A few months ago I got to pick up a copy of Command and Conquer 3. This game had been at the top of the hype meter for almost 2 years prior to being released in March 2007.
The first thing I noticed was the distinct green theme of the box and this makes sense if you have played the previous games in the series.
The box came with the usual contents which a strategy game comes with, a tech tree pamphlet, hotkey list, and of course game manual (thankfully this one is short).
Luckily I found this game to be a lot easier to install than many of the games I have, therefore, I’ll just skip to explaining the story to anyone who doesn’t know it.
Note: Spoilers follow.
In the world of Command and Conquer, a seriously different timeline exists. The timeline splits around 1918 because Soviet scientists discovered time travel and used it to go back in time and assassinate Adolf Hitler, thus leading the USSR to take the place of Germany in World War II, and making the cold war a real war. Skip forward to the early 90s and the USSR has collapsed and was replaced by a terrorist organization named the Brotherhood of Nod. Around this time a new substance develops called Tiberium, it is found to be extremely toxic, and turns anything it comes into contact with into more Tiberium. Before long the Brotherhood of Nod begins to realize the power of the substance and begins taking advantage of it. In order to deal with this threat, the UN creates the Global Defense Initiative (GDI).
By the time of Command and Conquer 3, the world has been overrun by Tiberium and the world has been divided into zones by the level of Tiberium outbreaks. The worst of these zones, the red zones, are completely uninhabitable and cover 30% of the Earth’s surface. The next worst is yellow zones which are highly contaminated but still habitable and cover 50% of the Earth’s surface. They contain most of the human population, and are almost constantly in conflict. The last zones are blue zones, which cover only 20% of the surface of the planet, and are untouched, or only mildly touched by Tiberium contamination (they are also the home to GDI, which has now replaced the governments of the UN and acts as a government for all blue zones).
Later in the game it is revealed that Tiberium is actually a resource that is used by an alien race called the Scrin who are summoned to the Earth, thinking that the planet had already been completely consumed by Tiberium. Misjudging their intent, the president of GDI decides to attack them and in their anger they begin attacks against the human race.
End of spoilers
Luckily this game came with a tutorial, which I didn’t need, however, it is helpful for those who are not familiar with real time strategies. Just for the sake of this review I decided to do the tutorial and found it to be quite helpful.
One thing I noticed about this game was its return to the original style of building units on a sidebar and then deploying them anywhere you want in your control zone. This style makes things much easier than other styles where you have one central base, where you train a builder, who then builds your buildings. This way as long as you have your main base or control over your area you can always build. This saved me even more times than I could possibly list.
One annoyance in this game though, is how incredibly stupid your troops are, it takes forever to get around, and I really wish there was a way to get a group of troops to go into some kind of formation while moving, like a convoy. Unfortunately, you don’t have that option, they just scatter, things get in their way, they decide they can’t go around them, they get stuck, leaving half your army in your base, and the smaller weaker troops running to their doom.
Look at this little mass of troops running towards that enemy base
This is the result of manually forcing half of them to go in… that’s not a good thing
Command and Conquer is based heavily on its strong storyline and ok that summarizes it. The Command and Conquer series is one of the longest lived storylines in video game history, and this new game just builds onto that. A major part of this game which I absolutely note is the amazing graphics. I will gladly tell anyone who believes DX9 has been sucked dry, that they are wrong. C&C3 is a perfect example of why DX9 will still not be dead for some time.
That is a fairly satisfying boom.
Despite how much I appreciate the graphics, they come at a price. I don’t mean a performance price, as my single video card system was easily able to run full graphics at max FPS. The price I’m talking about is the price of quality. I recognized many of the unit sounds to be reused from the last game, Command and Conquer Generals. I don’t know if they meant for this repetition to be an Easter egg, or if they were just running out of money, but it did at least amuse me.
This game cannot put a scratch on games like Supreme Commander, it seems like the development team ran out of money just as they were coming to a finish and just threw something together to fix it up. I’m not entirely sure, but it seems to me that they spend most of their budget hiring big name actors like Jennifer Morrison, Billy Dee Williams, Grace Park, and Michael Ironside. I just have a strange feeling that most of this game’s budget went into paying those actors’ salarys. I’m not EXACTLY sure though.
I also tried the skirmish in this game. The AI in this game is quite possibly the hardest I have faced when put on the highest setting. Yesterday, I set one brutal difficulty AI against myself and 5 medium difficulties. We all lost miserably… I’m not even sure how that works. Honestly, I was panicking too much to even take screenshots. So no more screenshots for this game
Luckily, EA might still redeem itself, as they are planning to release an expansion pack early next year. Hopefully, it won’t make me cry inside. Overall, I enjoyed this game; I just didn’t feel it was complete. Perhaps the expansion will fix that. I hope it does fix it anyway.
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 2.7 GHz
RAM: 1 GB DDR2
Video Card: ATi Radeon x1950 PRO
Sound: Steelsound 5H v2 headset/soundcard (hint: next review)
Will’s Rating: 8.7 (Was their budget just a bit too low?)
Command and Conquer 3 is available at EA’s online store, amazon.com, and just about any place that sells computer programs and games.
MSRP: $37.99 on amazon.com
What I like: Amazing graphics for DX9, pretty good game play, and cool explosions.
What needs improvement: Did they REALLY have to put so much money into actors? Seriously, there were better things to put it into.
How I Rate/Review
I like to stick to a 10 base rating system. It gives the reader more information on my actual thoughts about the product, and it helps those who are too lazy to read the article. I would give a 0 rating to something that doesn’t do what it says it’s supposed to, and instead does something else, which it also can’t do; in other words, anything that gives technology a bad name. I call a 10 rating the most amazing thing I ever seen in that category, for example, I’d give cheese a 10 because it’s the greatest thing since the beginning of time. This game got a solid 8.7 so I consider that quite good.
4 Original Responses to “Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars”
- 1 Betta Nov 22nd, 2007 at 12:57 am Normally I’m a lurker, but I have to offer some commentary for one of my favorite games (although I’ll tell you straight up, I’m not an oldschool CnC fan).I’ll go ahead and agree with you on most things, but I disagree with the lack of new units. If you look around on their main site, there is a lot of request and general sentiment for developers to bring back even older units. Sometimes the tried and true strategy is what works best. By the way, have you played as the Scrin? From what I’ve read, most’ve their race is new to the Command and Conquer game, and to me, it seems very well integrated and balanced.By the way, you can get units to move in formation by holding down both mouse buttons (right and left) and you’ll get a white shadow. Great for setting up defensive positions, not so great for attacking. And Brutal computers are Brutal for a reason, they get resources and build twice as fast, heh, (But I’ll brag a little and say that I’ve taken on one by myself and won).
- 2 Will Rodriguez Nov 22nd, 2007 at 12:30 pm Betta, it seems you misread my review, I didn’t say anything about a lack of new units. I’m saying they reused some sounds from Command and Conquer Generals. The ones in question are the missile soliders, snipers, and about 5 or 6 more which I can’t remember.As for the formations, thanks for the tip, maybe it will be easier to mount attacks with my massive zerg swarms now. As far as taking on brutal armies, yeah I found out how to take one on single handedly too since I wrote the review. However, it is still one of the hardest AIs I have faced in an RTS.
- 3 Betta Nov 22nd, 2007 at 1:53 pm Oh wow, I did totally misread that. My bad, heh. Ah, and I think we’re having a bit of nostalgia with zerg swarms, eh?-Betta
- 4 Will Rodriguez Nov 22nd, 2007 at 4:00 pm lol yeah, though in this case, i guess it’s a scrin swarm… swarm.