What Have They Done To Commander Keen

Illustration for article titled What Have They Done To Commander Keen
E3 2019E3 2019It's time for the biggest gaming show of the year. We've got articles, videos, podcasts and maybe even a GIF or two.

The good news: Commander Keen is back! The bad news: everything else about that piece of information.

The Commander Keen games are an international treasure. Kicking off in 1990, they showed—on a platform awash with strategy games and flight sims—that the PC could be home to quality platformers as well.

Video: Dosgamert

The originals still play well to this day, but Keen’s cult status and place in history have long been calling out for a modern interpretation of the character and his side-scrolling action.


Bethesda took to the stage earlier today during their E3 press conference and...kinda did that. But instead of announcing a new Commander Keen as a vibrant take on a 90s classic, a faithful reimagining of a long-running and important series, we got some free-to-play mobile gaming bullshit:

That was upsetting to watch.

As is this:

The entire original collection is going for spare change right now if you’d like a palette cleanser.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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That Tom Hall

This is Tom Hall, creator of Commander Keen.

As I said on Twitter:

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.

They did good reboots of DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D. Sadly, no such love for Keen. What a waste.