Shortly after Capcom made the grand announcement, we soon had a new game here for all the world to play: Black Command is a new real-time tactical military strategy game released for mobile devices. Its main appeal is its interesting staging of the action, showing the map and the troops as if you were giving orders remotely, using a radar and GPS system.
Black Command proves that looks can definitely be deceiving; what appears to be a silly idea actually provides a lot more depth than what you’d expect at first glance. The action is represented on a tactical map as if you were viewing it from a satellite with geolocalization, letting you give orders to your troops in real time in the setting, although the action will pause when you stop and choose what to do. From that point on, things get complicated.
Combats are resolved automatically through little animated cartoons, but the great part is how each mission is completed. Using the familiar formula of staying out of site of your enemies, you have to figure out the best way to ambush them. To do this, you have to slow down and use geographic features to your advantage. In fact, certain strategic points will let you shoot with a sniper rifle, greatly increasing your scope and avoiding direct conflict.
This whole system is wrapped up in a huge campaign where, on a general map, you can choose what missions to complete according to their requirements. The ammo is valuable, and in each direct conflict you’ll lose more ammunition. On the other hand, the money earned in each mission will serve to better equip your mercenaries, who can die and have to be replaced by new members.
That said, this is Japanese-style warfare with all the fixings. This explains the almost constant frantic jazz music that sounds like it was taken from the Whiplash soundtrack. Not to mention the mercenary buddies fist bumping after defeating about 50 Taliban insurgents. Basically, it’s B-movie level for those with low (or high) standards.
Black Command is original, to say the least. And coming from the Japanese division of Capcom that says a lot. We’re talking about an entertaining strategy that takes a tired, over-used formula and converts it into a really entertaining game for mobile devices.