Alone in space, light years away from your family, armed with only your FistcannonTM, Platform Drill and the meanest cup of coffee in the sector; you are Cargo Corps’ latest recruit, a Cargo Commander.Read full description
Cargo Commander is a very interesting game, to me. It has some more serious aspects in its setting and story, but it covers it all up with tongue-in-cheek humour. It also has a very slow and game-y progression system, seemingly in place to justify the 10€ price tag. If you look at the top reviews (both positive and negative), you'll see that the negative ones have considerably more playtime than the positives. There's a reason for that. The game gets very monotonous, completely desynchronized with its progressions pacing. It's one of those games that uses procedural generation and rare items to collect to extend its playtime in a ridiculous way. Reprisal Universe is a game that did something similar: the content is so sparse that the game loses a lot as a result. Anyway, this review will not be of much use to most people. If you want to know if the game is mechanically good, or whatever, you can check all the other reviews. I mostly agree. I liked the game, the execution is well done! Aside from the progression, anyway. The game has some little tricks that you have to learn, and it's a nice thing to pass time with. For a while. What is this review about, then? It's about how the game explores the darker themes. In this game, you're stranded in space. You accepted a job of collecting cargo from containers lost deep in space. You're away from you family, with them not knowing what your job actually is. To top that, you're also victim of a big corporation, who has little to no regard of its employees, and uses a gamification system to keep them working, ranking up and give the illusion of progress. All that while doing the very menial work of collecting cargo. There's a lot to think, with this premise. The game takes a humorous approach to it, though, which, in my opinion, leaves a big part of the game unexplored. It's a very mechanically oriented game: you're constantly trying to achieve something in the game , which doesn't leave much space for thought. How does the game explore its themes, though? Well, there are mainly 2 aspects that I noticed. First, is how you encounter other cargo commanders -- players -- dead in some containers. You loot them for ammo, caps (upgrade currency), and the like. The enemies also seem like mutated players. Confirming that you're not the only one out in deep space, and also that the company simply abandons its employees after death. The other aspect is the mailing system. Every so often, you'll receive emails. Some are tutorials for a newly introduced system, some are from your family, and others are from the company, congratulating you on ranking up. Apparently, you'll also receive an e-mail from a lost employee asking for help -- but this one is very deep into the game, and I didn't get to that. Which goes to show how sparse the content is... The most interesting aspect of these e-mails are SPOILERS - how, eventually, the companies emailing system malfunctions, revealing the automated responses. They have <insert random compliment for - Obedience> instead of "we appreciate your loyalty" and things like that. When that happened, it gave me a very portal-esque feeling. Of how the company may have even ended, and there you were, still in space, now without any hope of every returning to your family... It can be a really dark game, at times. And that's awesome! While I do really like these aspects of the game, I don't think it takes a big advantage of them. For once, as I've mentioned several times already, the content is veeery sparse. Most players will probably not even get to that point, for the simple reason that the game doesn't really evolve much. It's interesting and new during the first couple of hours (perhaps a bit longer), but then it gets really stale. And getting an email every couple of hours really isn't enough to keep the interest high -- especially since the actual game, while random, gets a bit too formulaic. Then, there's the fact that these aspects are very disconnected from the action. It's a side thing, and players will treat as that. It's too game-y for it not to be like that, I guess. Also, the fact that death is meaningless, kind of defeats the whole point, although this is a very feeble subject, for the time. I've seen a game called The Flock a few days ago -- apparently, it's a multiplayer game with actual perma-death. If you die, you can't play anymore. If everyone dies, the game closes. It seems like a bigger game, so I people were very skeptical of paying for it. I'm assuming the skepticism would translate to small indie games as well. It's also a horror game, so that choice ends up influencing the game in a different manner... ANYWAY, I'm rambling. I'd like to see actual permadeath in some games. That would certainly make the player far more conscious of his choices, and hopefully enhance the experience, overall. In this game, it doesn't happen, although it would have been a cool approach. Then again, not at all marketeable, so I understand why the game is like this. Yeah, this was not a review at all. It was me rambling about some aspects that aren't even about the main game. On the positive side, I think I highlighted something that other reviews mostly fail to mention, so yeah. P.S.: I was experimenting with this idea of perma-death and multiplayer used as a "history"/mark, instead of competitive/cooperational play -- you know, finding dead players, sharing tips -- or traps -- like in Dark Souls... If you're reading this, I'd like to know you opinion about it . Permadeath is risky, but I'd say it's worth it, if the game is explained accordingly -- and priced, I guess.
In Cargo Commander you pull in containers with mysterious, randomly generated contents. Then you enter those containers, gather whatever you can find, while killing any enemies, and get out before the container is shattered by a wormhole. Cargo Commander is a good game, perfect for a short play. Controls are intuitive, graphics fairly detailed, for such a small title. It's not much, but CC isn't a disappointment either.
Cargo Commander lies somewhere in the spectrum of incredible frustration, entertaining platforming, and engrossing storytelling. The game is really good at conveying the loneliness of space, and user-written postcards scattered throughout the containers is a very nice touch. On average, the game is a lot of fun. Until, you drop into a container only to find a million baddies already residing there. Or pick up cargo and get surrounded by spawned baddies. Or accidently punch an explosive barrel and vaporize the container. You get the point. Prepare for some frustratingly quick and numerous deaths.
I wouldn't recommend buying the game for the full price, I simply think it's not worth it. It's, however a little game you can play in small bursts of time, explore a bit of space, find some treasure, beat someone else's score, upgrade your stuff. Nothing with very deep mechanics, but it's very fun to play nonetheless.
Cargo commander is a lot of fun. I love turning on silent space and then just floating off. However, I would watch this just in case it goes on sale because I think the price is quite high. If you don't mind the price then definitely give it a go.
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