The RTS(real time strategy) genre has made it to Live Arcade with the release of Commanders: Attack of the Genos. For 800 points (roughly $10) you can download the full version. The question that I will try to answer in this review, is whether or not Commanders is worth the dough.
The game is set in a 1950's alternate past. The human genome has been cracked, and humans have created a race of uber-humans. This brings fear to everyday run of the mill people and soon war breaks out between the Humans and the Genos.
The gameplay is true to the genres roots. I was immediately reminded of Command & Conquer, which is a good thing. Like C&C, units in Commanders consist of infantry, armor, air, and so on (no naval units though). A couple things set Commanders apart though from the classic RTS. First units only attack when ordered to do so, unlike C&C's perimeter auto attack. Secondly, Commanders (as the name implies) is all about which commander you choose to use in each battle. Each commander has a unique look to their unit, and a unique special ability to use in battle.
Content wise, Commanders delivers on a level much greater than your average XBLA title. Commanders comes with two difficulties of a text story based campaign, as well as 10 open battle maps, and 4-player online PvP play. There are two endings to the campaign, and you will be hard pressed to get the good ending.
The graphics and art style of Commanders are also above average for a Live Arcade title. Metal objects look metallic, and explosions are well...explosive. It's obvious that a few "next-gen" graphic techniques were used in development. The art style is 1950's sci-fi. The command units will immediately bring to mind the softback cover of the 1950's H.G. Wells book "War of the World's".
If you are an RTS fan, and need a worthy fix, then you should give Commanders a look. For $10, this RTS will keep you playing for hours.
Note: I gave this review an extra .5 for being a full featured game at a third of the price.