time commando windows 95 game activision mid 90s 1996 cover1

It may not be much to look at now, but back in 1996 Time Commando was unike anything else at the time.  Click through for a short look at this classic action game.

Developed by Adeline Software International and published in North America by Activision, Time Commando was unleashed to the PC gaming world on July 31st, 1996.  The military and various private contractors have created a computer which allows them to simulate adversaries from any point in history.  A hired mercenary programmer injects a virus into the system, threatening the existence of Earth itself.  Time Commando placed you in control of Stanley Opar, a S.A.V.E (Special Action for Virus Elimination) agent.  Your mission: fight your way through nine time periods and a final showdown with the virus to purge it from the system.

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Playstation version

While the Playstation version was far more pixelated than the PC version, this was still a decent looking game back in ’96.  Colors were bright and vibrant, while textures were detailed.  Due to the various time periods, the visuals never got repetitive; just as you were feeling ready to move on, the level ended and you moved through time.  Each time period had weapons and enemies unique to the level, adding to the variety of the experience.  Time Commando is fairly short, and can be completed in roughly 6 hours.

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PC version

While not extremely hard, Time Commando can be quite challanging at times.  The difficulty ramps up slowly, and the later stages require serious skill to get through unscathed.  The tank-style controls can be frustrating at first, but getting killed in this game can’t be blamed on the controls; parts of it are just plain hard.

My own experience with Time Commando started with a demo that I received in a gaming magazine.  Enamored with what I saw, I went out and bought it…and proceeded to play through it without stopping, start to finish.  It was the first game I ever did this with, however it certainly wasn’t the last.

Time Commando was a part of the mid-90s PC gaming revolution, and cemented itself in gamer’s memories as a tough and unforgiving action game.  I highly recommend the PC version over the Playstation or Saturn versions…the graphics are much improved, as evidenced by the above screenshots.  With varied environments, interesting enemies, a memorable soundtrack, and short play length, Time Commando is one game you should track down if you missed it the first time.