Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath Review

Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath is the follow-up (expansion) to last year’s Tiberium Wars, in which our anti-hero, Kane, suffered bitter defeat at the hands of his enemies. Now he’s back for a little bit of revenge, and he’s got the Nod army, a brand new console RTS control scheme, and some hilarious live acting behind him.

Anyone who is familiar with real-time strategy games knows the basic premise behind Kane’s Wrath: choose a faction, harvest resources, build structures designed for the production of other units, spawn your army, set defenses, and destroy your enemies. Very little has been done to expand upon the basic RTS formula, so gamers should be aware that this is essentially more of the same.

Don’t be discouraged, though, because Kane’s Wrath does address what has been the greatest detriment to the genre with a brand new and improved control scheme for the Xbox 360 version of the game. EA calls it the “command stick” system, where all of the player’s commands are set up in a radial interface that can be easily accessed at any time with a simple pull of the right trigger. From there, the left stick directs the selection to any of the large icons, which each come with descriptions of that particular command’s function. Compared to other console RTS, this method of control is very streamlined.

In the heat of battle, it is possible to forget all of the praise you may want to shower upon the game, however, as a few issues arise time and time again. Selection of units can be very simple if you want to a) select all units on the screen, b) select all units of one type, or c) select an individual unit. It gets trickier when you want to divide a section of your army into chunks and send them off to perform different tasks. Rather than an adjustable selection box or lasso to grab a portion of the units on the screen, one must highlight a single unit and then touch each and every desired addition to that particular squad.

Luckily, there is a relatively simple method for saving grouped units, but if you plan to group vehicles with infantry, be prepared to either have your faster units pull out so far ahead of the rest that they are defeated before the second wave comes, or manually rally the entire group to a safe position not quite within range of your intended target and wait for everyone to catch up before actually making your move. It would be far better if the game moved all units at the same rate when commanded in a group.

The inability to jump quickly to a specific portion of the map instead of flying over the entire battlefield is also a bit of a downer, especially when your forces are under attack and it would be most beneficial to attend to them as quickly as possible. Yes, commands can be issued via the wheel interface from any field of view, but if you don’t know which units need instruction, then it does little good. Players will constantly be notified of enemy sightings and attacks, only to waste time unsuccessfully searching the map for said confrontation.

And there are many, many confrontations in this expansion. There are 13 missions in the main campaign, and the new Kane’s Challenge mode offers a series of 10 missions for each of the three main factions and the six new sub-factions, for a total of 90 additional skirmishes. After that, there is multiplayer, which consists of regular mano y mano contests, capture the flag, king of the hill, capture and hold, and siege matches. There are over 50 maps to choose from, including new ones that have been released in patches for the PC version of the game.

Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath is as good an adaptation of classic RTS action to a home console as I’ve seen, but still makes it painfully obvious that there are far better ways to control the construction and command of complex virtual armies. As for the live acting segments, they never fail to amuse me. I’m unsure whether that’s a good or a bad thing, though — it’s like laughing at a horror flick that was actually meant to be terrifying.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.