Even in a galaxy far off from earth, someone will have to do the dirty work. Company Cargo Corp has recruited you to travel across the galaxy, with as job to scavenge and raid abandoned containers for valuable cargo. But the job is easier said than done; manifested with crazy monkey-like aliens, the containers become a dangerous place to go visiting on your own. But what choice do we have? A family has got to be fed, and a man has got to get his money from somewhere. Cargo Commander is an action platform game by Serious Brew that puts you in the skin of this working class hero. Armed with only a fist cannon and a Platform Drill you set out on one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. The question is… how long do you think you can last?
It’s funny; your wife is convinced you’re working somewhere far off from home, handling administrative work in a square cardboard cubicle in your general office. But really, the truth is very different. Each day starts in your home space container. At your disposition: A hot cup of coffee, a navigator to get you around the galaxy, a console to read your messages and a switch to activate your magnetic field to pull in surrounding containers. As your character levels up more devices will be available, such as an upgrade bench and a maintenance panel, which adds several practical options. Activate the ship’s magnet, and a hard day of work starts.
“While raiding containers in space is not a job for everyone, this title is a fun alternative to your average FPS and action game.”
The idea is simple, activate the magnetic force field, and a bunch of containers are pulled in one after the other. Use your platform drill to drill your way into these containers, and retrieve valuable blue cargos by jumping on platforms and destroying obstructing walls. Sometimes getting to these items requires a bit more effort by putting out flaming stoves, switching off laser fences or killing a nest of aliens. It is awesome how many collectible items appear in this game. Most items are common, but once in a while you discover these rare and wonderful items.
Levitating in outer space is also genuinely well done as you move from container to container. Not only does an oxygen meter appear to note that your character is running out of air, but the absence of sound makes it slightly more realistic. It happens your character doesn’t always move as you wish when he enters gravity zones and exits them between containers, but this remains more of an irritation than a bug.
Still, the task isn’t quite as easy since many of the containers are manifested with monkey-like ferocious aliens. Some are easy to kill; others are harder but run more slowly while the most dangerous ones explode when you shoot at them. While there are not a wide variety of aliens, they make gameplay a whole lot more challenging. The more containers players have already pulled in beforehand, the more challenging beating these creatures becomes, and the higher the risk of dying becomes. To make it feel less of an annoyance some aliens drop caps; these can then be used to upgrade your suit and weapons once you’re at the upgrade bench.
To make things worse, you’re ships’ magnetic force switches back off after a certain amount of time, and containers are sucked into a black-hole, disintegrating as they go. That means you need to plan your visits carefully, provided that time is limited and that oxygen is lost once the containers have disintegrated.
Consider this fact for a second: in Cargo Commander there are an infinite number of sectors available to play. Once you have collected a new sector pass, launch the navigator and type in any random name. Cargo Commander instantly generates a random sector, and this creation can be repeated an infinite amount of times. In addition, players can share their sectors with others and compete in online leaderboards to see who gets the best scores.
Gameplay in Cargo Commander is fun to say the least but let’s not start cutting corners too quickly. Cargo Commander can feel repetitive after grinding through numerous sectors, even when these sectors have been randomly generated. The trick becomes old rather quickly, especially when there is not much of a story framework. Cargo Commander is not a game to play during long intervals of time; rather it is suited for shorter periods.