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New Commander Keen Android game is coming, but one of Keen's original creators is skeptical

Bethesda will release a new Commander Keen game for Android, based loosely on id Software's 1990 PC game.

Published onJune 10, 2019

Bethesda Softworks is once again raiding the classic games IP that was first created by id Software, which Bethesda acquired in 2009. This time, it’s a revival of Commander Keen for Android and iOS as a free-to-play mobile title.

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The new mobile Commander Keen is being developed by ZeniMax Online Studios, the folks behind The Elder Scrolls Online. Based on the gameplay trailer, the title retains the original 2D platformer gameplay but with a new cartoony art style. The game will let you play as either Billy or Billie Keen, twin kids who have to rescue their “Dadmiral Keen” from hostile enemy forces. The game will have a single player mode, where you will have to collect gadgets in some card-based gameplay to fight against alien creatures. It will also have a two player online battle mode where Billy and Billie fight each other.

The new Commander Keen is due for release later this summer, but you can go to the game’s official website to pre-register and be informed when it goes live. You will also get an exclusive space costume for pre-registering to use in the game.

What is Commander Keen? Why are its fans upset about the new game?

Commander Keen original

Commander Keen was the first game series created by id Software, which later got more acclaim with its first-person shooter game titles like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, and Rage. The first Commander Keen game was released in 1990 and became an instant hit for both id and its publisher Apogee, thanks to its impressive 2D platforming gameplay and graphics.

id released a number of Commander Keen episodes in 1991, but stopped working on them to concentrate on making Wolfenstein 3D, and later Doom. In 2001, a new Commander Keen was released for the Game Boy Color by Activision. It was developed mainly by David A. Palmer Productions, but with some collaboration with id Software.

There’s already been some blowback from fans of the original Commander Keen against the upcoming free-to-play mobile version. Many YouTube comments on the gameplay trailer have been very negative. In addition, Tom Hall, one of the original creators of Commander Keen at id, doesn’t seem to care for the new game. In a post on his Twitter page, he stated that this new mobile game is “just not #CommanderKeen” and added, “It smells like a Biz Deal game.”

It’s just not #CommanderKeen.
To be honest, it feels like the 2005 DOOM movie, like an IP awkwardly slapped on something that already existed. It deserves better.
It smells like a Biz Deal game.
— ●︎ 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚘𝚖 𝚑𝚊𝚕𝚕 ●︎ ✪ (@ThatTomHall) June 10, 2019

New updates for Elder Scrolls: Blades and Legends revealed

The new Commander Keen mobile game was announced at Bethesda’s E3 2019 press event on Sunday. The same event also revealed major updates for two of its current mobile games.

The Elder Scrolls: Blades, the mobile free-to-play first-person fantasy RPG title, is getting its first major update for Android and iOS. Version 1.1 is available now and adds a new storyline where you have to deal with a dragon and a mysterious dragonslayer. Also, the NPCs in the game that you encounter in the town, during major quests, and in solo arena battles now have full voice-overs. There are also new solo battle arenas and jobs to check out, new jewelry to collect and there have been some adjustments made for players who are higher than level 50. Bethesda also stated that The Elder Scrolls: Blades is coming to the Nintendo Switch this fall.

Bethesda also announced a major new expansion pack for the collectible card RPG The Elder Scrolls: Legends. The expansion, Moons of Elsweyr, will add 75 new cards to the game, along with features like new in-game music tracks, preconstructed Theme Decks and more. You can pre-order the expansion pack now for $49.99, which will give you 50 packs and a Legendary card from Moons of Elsweyr. The expansion itself is due for release on June 27.

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