Command and Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath – PC review

4 out of 5
£19.99

For

Brilliant new Global Conquest mode, fantastic cutscenes as always

Against

Some of the new units a little disappointing, the included campaign uninteresting

It’s fairly safe to say that Command & Conquer 3 was well received by almost all fans of the long running RTS series. It’s brand of real-time strategy proving to continue to be a real hit with PC owners worldwide.

Even with the genre including glorious titles from a wide range of incredibly talented development teams, it’s the Command & Conquer series that’s always tugged at the old heart strings. It’s immense popularity no doubt helped by its fast paced gameplay, gorgeous looks, stunning multiplayer play, and those hilarious cutscenes!

So before the inevitable full sequel, its little shock to find a hastily put together expansion pack in order to extract a little more cash out of the game-buying public. Unsurprisingly there’s a truck load of new units and missions to play around with, and the bald pallet of Kane makes a much anticipated appearance more than a handful of times.

The biggest inclusions are the 13 new Nod missions, essentially giving you a brand new campaign to play through and entertain yourself with. It’s your standard inclusion for an add-on pack, and expected to reach the lofty heights that the original regular peaked.

Sadly it’s not quite as thrilling as you might have hoped for. Though the camp cutscenes are as wonderful and entertaining to watch as ever, the action out in the field of battle sadly doesn’t quite match them.

It’s not the missions aren’t decent enough. They’re certainly a lot better than some of the poor examples that the genre has offered up over the years. They just feel much more of a grind than some of the quality skirmishes of the original Command & Conquer 3. The fact that almost all include huge large scale battles, rather than some of the smaller tactical affairs of the original certainly doesn’t help. Plus the difficulty levels swing wildly from easy to horrendous at a second’s notice, which doesn’t exactly appeal.

Each faction gets a handful of new units to create, with the Scrin’s resource recycling spider thing being by far the most visually appealing. All the units are somewhat lacking real excitement, so don’t go picking this one up for some extra units to utilise during multiplayer.

The last big inclusion brings the Risk-esque Global Conquest mode. Essentially you receive a starting force and area of influence, and you’re task is to expand by either levelling up your base, or brutally taking over your enemies’ nearby areas.

There are all kinds of ways and methods to affect your opponents’ cities moral, and weaken them in order to make a much more brutal final attempt to destroy them. It’s all very different in comparison to everything that’s come before it in the Command & Conquer series, apart from when you finally come to a battle that you’re able to play out in real time. But though it might feel a touch alien at first, the sheer amount of tactical thought you can utilise to achieve ultimate victory during this lengthy mode is almost worth shelling out for alone.

Verdict

If you’re simply after more Command & Conquer action with straight missions, then you might be a touch disappointed with the poorly put together Nod campaign. It’s irritatingly difficult, and seems to neglect to include some of the intelligent missions that the series has offered over the years.

But if you’re eager to try your hand at something more tactical and find the Global Conquest mode intriguing then this is absolutely essential. It’ll keep you hooked for months.