PAX 2008: Crash Commando Hands-On

We take a look at this exaggerated, over-the-top action platformer that is filled with intense and frenzied fighting with exploding body parts.

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The PlayStation Network has a fantastic lineup of games already, and you'll definitely want to keep an eye out for Crash Commando. At the Penny Arcade Expo 2008, we had a chance to take a closer look at the frantic side-scrolling platform game that combines classic gameplay with updated technology, which is fun and hilarious to watch. Plus, you get to shoot other commandos, and they explode in a bloody mess.

The exaggerated gore is just part of its charm, the action is fast, and the controls are a bit different from what you might expect. You move with the left analog stick, but you use the right analog to switch directions. You can also adjust the trajectory of your weapon so that you can take enemies out as they come down from above, behind, or anywhere else. You also have a jet pack so that you can give yourself that additional boost to get from one platform to another. The areas feel large, especially because the guys onscreen are actually fairly small. The rag-doll physics also help make things chaotic and visually entertaining.

The single-player mission has you unlocking each level by completing a set objective. The general storyline is that there are two warring commando factions, the Grunts and the Jarheads, who are fighting each other for world supremacy. You can play with a friend or 12 other players online or offline with bots. We didn't get a chance to see the variety of weapons and vehicles, but there is supposed to be an assortment of machine guns, shotguns, rocket launchers, C-4s, and mines. There are also jeeps and tanks to drive over your opponents.

There will be Deathmatch and team-based modes for multiplayer. Single-player modes will include a boot camp and custom games that has you shooting bots. There will be player rankings and trophy support, as well as online leaderboards so your progress and accomplishments can be tracked. We weren't able to get a set date for Crash Commando, but we'll be tracking this one closely.

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