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E3 - Bethesda Commander Keen revival announced for smartphones

Mista

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Publisher Bethesda Softworks and developer Zenimax Online Studios announced Commander Keen for iOS and Android devices at the Bethesda Softworks E3 2019 press conference.

Here is an overview of the game, via Bethesda Softworks:
About

Commander Keen is a fresh, fun reimagining of id Software’s classic Commander Keen franchise for mobile devices from ZeniMax Online Studios. The twin children of the original Billy Blaze – Billie and her brother Billy – will use wacky gadgets, quick thinking, and ingenuity to outmaneuver invading Vorticons to save Earth.

A new experience for a new generation of fans, Commander Keen re-envisions the platforming gameplay from the classic titles and injects it with card-based, strategic gameplay. Long-time Keen fans will return to familiar storylines from the past when adventuring in singleplayer Story Mode and encounter new challenges when going head-to-head against other players in real-time gadget races in Battle Mode.

Commander Keen will be free-to-play for iOS and Android mobile devices at launch.

Key Features

  • Fun, Fast-Paced GameplayCommander Keen combines strategic platforming and quick thinking with gadget-based gameplay while innovating on the real-time platforming history of the original series. Mixing movement and attacking with a deckbuilding card game for the series’ wacky gadgets provides fans of Keen and new players alike a unique experience filled with inventive combos and wild moments.
  • Nostalgic Style and HumorCommander Keen brings back the visual style made popular by Saturday morning cartoons in the 1980s and 90s. The irreverent Billie and Billy will fight their way through absolutely diabolical bad guys that look and act as if they were ripped right out of classic childhood cartoons.
  • Build an Arsenal of Gadgets, Gear, and Weapons – Collect dozens of cards to stuff your deck with cool gadgets (including Keen’s iconic pogo stick), gear, and weapons to blast, bounce, and zap your way through the bad guys. With so many gadgets at your disposal, you can overcome any challenge the alien invaders throw at you.
  • Callbacks to Classic Keen Storylines – Designed to harken back to the nostalgic feeling of the original Keen games, the new Commander Keen will have familiar storylines fans enjoyed in the original, with Easter eggs and callbacks sprinkled throughout the game.
 

Godzilla Emu

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Mar 25, 2019
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Following the amazing success of Sonic Mania, I'm kinda wishing that Bethesda had "pulled a SEGA" and invested in a true new iteration of Commander Keen (2D platformer) with beautiful pixel art. A missed opportunity. I'm happy that the franchise has been reborn though. I hope that it's successful.
 

Shifty.

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Hmm. Quite possibly the last franchise I expected to make a return, but it feels like a monkey's paw tbh.

Mobile, horrendous new aesthetic, and a card deck gimmick that will likely tie into monetization of some kind.

It feels like this is less a love letter to people who know what the original is, and more 'which IP do we have that's hip and down with the kids, or could be rebooted as such?'

Welp, at least dopefish still lives.

Now if you'll excuse me, there's a cloud over here that needs shouting at...
 
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strange headache

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Jan 14, 2018
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What have they done to Commander Keen?

One of the most iconic PC platformers in gaming history has been turned into a cheap free-to-play mobile game. Developed by Tom Hall, John Carmack and John Romero, Commander Keen was the founding stone of id software. It was also the first game to feature Carmack's smooth scrolling technology for that sweet silky smooth gameplay experience. It's also one of the first shareware platformers me and many other PC gamers ever played on a computer. As such the game always held a special place in the heart of the PC gaming community.

Todd just spent an hour groveling at our feet for the massive f*ckup that was Fallout76, but in their same breath they go and butcher Commander Keen of all things. If this is Bethesda's way of apologizing to its fans, then they can shove it right up where the sun don't shine.

I mean, frikkin' look at this crap:



Neither the people who are oblivious to Keen, nor those who remember this game fondly will have an interest in playing this cheap cash-grab. They could have re-imagined Keen as an amazing modern platformer such as Shovel Knight or Axiom Verge, but we get this instead. It's sad to see that Bethesda really doesn't give a crap about its fanbase anymore.

Bethesda deserves 10...



...out of 10 for this horrible abomination.
 
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strange headache

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Perhaps it opens a door for modern ports of the old games, but I'm guessing they'll extract whatever nostalgia they can from the corpse and then put Keen back into the ground.
I wish, but you and me both know this is just a lazy cash-grab necroing whatever known franchise they have left before the old fanbase dies off. Coding the in-game cash shop probably took more time than programming the game itself.
 
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theclaw135

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The aesthetics are acceptable... for a Saturday morning cartoon. It looks nothing like Commander Keen.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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I wish, but you and me both know this is just a lazy cash-grab necroing whatever known franchise they have left before the old fanbase dies off. Coding the in-game cash shop probably took more time than programming the game itself.
True, the menus and the cartoon to announce the game probably took more effort than the game itself.

