Since the days of Warcraft 2 and Age of Empires I have been a RTS fan. There’s something I find irresistible in the concept of building a civilization or army and sending it into battle just to watch it get blown apart – okay I’m weird. The most recent RTS that I can honestly say held my attention the longest was Warcraft 3: Blizzard’s last great game; don’t get me started. Ever since the game’s decline (WoW’s release) I have found myself searching for my much needed fix.
Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars has come to my rescue. It’s been forever since I touched a C&C game! I don’t count Generals.. I’m not sure why. So here I am on release day and I’ve got the game installing. It suddenly dons on me – this is an EA game. Can Electronic Arts revive an age old masterpiece of the genre or will they leave it to rot and die like so many other things they’ve touched? In my review I hope to give you the answers to those questions and more.
Presentation and Overall “ooo aah” factor: C&C3 has an amazing menu. Everything is there: Campaign, Multiplayer(Network, Online), Skirmish, Options(Wide screen support!!!), you name it it’s there. Let me talk about the wide screen support for a minute. EA’s last RTS if you can remember was Battle for Middle-Earth 2 and it had zilch support for wide screen monitors. Nothing made me more po’d than the fact that my 22” monitor could not showcase the large battles of Middle-Earth. Anyway back to the review. To cut it short C&C3 has fantastic customization options for video, sound, and so on.
Campaign: Remember what the series is famous for? Live action cutscenes! They are back and better than ever. Actors such as Michael Ironside as the GDI Gen. Jack Granger, Billy Dee Williams as Lando…err I mean GDI Director Edmond Boyle, Tricia Helfer as Kilian Qatar, and Grace Park as Lt. Sandra Telfair make the cutscenes really something to pay attention to.
The campaign storyline is nothing short of fantastic. Given the choice of GDI and Nod your playtime will be lengthy. I won’t ruin the story for you but when you beat both campaigns you get a nice surprise.
Something else worth mentioning about the campaign is the medal system. For different difficulties and objective completions you are given a medal and perhaps something more if you obtain all gold. *hint hint*
Multiplayer: Heck yeah! My favorite part of RTS games is the chance to annihilate another player! The first thing you notice is obvious and blatantly staring you right in the face. EA’s BFME2 multiplayer interface is back. Perhaps they’re adopting this system as their norm and who could blame them.. but.. don’t you think it would be a good idea to fix the bugs before implementing it into another game? There’s been 3-4 patches within the past few days already and players are still CTD’ing, getting disconnected in the lobby, and being inconvenienced by the clunky interface.
If you can look past these annoyances which truly are that and nothing more then you have yourself a superb multiple RTS. Players choose from GDI, Scrin, and Nod. Cheap tactics are still the key to winning online matches. Massing predators and rushing, Nod’s stealth detonating buildings, and other usual tactics are all found. However something that is somewhat slowly creeping under my skin is the Scrin’s unbalanced units. Massing “carriers ala StarCraft, massing basic units and flooding your base ala Zerg, and other purely annoying tactics make some matches simply lopsided. Luckily few people play them correctly leaving the Scrin very vulnerable.
Overall: Overall C&C3: Tiberium wars is great. There’s nothing that would stop me from recommending it to fans of the series. In fact there’s so many things done right that I really hope if you are still undecided about the game that you pick it up and give it a chance.
If for no other reason, do it for Lando.