Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Ultimate Combat Mission'

Rating:3 User: dm_boozefreek

Ultimate Combat Mission, or U.C.M. as it's also known is a top down vertically scrolling shooter from M.A.D. software,....aaaaand....it's not actually that bad to be honest.

I played this quite a bit when I was younger, it came on a compilation disk I got with my second Speccy way back in 1993.

First up though firing it up again to review it, well it's honestly not aged that well. It's a little sluggish, and I always knew it wasn't the best game in the world, but time certainly seems to have made it a little bit worse.

You play the part of Mandroid 002, a Renegade imprisoned in a futuristic prison in space, the goal is obviously to escape that prison.

The good!

Decent AY tunes for the menus, and ingame, in 128k mode anyway.

Well you may be the Renegade Mandroid 002, but if you have an actual friend in real life he can join you as the Mercenary Warmonger 003...There are no real differences between the two...

It's a challenge, and a decent length game.

The bad!

Slow, and sluggish, rose tinted spex may be all that saves this game, a new player may just instantly want to turn it off.

Your bullets travel about an inch before disappearing.

Collision is a bit ropey especially near the holes in the floor.

Gun fires on the side you're holding it instead of centered. I appreciate realism, but it makes it extremely difficult to dispatch enemies when you're in a tight spot, which happens often.

The unusual!

There are lots of holes in the floor on the levels, this game not only has a fire button, but also a jump button, doesn't really affect the game much earlier on, but later on in the game there's pipes that need to be jumped between, and so on.

The game ends on a total cliffhanger, you never know if you actually won? I'd have put that above, but it is weird. Maybe they had a sequel planned?

So there we have it, it's not an awful game, but it's certainly not brilliant. I used to like it years ago, but not so much now. I got my copy for free, but I'm thinking for a semi-decent futuristic top down shooter from 1987 it was probably worth the £2.99 asking price.