 
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Belmonte

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Since they are children of the original Commander Keen, at the end of this game, we can expect Doomguy being born to rip and tear for eternity.
 

Deviantcode708

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Jun 10, 2019
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Publisher Bethesda Softworks and developer Zenimax Online Studios announced Commander Keen for iOS and Android devices at the Bethesda Softworks E3 2019 press conference.

Here is an overview of the game, via Bethesda Softworks:
this game looks like an insult to what commander keen was.
 

DonF

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Jul 10, 2017
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One of the first game that blew my mind when I was a kid. Items, story, cool graphics, more than going just from left to right.

shame
 

somerset

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Commander Keen? Ah, where Carmack 'invented' smooth scrolling- except he didn't since we coders (myself included) had been doing smooth scrolling on every other platform for years earlier using methods that were conceptually far more challenging.

Indeed Carmack's rise to significance corresponded to the utter effed up video systems that the mega, mega, mega sh-t IBM 'engineers' had given the IBM-PC. I once had a tech book as thick as an old telephone directory that just contained the tech details of CGA, VGA etc, and I've never seen something so godawfully wrong-headed in my life.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Doom essentially grew out of the introduction of a *direct* byte video buffer that finally replaced all the sh-tty IBM video designs- the modern flat video buffer where the vid hardware does no processing (aside from the RAMDAC colour look-up conversion).

But Commander Keen worked on the older IBM-vid hardware in all the poor little rich kid's home IBM-PCs. Videowise, IBM was in the literal stone-age compared to the space-age that was the video subsystem, of the Atari 400/800.

Anyhoo. that's why Commander Keen has such fond meaning for iD. They picked the winning horse at a time when that horse was blind, deaf and lame and all the other horses were literally so far ahead, they were out of sight. But later that horse had the 386 processor that allowed Wolf, the 486 that allowed Doom, and the 586 (by now renamed the Pentium cos courts ruled numbers couldn't be trademarked on their own) that allowed Quake (via its 'fast' FPU division unit that enabled a good approximation for perspective correct texture rendering in 3D- coding thanks to Abrash, and *not* Carmack )
 
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tkscz

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Oct 17, 2011
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Again, I'd be less annoyed if this was announced via a Tweet or an interview or was just on the floor at E3, but nope, just like Blizzard, they make this game sound way better than it probably is up on stage with the cheering of people they either paid to be there, or would cheer for a fart if it was from a Bethesda employee.

Seriously, some chick in the audience got up and said I love you to the lady on stage, what the ever-loving fuck was that.

Plus, they even show you all the items you'll probably be paying real money for when the game lands, Blades is a mess of "pay just to move over here", no way I'll think CK would be any different.
 

Shifty.

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Commander Keen? Ah, where Carmack 'invented' smooth scrolling- except he didn't since we coders (myself included) had been doing smooth scrolling on every other platform for years earlier using methods that were conceptually far more challenging.

Indeed Carmack's rise to significance corresponded to the utter effed up video systems that the mega, mega, mega sh-t IBM 'engineers' had given the IBM-PC. I once had a tech book as thick as an old telephone directory that just contained the tech details of CGA, VGA etc, and I've never seen something so godawfully wrong-headed in my life.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Doom essentially grew out of the introduction of a *direct* byte video buffer that finally replaced all the sh-tty IBM video designs- the modern flat video buffer where the vid hardware does no processing (aside from the RAMDAC colour look-up conversion).

But Commander Keen worked on the older IBM-vid hardware in all the poor little rich kid's home IBM-PCs. Videowise, IBM was in the literal stone-age compared to the space-age that was the video subsystem, of the Atari 400/800.

Anyhoo. that's why Commander Keen has such fond meaning for iD. They picked the winning horse at a time when that horse was blind, deaf and lame and all the other horses were literally so far ahead, they were out of sight. But later that horse had the 386 processor that allowed Wolf, the 486 that allowed Doom, and the 586 (by now renamed the Pentium cos courts ruled numbers couldn't be trademarked on their own) that allowed Quake (via its 'fast' FPU division unit that enabled a good approximation for perspective correct texture rendering in 3D- coding thanks to Abrash, and *not* Carmack )
Technical magic?

Must be the fabians.
 
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Aug 30, 2018
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Commander Keen? Ah, where Carmack 'invented' smooth scrolling- except he didn't since we coders (myself included) had been doing smooth scrolling on every other platform for years earlier using methods that were conceptually far more challenging.

Indeed Carmack's rise to significance corresponded to the utter effed up video systems that the mega, mega, mega sh-t IBM 'engineers' had given the IBM-PC. I once had a tech book as thick as an old telephone directory that just contained the tech details of CGA, VGA etc, and I've never seen something so godawfully wrong-headed in my life.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Doom essentially grew out of the introduction of a *direct* byte video buffer that finally replaced all the sh-tty IBM video designs- the modern flat video buffer where the vid hardware does no processing (aside from the RAMDAC colour look-up conversion).

