Caused a bit of a stink first time round this. 'War has never been so much fun', went the tune, and the Daily Star didn't like the poppies. But once the hoo-ha was dispensed with, we were left with one of the most addictive Amiga games ever. You took control of four little fellers, and drove them across missions galore, shooting everything in sight, collecting extra weapons, flying helicopters and generally putting the world to rights. And the startling news is, Cannon Fodder 2 is more of the same, only a little bit different.
The original Cannon Fodder arrived a year ago and, because of the pressure of deadlines, the review was freelanced to an outsider and consequently ignored by your correspondent. Not for long, for the poor soul missed the Christmas Day Bond extravaganza playing the darned game. Cannon Fodder was, and indeed, still is, absorbing fare and you can lose days, enslaved by the beast. What makes the concept so addictive? Well firstly, in the glorious history that is mankind, never have so many folk been killed by mice. And no-one had yet considered how much fun it would be to sneak up a cliff face and unleash a rocket into a hut packed with enemy soldiers. War, truly, had never been so much fun.
Cannon Fodder 2 then. This time, Sensible Software have gone all funny on concepts. You control universal soldiers who start off in the Middle East when, in the winking of an eye, you're kidnapped by aliens who want you to help them out in their own scuffle. But first, they want to know if you're up to the job and despatch you on various tasks in different time zones, so one minute you're blasting through Beirut, next you're breaking and entering a medieval castle, before attempting to avoid a drive-by shooting in Chicago at the height of gangster warfare in the 1930s. Or you might find yourself on an alien planet or a spaceship.
Sounds wacky? It is. After you've completed a few missions, you jump on a pressure pad and get whisked off into another timezone. Cannon Fodder 2 differs slightly from its predecessor in that Sensible have kindly dropped in the odd easy phase, even in the later missions, just to give you a pleasant breather -phases where you can just blast away to your heart's content. And some of the phases have great names, too. Check out Franz Klammer Strikes Again and Ooh, Faye Dunaway. Or what about Erutuf Eht Ot Kcab. Tuo Eno Taht Krow.
The gameplay remains the same, as do the weapons and, sure, there was nothing wrong with them first time, but it would have been nice to have a more comprehensive arsenal. In the main, the changes are in level design and concept. Speedway Star in one of the medieval phases sees you hurtling around a track in a cart, barging folk while trying to avoid the attentions of enemy carts. Faraway, But Too Close lands you on a tiny island, surrounded by aliens and you literally have seconds to blow them away before you're engulfed
Of course, over 100,000 of you have already bought the original Cannon Fodder and fully intend to purchase its successor no matter what. And, chances are, you won't be disappointed. Even if you consider the universal soldier idea a tad gimmicky, there is still a pile of missions to tackle and the good/bad news is that the sequel is more difficult than the bloody-tough original. The expected Sensible Software attention to detail is apparent, as are the neat touches which separate them from the majority of other games writers. Once again, war has never been so much fun.
The funny war continues! Almost the same game as Cannon Fodder 1, but now you must fight on Mars! New music with vocals and new levels. Very hard gameplay!
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