Commander Keen’s revival isn’t what I’d hoped for

Following Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media’s 2015 acquisition of id Software and subsequent production of fantastic titles like DOOM (2016) and the rebooted Wolfenstein games, other IPs were sure to follow.

However, a recent Bethesda announcement from E3 has shown a long fall from grace for early 90’s PC mascot Commander Keen. The original Commander Keen games were fun platformers with varied environments and enemies, smooth scrolling motion.

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A pair of new trailers for a new Commander Keen game intended for Android and iOS show the depressing future for Keen. Turn-based movement with action points, consumable cards for special abilities, and a hokey-looking PVP mode are all visible in the trailer.

The gameplay looks to be more puzzle based than the original, with Billy or Billie being able to place devices around the map for movement or combat.

This version of Commander Keen seems more like a recognisable name tacked onto a completely different game than a genuine title. That is a thoroughly depressing realisation for anyone looking to relive a bit of their childhood playing Commander Keen again.

The new game is slated for release later this year and will be free-to-play. If you think you’ll be into the game, you can register on the Bethesda website for news updates and an exclusive costume for the main character.

Scott Hunt: @spokkeh Scott is a dual degree journalism/arts student at the University of Queensland and has been freelancing in the tech writing business for a few years now. He figured the best way to keep up with the latest tech news was to actually write about it. In his free time, Scott enjoys PC gaming, beer, and metal music.

View Comments (1)

  • I got SO excited at the reveal, then the gameplay trailer made me vomit in my mouth. I'm taking it pretty personally, tbh.

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