For all you console gamers out there, it’s worth pointing out a fact. Command & Conquer is one of the biggest PC games of all time.
C&C redefined real time strategy gaming. Things haven’t been the same since the battle between the goodies of the Global Defence Initiative and those evil Brotherhood of Nod bar stewards kicked off back in the mid-90s. Think of the US versus some stereotypically shady baddies and you’re just about there.
What made the C&C series such a corker was that it simply refused to pretend to be anything other than it looked. It’s always been pure unbridled mayhem at your beck and call with a swift mouse click. Just call us George W Bush.
Back after a 4 year rest, C&C is ready to excite all over again. This time however it’s got a heap of competition in the guise of Company of Heroes and the incredible Supreme Commander. Can the old school action cut it?
Command Conquer veterans, we’ve got good news. Kane is back!
For those of you who have no idea who we’re talking about, Kane is the star of the camp over the top cutscenes that push the story forward. He’s your typical pantomime villain – hammy, comical, creepy and as bald as ever.
Kane is one of many returning features of this C&C. Now you come to mention it, there’s not much of a jump gameplay-wise from this version to the very first title in the series way back in those 32-bit days.
Viewed from high up above, you play a battlefield commander directing your troops. Simply left click and drag a box over the troops you want to command. You then right click to move them, or force them to do some good old fashioned conquering.
Then there’s your big command bar on the right hand side of the screen. Here you’ll select buildings to help make your base a force to be reckoned with and create the troops to keep your enemies at bay. Darwin might have something to say about the latter, but hey, it’s only a game.
Your main objective is simple enough. Destroy your opponent’s base while making sure your own stays standing. A whole heap of secondary objectives have been tossed in to spice things up, including guarding the Tiberium of the title – the substance that provides all the world’s power.
There’s two main campaigns to start off with. In the first, you control the Global Defence Initiative and the standard band of weaponry and buildings you might expect of 2047 America. GDI are basically the good guys who want to make sure there’s enough Tiberium for all, kind hearted souls that they are.
The alternative is the dark side. The evil Brotherhood of Nod want to horde the earth’s Tiberium for their evil demonic means and they have more than enough futuristic weaponry for the job. You know, brightly coloured lasers and that kind of thing.
So far, so C&C. But this two-sided scrap soon gets shaken up. An alien race by the name of the Scrin arrive on the scene wanting a piece of the action. The resulting scrap is one hell of a tussle, we can assure you.
War hasn’t ever looked this good. The futuristic weaponry packs a real punch and your picturesque landscape will soon be littered with explosions and colourful lasers. Even on an average specced PC you’re in for a visual treat.
Then there’s the multiplayer side of things. Tiberium Wars is even better online against fellow humans – there’s few better online gaming experiences and we urge you to try it.
C&C has one major problem however. For those who’ve been raised on the new breed of real time strategy titles that focus on tactics rather than pure weight of numbers, the lack of indepth thinking might feel a little alien. But then, you’d be totally missing the point of C&C.
We say let your strategic brain take a rest and get stuck into the conquering. Chances are you’ve not had this much fun in long, long time.