Of Tiberium And Time: Epilogue: The Future

For chapter 8 discussing Tiberian Twilight, see here.

So now that we’re in the future space year of 2013, I thought it would be a good time to wrap up this series by taking a look at the future of Command & Conquer. It definitely had nothing to do with how I’m a master procrastinator.

I do kinda like this screen.

Tiberian Twilight was the definite deathblow to the series, but I’m sure we all know EA are not above using necromancy to keep things going. And like all undead it’s a pale imitation of its former life, that might harm you if you get too close. Let’s take a look at what remains, as a type of funeral wake, if you will.

The first item on the list is Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances. This is a browser-based strategy game with the fairly standard action point system these things have. I first played it back in beta when only GDI were available, and did a short trip back during the weekend to see if it had changed much. Nod are in it now, which I guess makes it better.

They have some skill with title screens.

The gold and red lines are gonna get us!

The main antagonists here are the Forgotten, who are more organised and deadly than they’ve ever been. You’re free to attack any player within range of your base as well though, whether they’re the same or opposite faction, so long as they’re not protected by the newbie shield.

Attacking stuff is what costs action points, and the further away they are, the more points it costs to attack. You do get the ability to move your base eventually, and the goal is to get into the centre of the map, disable the shields on the Forgotten stronghold and take it down. That’s not actually in the game yet though, so currently there’s just a lot of players clustered around the centre, fighting eachother and grinding any Forgotten bases that happen to pop up.

They look right, but don't feel right.

Oh wow, these look like things I know!

If this description sounds rather dry, that’s because the game is as well. You build stuff in your base, which slowly gives you resources you can use to upgrade them to gather resources faster, and your base slowly levels up according to the average level of your structures. Even the combat holds little appeal.

It’s an alright time-waster for a while, but there’s nothing that really feels C&C about it. By the time my base was at level 9 I was well and truly bored, because everything took such a long time to progress further. I won’t be going back to it. I’ll stick to Tiny Monsters instead for my longterm, glorified Facebook app.

It's almost like they themselves try to ignore that Tiberian Twilight happened.

Most units you’ll recognise from Tiberium Wars, but there are a few exceptions.

Feel free to check it out if you want, but if you’re looking for more story, you won’t find it here. It’s pretty well-polished for what it is, but as any free-to-play game it has a premium currency system that is just a tad obnoxious. There’s nothing really engaging here, but if you like browser-based games that you just fiddle with 5-15 minutes a day, maybe you’ll get something out of it.

The red is on his side!

Cyborg Kane disapproves!

And finally we have the upcoming Command & Conquer: Generals 2 being developed by Bioware Victory. Which is now just called Command & Conquer because EA are bastards. I’ve already said my piece on this thing here and here.

The TL;DR is that I have very little faith in this project. Of course, why not turn C&C into a free-to-play MMORTS? And just have the single-player as a tacked on extra somewhere down the line. Certainly not at launch.

What is in a name? Well, game publishers know how to make videogame naming obnoxious.

Because screw you, EA.

The only real news I’ve heard since is that they want to stuff units from the Tiberium and Red Alert games into there as well, because respecting the canon and the franchises is for other people, it seems. It just sucks away my will to live.

There is a faint chance that this thing could actually be good, but the chance that I’ll like it is a lot more remote. C&C has never been about the multi-player for me; it’s been about the silly, over-the-top single-player campaigns and crazy characters. Generals is the definitely least crazy of the three franchises, and it had nothing interesting about the story at all. So forgive me if I don’t think an untested studio arbitrarily attached to the Bioware label can pull it off.

Building and unit designs look alright, though.

High fidelity, but very grey and brown.

So that’s it. To me the C&C franchise as a whole is dead, and I highly doubt anyone EA put on the job will convince me otherwise. I’ve now made my peace with the series, and I’m ready to move on to something else. At least Heart of the Swarm is coming out this year, which lets me play a whole campaign as the only Starcraft race I find interesting.

Hits me right in the nostalgia.

I wish I was still talking about this.

And with that Of Tiberium And Time has reached its end. I might do a bonus thing on Renegade at some point, but I’m really not feeling like it right now. Our next retrospective series will take us to the distant lands of Nosgoth. I just need to come up with a good title for it…

For chapter 8 discussing Tiberian Twilight, see here.



Posted on January 9, 2013, in Games, Retrospective, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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