But Commander Keen worked on the older IBM-vid hardware in all the poor little rich kid's home IBM-PCs. Videowise, IBM was in the literal stone-age compared to the space-age that was the video subsystem, of the Atari 400/800.

Anyhoo. that's why Commander Keen has such fond meaning for iD. They picked the winning horse at a time when that horse was blind, deaf and lame and all the other horses were literally so far ahead, they were out of sight. But later that horse had the 386 processor that allowed Wolf, the 486 that allowed Doom, and the 586 (by now renamed the Pentium cos courts ruled numbers couldn't be trademarked on their own) that allowed Quake (via its 'fast' FPU division unit that enabled a good approximation for perspective correct texture rendering in 3D- coding thanks to Abrash, and *not* Carmack )
I've never ever heard anyone say Carmack invented smooth side scrollers? I did a search just in case and only thing I'm finding is the history of CK; failed Mario port because of not being able to have smooth side scrolling leading to them wanting to make CK for that reason

I have heard that they've said Carmack/iD are the parents of smooth side scrollers on PC (Because like you said, they did it everywhere else) and IIRC the reason Carmack/iD devved out CK was because they wanted to bring smooth side scrollers to PC

Do you have any sources where they say Carmack invented side scrollers? Cause I have NEVER heard that, even working on the administration side and not dev.
 
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dottme

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O was trying to think what is looking the worst, this Commander Keen revival or the Command and Conquer revival.

And I cannot make my mind to see how both of those games are so far from their original franchise.

The only good things here is that I haven’t seen anything about Commander Keen revival do I didn’t hype myself.
 

Silvawuff

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Commander Keen holds a special place in my heart, it's a shame they'd treat it like this. I hope this revives an interest in remastering the older, better games, or at least bringing in a newer generation to experiencing them.

Dopefish lives!
 
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Shifty.

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I've never ever heard anyone say Carmack invented smooth side scrollers? I did a search just in case and only thing I'm finding is the history of CK; failed Mario port because of not being able to have smooth side scrolling leading to them wanting to make CK for that reason

I have heard that they've said Carmack/iD are the parents of smooth side scrollers on PC (Because like you said, they did it everywhere else) and IIRC the reason Carmack/iD devved out CK was because they wanted to bring smooth side scrollers to PC

Do you have any sources where they say Carmack invented side scrollers? Cause I have NEVER heard that, even working on the administration side and not dev.
Trying to get a response out of somerset?

Save your breath, my man. You'd have an easier time ice-skating through hell :messenger_winking:
 
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Trying to get a response out of somerset?

Save your breath, my man. You'd have an easier time ice-skating through hell :messenger_winking:
That's a dev for you; all too used to being sent emails from devs and never getting a response back to my question lol
 

FranXico

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I hope this revives an interest in remastering the older, better games, or at least bringing in a newer generation to experiencing them.
Sadly, it will only revive an interest on making shitty mobile games mocking well-loved franchises, and you know it.
 
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The Snake

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Sadly, it will only revive an interest on making shitty mobile games mocking well-loved franchises, and you know it.
Exactly. No one who plays this is going to go looking for info on past Keen games. The game doesn't appeal to anyone who isn't familiar with Keen, and it for damn sure doesn't appeal to Keen fans. This game is for no one.

I'm honestly amazed they're even doing this.
 

Scopa

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When is this animation style going to die in a fire? A generation of animators lobotomised.
 

Tesseract

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Commander Keen? Ah, where Carmack 'invented' smooth scrolling- except he didn't since we coders (myself included) had been doing smooth scrolling on every other platform for years earlier using methods that were conceptually far more challenging.

Indeed Carmack's rise to significance corresponded to the utter effed up video systems that the mega, mega, mega sh-t IBM 'engineers' had given the IBM-PC. I once had a tech book as thick as an old telephone directory that just contained the tech details of CGA, VGA etc, and I've never seen something so godawfully wrong-headed in my life.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Doom essentially grew out of the introduction of a *direct* byte video buffer that finally replaced all the sh-tty IBM video designs- the modern flat video buffer where the vid hardware does no processing (aside from the RAMDAC colour look-up conversion).

But Commander Keen worked on the older IBM-vid hardware in all the poor little rich kid's home IBM-PCs. Videowise, IBM was in the literal stone-age compared to the space-age that was the video subsystem, of the Atari 400/800.

Anyhoo. that's why Commander Keen has such fond meaning for iD. They picked the winning horse at a time when that horse was blind, deaf and lame and all the other horses were literally so far ahead, they were out of sight. But later that horse had the 386 processor that allowed Wolf, the 486 that allowed Doom, and the 586 (by now renamed the Pentium cos courts ruled numbers couldn't be trademarked on their own) that allowed Quake (via its 'fast' FPU division unit that enabled a good approximation for perspective correct texture rendering in 3D- coding thanks to Abrash, and *not* Carmack )
this is some pathetic shit, right here