by Derk Bil
reviewed on PC
My heart starts pounding with every announcement of a Command & Conquer title, regardless, even, of my opinion of the previous installment. No matter how I try, I just can't help myself. It probably has something to do with sentiment that is going back to the days of illustrious games such as Dune 2, Command & Conquer and Red Alert. When Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight was released just over a week ago, I predictably was unable to resist the lure and dedicated both my time and my money to the game.
He sure has been around
Tiberian Twilight fast-forwards the player to the 27th century. Warfare has changed a lot over the years which is instantly noticeable in the fact that “the commander” (that's you!) is a 6 Million Dollar Man. You are filled to the brim with implants and whatnot to boost your performance in a plethora of areas, making you feel like more of a cyborg than a man. Moreover, you are married to the most neurotic wife you could possibly imagine. She cares for you I guess, so that's a plus, but she sure is a handful.
The latest installment in the series changes things quite a bit so I felt it would be wise to start with the tutorial. Once I had familiarized myself with the changes and basic controls I was treated to a mood inducing cut-scene that showed some of the slickest CGI work ever to be featured in the Command & Conquer franchise.
No Command & Conquer game would be complete without the increasingly more charismatic and melodramatic Kane. Right from the start you will see plenty of him. If you think cockroaches are tough, then you haven't been properly introduced to Kane. He has been bombed to bits and stabbed to death and yet he is still kicking arse. The Scrin, the mysterious aliens from Tiberium Wars, are no longer present in Command & Conquer 4. The only reference to their existence is a relic that they left behind when they were kicked off the planet during the last installment of the series.
So, we are back to playing Nod, GDI and a handful of pesky rebels that carry around Molotov Cocktails. When I say pesky, I don't mean easy. They go after anything and everything, regardless of their alignment and can do considerable damage.
Little to command, less to conquer
So far, so good but things turned sour after the tutorial. I was shocked to learn that there are only 7 missions in which you alternatively command Nod or GDI. Worse still, I couldn't find much to command, let alone to conquer. The entire Command & Conquer concept – you know, the one that made the series as big as it is - has been tossed out the window. There is no base building and no resource gathering. All that is left is the micro-management of your units.
Each mission starts with choosing a base. These come in the flavors defensive, offensive or support and determine the kind of troops that you can build. An offensive base focuses on constructing land-based vehicles, defensive bases mostly churn out infantry units and support bases produce stuff that can fly. Your base can support a number of command points, usually between 50 and 60, and each unit will generally cost 3, 6 or 10 command points depending on the unit's strength. As long as you have not consumed all your command points, you can build units to your heart's desire.
Fast paced multiplayer battles with up to 10 players on a single map.
Did they really slap the name Command & Conquer onto this game?