Far into the future space travel has long been invented and robots can now fight their own wars whilst humans battle for control of the cosmos... from one single Carrier?
As silly as it sounds, it is very true in Bohemia Interactive and Black Element Software’ Carrier Command Gaea Mission which is a remake of the original Carrier Command released back in 1988.
Players take command of an extensive array of vehicles and weaponry from a single aircraft carrier as commander of the United Earth Coalition, as they battle for supremacy on fictional moon Taurus which is occupied by enemy faction the Asian Pacific Alliance.
Carrier Command is a real time strategy game with additional driving and first person shooting sections thrown in, whilst it’s an ambitious attempt at merging different game types together, it fails miserably to be a memorable title due to many flaws.
From the instance the first scene starts on the introduction cut scene, it is immediately evident that this game looks and sounds awful with bland lifeless graphics and skin crawlingly bad voice acting.
The characters don’t look too bad as they do have texture, but everyone moves like robots and the cockney accents on the voices just don’t fit the bill and will grind on you.
The vehicles and locations, however, look quite nice, each vehicle looks very well detailed and ships look like something out of the Halo games however they move extremely unrealistically,
I often found myself looking up to see a ship and wonder what it’s doing as it circled around as if it was on invisible tracks.
Each location looks nice in Carrier Command, with sunset horizons, treacherous mountains and cliffs and beautiful seas everywhere you look with bases dotted here and there.
The game starts off as a first person shooter with the player controlling a commander of a team of soldiers, trying to take control of a nearby enemy base.
The base is just a small collection of samey corridors and elevators with enemies placed here and there which die after one or two shots, enemy soldiers look like rip-offs of the Geth from Mass Effect coloured red, there was no variety in enemy types which made me bored mere minutes into the game.
At the end of the first section of the game, the player commands a carrier which houses many craft types and from an overhead viewpoint or a tactical map screen, players can then decide where to go next or deploy vehicles.
The game sports a free roam strategy element which works great, you can tell units to go anywhere and the choice is there to zoom into the vehicle and control it from a first person viewpoint or watch it as it fights its own battles.
This element of gameplay works and works well, however every vehicle controls terribly, driving a Walrus, which is a rip off of Halo’s Warthog, was the equivalent of driving a 18 wheeler.
Its controls were sluggishly slow and difficult to navigate and driving and shooting at the same time was impossible.
Walrus’s are also amphibious vehicles so the god awful controls worsen in watery terrains.
Flying compensates for the awful driving, however, with Mantas being a pleasure to control and with the amount of freedom in this game allowing the player to fly anywhere they want.
Imagine playing Halo, commandeering a Ghost but having the freedom to fly high and go wherever you want, that’s basically what it’s like flying in Carrier Command, but the great flying mechanics don’t improve overall gaming experience unfortunately.
When the player gains control of one of the 30+ islands on Taurus, they can then mine for resources and produce bigger bases or vehicles to help defend their newly obtained bases.
Looking at this game, it seems like the perfect RTS game with its vast locations, weather change and day/night cycles, diverse vehicles and simple management options.
However, look deeper into it and you will see the awful driving mechanics, terrible cut scene visuals and mind numbing voice acting and a series of gameplay flaws which drops a fairly large sized anvil on the overall experience.
Battles are unexciting and boring which leave the player dreading entering another one whether on foot on in a vehicle.
Carrier Command Gaea Mission feels unfinished and bland and does nothing to keep prolonged interest, a painfully frustrating experience I never want to live through again.
Carrier Command Gaea Mission
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive, Mastertronic
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Release Date: 28th September 2012
Story – 2/5
Graphics – 2.5/5
Gameplay – 1/5
Overall – 1.5/5