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Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars Review - PC

8
Gameplay: 8 stars 8
Graphics: 9 stars 9
Audio: 7 stars 7
Innovation: 6 stars 6
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Command and Conquer 3: a game long awaited by fans who were worried that EA would run the franchise into the ground after the liquidation of the original developers, Westwood Studios. The big question is, however, did they? 'Is it still Command and Conquer?', I hear you beg. How the hell would I know, I'm not a fan. What I can say, however, is that EA has constructed a highly competent real-time strategy that runs its course on the good side of the word 'fun'.

Gameplay

I am not, to any extent, an RTS gamer. Blame that on the frustration I got when playing the free copy of Age of Empires I got out of a cereal box (and that's no joke either). I've avoided the genre for the longest while now, citing the monotonous and boring gameplay (coupled with the fact that I really sucked at playing them) as reasons why. However, when Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath was dropped so nicely into my lap from EA, I had no choice but to acquire the original and break the RTS drought.

Initial impressions first though: wow. Clearly we've progressed beyond the scope of the sprite-based isometric layout to embrace our old friend: the third dimension. You're given the ability to look all over the luscious game world, as well as zoom into your troops and rotate the camera 360. So far so good. Thankfully, the game doesn't run your machine into the ground either, which makes for a welcome change in a modern game. Load times are short and snappy, and the ability to alt-tab out of the game and back into Windows without the world exploding in the process is, I think, a necessary inclusion to any game. It's true, ask any PC gamer.

Command & Conquer 3 returns to the Tiberium flavoured conflict (yes, I did my research) between the Global Defence Initiative (GDI) and the Brotherhood of Nod. It also introduces a third faction to the game, in the form of the extraterrestrially-flavoured Scrin. Set in 2047, the game presents the GDI as the losing side of a recent resurgence of the Nod forces. The story is told in the form of live action footage as per history.

Playing through the tutorial gives you a good overview of everything you have at your disposal as a commander. There are no real surprises in the gameplay here: standard RTS rules apply throughout. EA's goal in creating C&C3 was to recapture the essence of the Westwood developed games in the Tiberium saga, and they seem to have achieved it quite nicely. There is no overarching complexity to the game, as you're left mostly to your own devices to develop tactics and proceed through each mission, an element that I found to be far more engaging than completely linear progression. There is a palatable sense of excitement when you send half a dozen mammoth tanks in to decimate the enemy base. Having said that, the game does push you in ...

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