Now this time, some of you may know what Cortex Command is, due to the extremely
generous act by Scancode a few weeks ago. But i take it that not everyone knows
what it is, or that you may just want a rating before you try it.
See, Cortex Command is a retro-style platformer-like shooter game, which is still under
development. Right now there's only a minimal part of the campaign available, but Data,
the creator, has said that there will be a full and extensive campaign once it's done.
Although it's a WIP game, Data has been charging for licenses since Test Build 19.
The current price is 18 US dollars, but should be expected to rise as the game nears
completion. The current test build is 21.
In game, everything is based on the pixels you see. There are basically three types
of pixels: Active pixels, which are moving and have physics applied to them, passive
pixels, which are frozen and act like terrain, and background pixels, which can't be
affected by the player at all, and are generally behind everything.
This might be misleading though, as one might get the sense that you just control
a pixel or something, which is entirely wrong. Your (standard) avatar would basically
be a brain in a jug, sort of. This brain can control clones, robots, rockets and so on,
and you can freely switch between all your units.
But there are two things that really makes Cortex Command shine: The physics, which
applies to anything that is active, and even to terrain to a certain degree, and the
near-absolute modding freedom. Everything except the very core of the game can
be modified, and you can also create your own content. Even the core is starting
to get exposed with the new Lua compatibility! These mods can be anything from
a simple pistol to a hypercharged giant walker with a cannon that can blast half
the level away and so on.
Though modding may be hard at first, you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly, especially
if you have previous experience with coding, which I'm fairly sure many of you here have.
Coding isn't the only thing though, because if you want to make your own stuff, you need
to make the graphics too, in the form of sprites. Cortex Command uses an optimized 8 bit
palette, but there are still limited options. If you aren't keen on making sprites yourself,
you can always ask some of the better sprite makers in the forum.
The physics deserve a second mentioning though, because as said earlier, pretty much
everything is affected by physics, in one way or another. If you make a gun that fires
a huge, extremely heavy projectile at high speeds, you're going for a trip through the
level too, because of the recoil. If you hit someone with that projectile, depending of
the sharpness/impulse of it, they may either just be wounded, pierced entirely, sent
flying or splattered all over the place, in the most literal sense. More things can happen
of course, depending on what kind of projectile you're firing.
You may also find yourself victim to one of the dreaded Drop Ship doors, which are the
hatch doors attached to a standard drop ship, and that can happen in various ways,
but the most common is being smashed to a mist of blood and gore. Or robotic parts,
if you're using a robot.
It's also an extremely violent game, as you may have figured. While it is mostly cartoony
in appearance, it is very common to see someone having his head shot to pieces by
a machine gun. Dismemberment almost always happens on every actor (Soldier, robot etc.)
in the game, one way or another. It could be a drop ship door, it could be an SMG, and
it could be a vicious body slam from your co-player. That's right, you can play with other
players too. Only on the same computer though. You can be 4 players in total, scattered
over two teams in whatever way you wish.
OK, now I've written perhaps the longest introduction in my life, so maybe i should get
on with the important parts of the review.Pros
- Almost nothing is predefined. Emergent gameplay get!
- Lots and lots of physics.
- Almost absolute modding freedom.
- Fantastic graphics made by Arne Niklas Janson, AKA Prometheus.
- Tons of user-made content.
- Gameplay that's like a mixture of Worms, Soldat and Liero.Cons
- Somewhat pricey for a WIP game. (I say it's worth it though)
- Can be seriously taxing on your CPU at times.
- Physics engine could do with optimizations.
- Collisions between moving objects can be dodgy.
- Community can be hostile/aggressive at times.ScreenshotsRating
Cortex Command is an amazingly fun game, despite it being unfinished,
and it has lasted a lot longer than most of the other games i play.9/10
If it was finished, I'm pretty sure it would land at a 10/10, even with
a critical rating from me.
I suppose it's the modding that gives it the longevity...Official Website and Linkshttp://www.datarealms.com/
You can download the trial and buy the full version in there.http://www.datarealms.com/forum/
The fan forum, where you can talk, download mods and such.
And now, i will end this frighteningly long review with an illustration, made by Prometheus.
(Don't worry, this image won't just disappear, it's on their main website)