Atari’s been consistently putting out games in the Recharged line of revamped classics from the iconic publisher. Missile Command: Recharged breaks some new ground though, as it’s the first one they’re re-releasing – it’s out now for all major systems and we checked out the PlayStation 4 version.
If you like to keep an eye on release dates, then you might have noticed a Missile Command: Recharged launch back in 2020 – the early days of the Recharged series. It was never launched for all systems though, and we only briefly played the PC version as some point. This new version isn’t a straight up port of that one, but rather a newly envisioned take on the 1980 arcade classic that’s much more in line with recent Recharged games.
It’s easy to see the upgrade from a visual perspective, as this new version of Missile Command: Recharged features a full overhaul of the game’s graphics. From the neon-infused color schemes to the visual effects and even the grid structure you can see in the background, this one fits right in with the rest of the games that we’ve generally enjoyed quite a bit.
Gameplay-wise, Missile Command: Recharged takes the familiar gameplay of the arcade game and steadily introduces different power-ups and enemy types while you play, with special abilities including anything from massive explosions to a bullet time-like slowdown effect. Between your ever-changing arsenal, a diverse range of incoming attacks and changeups in the speed and frequency of what’s coming at you, the game captures that classic arcade feel of giving you the sense that your game could be over at any minute.
Besides the revamped arcade mode, Missile Command: Recharged also has a campaign mode filled with small missions that offer unique and almost puzzle-like scenarios where (like in the original arcade game) you have limited ammo to take down each incoming wave. Your performance is scored as well, and there’s an online leaderboard so you can see how well you did. With some truly challenging scenarios, it can be addicting to try and push harder, but if you catch a lucky break in one run then your high score might quickly feel out of reach, leading to some frustration.
One last element that we should definitely mention is that Missile Command: Recharged features a 2 player co-op mode, which (like in most arcade games) is a blast to play. It helps if you have a degree of fondness for classic arcade gaming, but this one’s fun even if you never played the original.