Carrier Command: Gaea Mission|
When I first read about Carrier Command: Gaea Mission I immediately knew I had to play this game, not only because I absolutely love RTS games and anything to do with naval battles but because this was a remake thatís been in the making for years and finally had seen light of day. Carrier Command: Gaea mission is reimagining of the game of the same title for the Atari system which came out in 1988, a good year that one, Iíll also admit this is not the first review Iíve written for this game and I feel I should touch upon that subject to give my honest opinion on the full game and not just what is working. When I initially installed the game it was completely unplayable and I had to do a bit of digging to get it to finally work properly but Iím glad I gave it a second chance and got it up and running (hint* turn off 3d drivers).
The story of Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is that the planet earth has lost its drinkable water supply and then been taken over by a group called The Asian Pacific Alliance, you on the other hand playing as Lieutenant Myrik are part of the United Earth Coalition and are trying to fight them off on the planet Taurus where they have started to overtake the island chains dotting the planet, 33 in total. When you crash land on the planet, because thatís the only way to explain what happened, you make your way to one of their facilities and take control of one of their advanced aircraft carriers. From here on is when the game really begins.
The planet Taurus itself looks very much like earth just much more water which isnít really explained if itís saltwater or not but everyone seems to want it regardless. The landscape on the islands themselves when you get to play is really quite amazing with their sci-fi mist covered looks. You really do get a feel that as much as this looks like home, it isnít and if you want it to be you are going to have to fight for it. I wish I could say the same thing about the voice acting which can be a little rough sometimes but doesnít necessarily break the game for me. What is it with all the lead heroes sounding Australian all the time ?
When you take over the ship you are given a new control scheme which is a top down map where every action you give is portrayed in game in a small window on the top corner of the screen. You can send various units to a single location or multiple locations by setting waypoints and giving orders such as ďdefensive, offensive and protectĒ to set their role. your units are called Mantas which are the aerial vehicles and walruses which are amphibious tanks. You may only have four of each type of unit on the map, not saying much when there are only two, you can however make them the standard light, medium and heavy types which give them weapon slots and abilities so not every medium will be the same and likewise with the other two. You can also build automatic defense units on the islands you take over to protect you from the opposing carrier that is like you also going around taking over islands and attempting to destroy you. The opposing carrier is much more advanced than yours and has access to much more powerful variations of your units.
This isnít a fast game; you WILL be playing this game for at least 25 hours until you take over the planet. Your carrier must make its way to each island so it gives you ample time to go check back on captured islands and make sure all defenses are up, resources are being secured and materials being used in the best way possible, this is the tactical half of the game, the second half is a direct control mode where when you are attacking enemy bases and units you take control of vehicles and fly or drive them yourself, itís quite fun to suddenly have to fly around in your manta taking out enemies but you canít forget to keep an eye on all of your troops, you are the commander after all. While not as micromanaging as some other RTS games the A.I surely isnít the best around that it can take care of itself either especially when the dynamic weather system decides a thunderstorm will make your walrus units completely useless since they are getting stuck in mud and must use only mantas to take over the island you are currently on.
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is all about the real time strategy with only minimal FPS levels to play and they are there only to advance the story and show the captain of the ship can take on anyone with his seemingly impenetrable shield and infinite supply of ammo, can you see I wasnít really a fan of those levels? Donít get me wrong they arenít boring or lackluster when it came to graphics but it just wasnít what I was looking for. The game itself is also relatively slow, as soon as you capture that carrier and start building your army you will realize it will take you at least an hour to build your first couple walruses and the manta units another two if you are lucky.
If there was one definitive option missing from this game that would put it over the top it would have to be multiplayer, even a multiplayer campaign would be nice. Everything about this screams online battles lasting hours on end and yet no word has been given if it will be something included in future updates or even DLC packages. Bohemia interactive has stated that modding tools will soon be available and hopefully the modding community can whip something up akin to other multiplayer mods that have come about. All in all a great job of revitalizing a masterpiece of gaming but with everything there can always be more.