Friday, 28 September 2012

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Carrier Command: Gaea Mission - Xbox 360 - Mastertronic Ltd.

Release Date:


Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is a breath taking combination of action game with strategic elements set in a vast detailed archipelago. It reinvents the classic gameplay of the original Carrier Command to deliver a truly next-gen experience.

You are the commander of a near-future aircraft carrier of immense power, with many tools and vehicles at your disposal. Landing in an unfamiliar, free-roaming environment, exploration will be key and the thrill of discovery will spur you onward. The colony planetoid of Taurus is a pivotal battleground in the United Earth Coalition (UEC)'s long campaign against the rogue Asian Pacific Alliance (APA), who gained dominion over Earth in an apocalyptic conflict. The wide oceans of Taurus are dotted with resource-rich islands of varying composition and hiding many secrets.

Gaea Mission campaign

Follow the deep story coinciding with the second book of the Gaea Universe trilogy and evolve from an underdog to a skilled Carrier commander and prevail against all odds with your ragtag crew.

Free roam strategy mode

Enjoy a game mode closely based on the original 80s classics! Choose startup settings and the balance of power and challenge the enemy carrier to an ultimate strategic duel.

Massive game environment

Explore 30+ unique islands in 6 distinct climatic zones.

Fight the battle

Jump into the adrenaline pumping combat by taking direct control of any unit; shift seamlessly between your walruses, mantas and map via the immersive real-time Picture-in-Picture window.

Command the Action

Take your place behind the advanced battle computer aboard your carrier; manufacture upgrades, weapons and enhancements, customize your units and use tactics to move them across the open battlefield.

Unique game mechanics

Control a seamless blend of real-time remotely controllable vehicles with a programmable battle computer to dominate the battlefield.

Unit management

Acquire and manufacture new upgrades, weapons and enhancements for your carrier and vehicles, but don’t forget to keep an eye on your ammo and fuel stocks as well.


Traverse the seas to establish a network of island bases for defense, mining and manufacturing. Keep a steady supply of resources and equipment to push your campaign forward.


I’m an old school gamer and by that I mean I was playing consoles back in the early days, when things like Pong and Pacman were the height of E-Gaming. So yeah, I’m a little dated, but as the games have developed and adjusted so have I, yet whilst many gamers of the modern age will think that I’m not getting into my dotage I do have a good recall of classics such as the original carrier command over 20 years ago.

Whilst this modern remake plays to the strengths of the classic, it’s a game that I see will cause quite a lot of frustration among gamers for numerous reasons, first of all it incredibly difficult and whilst some of the early missions may seem reasonable, things really hot up when you get your Carrier and you have to manage multiple units. It does ease you into this and it does give you a tutorial but on that first mission from it to capture Arachnia, there will be a number of players throwing their paddles down in frustration as to be honest I didn’t find the controller as responsive as I’d have liked and got wiped by a robot as I was trying to figure out which way the gun was facing so that I could change it whilst trying to drive forward rather than to the side.

Add to this a game that sticks to rather limited graphics and you may be thinking that it’s a losing battle but once you get past your frustration and start to figure things out, the game really does start getting quite cerebral as you try and capture a few enemies islands whilst defending your own. Yes its hard, yes there are major drawbacks with the controls (in my opinon) and yes the graphics feel not as tidy as they could have been but if you like strategy that will tax you to your limit then this is going to be one for you.

However if like me you have trouble remembering things, get annoyed by a principle character who doesn’t feel like he fits in vocally let alone getting frustrated at trying to figure out the damn unit commands or the paddle controls that aren’t as responsive as I’d have liked, then you may well want to avoid it.

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