Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars Review

The Command & Conquer series holds a special place in the hearts of long-time real-time strategy gamers. It started with one of the first games to help elevate RTS gaming to its status as one of the most popular PC game genres and spawned countless clones through the years. With Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars the series returns to its roots; the graphics are modern, there’s a new faction to play, and new units are introduced, but when you get down to the gameplay it’s strictly back to the basics and therein lies the rub...

Before we get too much further into this, you first need to first determine the type of strategy gamer that you are. Tiberium Wars rewards fast players – those who can get to the top units first or build an overwhelming force quickly do quite well in the game. Those looking to hunker down for some base building or who like their attacks to follow finely orchestrated strategies are going to find themselves knocked out of the game long before their plans will ever come to fruition. Yes, the rush tactic makes its return. Of course this applies to multiplayer games more than to the campaigns, but most gamers will get most of their mileage out of a strategy game from the online play rather than from replaying the campaign.

Speaking of the campaign, it focuses on the classic struggle between the forces of the GDI and the Brotherhood of Nod. The GDI is a global organization akin to the UN on steroids and the Nod are fanatical followers of the megalomaniacal Kane. Kane is convinced that the newly discovered radioactive element Tiberium is the key to the next phase of human evolution and he has devoted his forces to spreading it around the globe. The GDI see Tiberium as a threat to the very survival of humanity and will go to any length to stop Kane and his Nod forces. This war is played out over two campaigns, one for each faction, and if you make your way through both you’re rewarded with a few bonus missions as the Scrin, a new alien faction making its series debut in the game. All of the missions feature video sequences that run full-screen between missions and in smaller windows as in-mission communiqués from headquarters. All of the videos are well-produced and walk that fine line between entertaining and cheesy that all of your favorite TV Sci-Fi series do. And I have to say that it’s definitely a treat to get your operating orders from Michael Ironside during the GDI campaign. The missions themselves fall into the traditional categories of escorting units, building up a base and then taking out the enemy’s, and holding off an assault until reinforcements arrive, but they still are fun to play even though you’ve seen these types of missions a thousand times before.

After you complete the campaigns, skirmish mode and online multiplayer await. Skirmish mode can be fun thanks to a number of difficulty options, but as always the real enjoyment lies in battles against other humans. The game provides twenty different maps that can support from to two to eight players, so there’s plenty of variety to the online play. The Scrin are the hardest faction to play because it takes them a while to build themselves into a threat, and the GDI’s Mammoth tank will bring back memories of the unstoppable tank force tactic of old. Otherwise play is tilted towards the player who can build a large force or a few super weapons the fastest. The game comes with full support for ranked and ladder play, clans, and quick matches, and also adds an interesting Battlecast mode. In this mode an announcer can call the in-game action and other players can tune in to watch (on a delay to prevent cheating). It’s a great way to learn the game and pick-up some new tricks and tactics.

All in all Command & Conquer 3 is an enjoyable strategy game as long as you are OK with the fact that its gameplay is distinctly old school at heart. If you're looking for innovative play and strategic depth look elsewhere, but otherwise it’s a pulse-pounding, mouse finger-twitching good time.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 86%. It's back to the future all over again.


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