Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is Bohemia Interactive’s new war game released on PC and Xbox 360. The game is set to blend the real time strategy and vehicular warfare to create a unique experience, inspired by the original Carrier Command from the 80s. Set in the future, earth has been in constant war with the United Earth Coalition and the Asian Pacific Alliance, both fighting for earth’s dwindling water supply. Losing the Battle on Earth the UEC have fled to a newly terraformed moon Taurus, an ocean landscape littered with small islands. The player takes control of Myrik: a veteran solider to fight off the attacking APA with the fire power the UEC has at hand, all under the mission title Gaea. The narrative is light and while it’s pushed frequently through the use of cut scenes and in game radio, it fails to grip due to rough voice acting and average writing. Carrier Commands main focus is with the gameplay, with players able to take control of multiple units at the same time, much like a traditional strategy game but with a twist of the player being able to possess individual units. The main unit is as the title suggests the carrier, it allows for time warping between islands, deployment of other units as well as drone and construction control. The carrier works as the player’s main base, giving them access to an detail map letting them have a bird’s eye view of his units as well as the ability to zip each units camera and control them remotely, through either first person controls or orders and waypoints. This style of gameplay works for the game, it allows for detailed movement the majority of the time, letting player take on many areas at once while also organising movement of squads. Issues arise however with the games AI which frequently gets caught on rocks or ceases to move, it can cause an entire tactical choices to backfire because the AI for one of the units suddenly decides to stop moving. None the less, the core part of the game is still left enjoyable and lets players experience its unique style of play. Players are able to make use two specific units, Manta; the aircraft unit, and Walrus; the all-terrain unit. Both offer multiple attachments as well as ways to customise each unit, letting players craft a diverse team of vehicles. The units are well crafted however due to their ability to adapt it hampers the depth the game could have. There are different weight classes effecting what each vehicle could use, however it fails to diversify the units enough to create deep strategy elements. Units when controlled allow the player to dish out extra damage that the AI would normally not be able to do, sadly this control that the player can take doesn’t really add a massive amount to the game, as there are not that many things that the player can do while controlling, other than shooting and moving. Most of the interesting gameplay comes from the strategy elements that become more prominent as the game progresses. A larger part of the game is island control, each area is split into multiple islands, that players work their way through each. This allows the player to make tactical choices on which island is best to assault, weighing up value of the island, objectives and defending forces for each island. It opens up a large pool for tactical choice on not only which island you attack but also from where: as the Walruses can travel through water it allows almost every angle for the player to attack from, leading to some interesting flanking manoeuvres. The game’s graphics are polished with some interesting lighting and weather effects, however the game frequently is let down by some wonky animation as well as a dry art style. Many of the open areas look great thanks to the effects and the sun rays shining down, however many of the units look dull and uninspired, lacking any sort of visual flair.
Carrier Command, has some great strategy gameplay, letting the player focus on a smaller amounts of units compared to other strategy games, it’s fun comes from micromanagement and using units simultaneously. Carrier Command is dragged down by the lack of depth when controlling units, causing much of the game to either focuses entirely on one unit control while others follow or controlling them all at once.
Good graphics, but a lumbered with some rough animations and a life less art style, it dulls what could have been a gorgeous game.
A campaign spanning several hours, with a skirmish mode will keep player entertained for a reasonable time, the lack of a multiplayer mode is disappointing, but the campaign is enjoyable enough and skirmish does support a fair amount of choice, giving the player a diverse set of missions after the campaign.
An average game, it has some interesting and strong ideas, disappointingly it is held back by some areas of the game lacking depth and several technical and quality issues.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.