and not-so polished controls in this alpha build, Commander Cool 2 still give players good experiences with some classic platform elements. With its upcoming multiplayer mode next week, it might be a verdict changer, but who knows right? I can’t wait for the multiplayer mode and see what Commander Cool 2 will surprise us next.
This preview is based off from an Alpha Build version of the game by Orlyapps.