Monday, May 23, 2011

Product Review: Squad Command (PSP)

**Please Note I played the PSP Version and have no knowledge on how the Nintendo DS Version Plays**

**In addition please note I do not take credit for any of these pictures I found them on google images**

Having recently finished Warhammer 40k "Squad Command" for the PlayStation Portable I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to my first product review!  It should be noted that this game has been out for a while (11/13/2007) so I'm looking at it from a bit skewed vision already but I'll try to take that into consideration.  So sit tight and (hopefully) enjoy.

Story:  Its your basic Warhammer 40k Story, nasty Chaos Marines are invading a planet and its your goal to stop them.  I honestly can't remember the name of the planet or any of the specific names involved but that is much the genre's fault as it is the game itself.  Oh and of course you play as the Ultramarines!
First levels do a good job of making you feel like Ultramarines.  Starting with all scouts then slowly getting full fledged marines.

Gameplay:  You move your troops around in a turn-based strategy system that doesn't break any boundaries but doesn't mess anything up horribly.  My overall impression of this left me with two expressions "the system was safe" and "It is on the PSP".

I loved that i could play with the Landspeeder, just wasn't very good to play with.

Graphics / Aesthetics:  I loved the detail given to each model (for a PSP game) and they really did feel like the Warhammer models in video game format unlike other games (I'm looking at you Fire Warrior).  The terrain feels varied enough and gives a good WYSIWYG for the most part.
Graphics are pretty impressive for a psp.
Length:  This game screams rent.  I got mine from Gamefly and one play through was all I needed.  Overall gameplay was probably about 6 hours (with retries).
Don't know why anyone would take a stormbolter with their Whirlwind, but that vehicle turned all the final missions into 10 minutes snooze fests.

Reply Value:  None, there is multiplayer but could find no one to play with and the single player has no real reason to reply.  The game itself is not hard and there is no difficulty setting.  Also note that there are scores but have no effect on really anything.

Overall Thoughts:
+Varied units, you start with scouts and even get to command some Grey Knights!
+Mechanics and units are very close if not spot on to the table-top.
+Closest game to the actual table top you can get in video game format.
-Some Terrain blocks fire when it shouldn't.  I actually managed to shoot a rocket at a barricade I was up against.
-virtually no reply value the multi-player scene is non existent and the single player doesn't change at all, only reason would be to better your score but there is no unlockables or new game plus.
-I have no real control of what I take, I can change the weapons and ammo amount but not which units.
-The final levels are a joke.  You get a Whirlwind and all you have to do is sit back and shoot.
-You never get to fight the 'final boss' he just dies with no explanation.

Final Recommendation: If you are Warhammer 40k Player who has a PSP and enjoys turn based games give it a try.

So what do you all think?  I generally avoid giving numerical values.  Do you all want them?  Or want to make your own decisions based off my thoughts?  This is more or less a rough draft for future product reviews to come; so I hope you all like it!

"Knowledge is Power...Guard it Well" The initiate

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