This is the best game with a Metacritic score of 44 I've ever played.
Hell, this is one of the most compelling games I've ever played, period. I never got into the metagame, but the individual battles -- where you're digging for loot so you can buy wobbly inverse-kinematics-y troops who arrive in unreliable crashy spaceships and stomp uncertainly across a mushy, shifting battlefield (partially composed of the corpses of previous troops) and then blast off in jetpacks, sometimes splattering against walls, so they can have a chance at maybe putting a bullet in the head of a flamethrower-wielding crash test dummy -- are CRAZY and WONDERFUL.
No description can do justice to the joy of crashing a tiny high-speed rocket full of bombs into an enemy stronghold, or sneaking a lone, powerful (but, again, VERY wobbly) robotic commando through a labyrinthine base equipped with nothing but a plasma pistol and a grenade launcher. This is one of those games where failure is every bit as exciting as success. And the mod community is very active, so if you want to play as a wobbly, two-dimensional Gordon Freeman or Emperor Palpatine, those options are available to you. Cortex Command is a game about physics and glorious stupidity. It's a game about ricocheting a sniper rifle shot off a set of doors and accidentally knocking the rifle out of your own hands. It's a game where, when you're sent to retrieve an object, you sweat the ENTIRE TIME because you're afraid you'll drop the object down a hole or accidentally jetpack yourself right out of the level while holding it.
This game is bliss.