Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars Review

Eight years in the making, but finally the sequel to the classic Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun is now in our hands. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars returns to the roots of what made this RTS franchise so popular: full-motion video cutscenes, frantic action, and plenty of explosions and flying bodies to make your heart soar. While C&C3’s formula is largely unchanged from past games, it still proves to be fun and exciting, much like an aged wine. Graphics, the story and sound have certainly been upgraded to reflect today’s technology, and EALA has certainly nailed those on the dot.

The plot rejoins the GDI with the infamous Brotherhood of the Nod. Each faction has their respective five acts in the single player campaign and they’re all pretty thorough. Even though the RTS gameplay is largely unchanged, some lingering annoyances are retained; for example the rehashed ‘build up base, mass your armies and destroy enemy base’ is certainly used to a great extent. Nonetheless, the storyline for each faction is very interesting and does its best to blend the sci-fi atmosphere with parallel, real-world influences. Upon beating both campaigns, you can open up a secret bonus campaign with the alien Scrin.

One of the early GDI levels involves you commanding a small GDI army to retake the Pentagon after a devastating attack from the Nod. Equipped with a rather small army of just basic rifleman, eventually you’re given a set of APCs. These armored vehicles can protect one squad — only one, but this allows for the APCs to seemingly morph into mobile ranged attackers, which can be pretty useful for quick attack and retreat tactics. After retaking the Pentagon, you have to eliminate the nearby Nod base by clearing out various buildings housing Nod rifleman. Here, you can use your grenadiers to clear out the buildings, complete with a satisfying boom and bodies flying out the windows.

One of the praises is the production quality and this is accentuated courtesy of the full-motion video cutscenes. CGI videos are replaced with real actors and contrary to the campy early to late 90’s overuse of FMV cutscenes, they are used to an excellent degree in C&C3. There’s just something about using real people and using the camera as your point of view that enhances the immersion. Some key roles include Joe Kucan returning for his excellent role of Kane, leader of the Nod, and Michael Ironside and Billy Dee Williams as military figures of the GDI.

Another point of praise is the visuals and the updated SAGE engine (last used in C&C: Generals) which still rivals the current-generation RTS engines. Another thumps-up goes to the engine’s optimizations, which definitely helps lower to mid-range systems who want to get a little extra juice for the visuals. Turning up the resolution and settings will please the eyes, so prepare for beautiful water reflections, explosions that knock individual pieces of buildings off and bright laser beams and fiery mayhem that’ll lay waste cities. As for the audio, units will sound off appropriately when moving and this time, they’re actually used in a non-annoying way. Units won’t get repetitive after awhile and will generally mix up what they say.

There are some flaws, one of which is building placement. Some buildings can get large and since the game forces you to build extra buildings for more unit queues, your limited base space can get pretty crammed at times. In turn, this can sometimes affect AI path finding, especially if you have multiple units coming straight from the production line and have to navigate around several buildings. Another is the degree of camera zoom. I guess its personal taste but I felt a bit limited of not being able to zoom further in.

Since its release, EA has been on the ball with patches. So far, there have been a handful of small patches focused on balancing multiplayer and fixing various other little things. As for multiplayer itself, thanks to the quick release of patches it’s shaping up for the long haul. With the community in mind, EA is touting C&C3 for the future and such additions like being able to watch in-game player videos shapes the game not only for single player RTS fun but also for clan-related actions and player-to-player action. A lot of the maps are balanced (or being balanced) and the quick match system worked after some quick patching.

C&C3 doesn’t necessarily redefine the RTS genre like its predecessors, but its production quality, action-packed campaigns, addicting multiplayer matches, and top-notch graphics certainly make this game a must-have for newcomers, RTS fans or C&C fanatics. Command and Conquer is still thrilling and still provides a fun and solid RTS experience. The campaigns are fun, the multiplayer skirmishes are fast and action packed, and the long-lasting appeal of the multiplayer will be enveloping players for a while. Do yourself a favor and experience C&C3 for yourself.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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