E3 2012: Command and Conquer hands-on

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I’ll be honest here: I haven’t enjoyed a Command and Conquer since the superb Kane’s Wrath expansion pack for the third game in the Tiberium Wars franchise. Subsequent Command and Conquer titles felt terrible afterwards. Rushed, buggy and annoying, I’d lost hope for the franchise. But the free to play upcoming Command and Conquer may just save the franchise from oblivion.

So where do we begin with the latest Command and Conquer? Well for starters, it’ll be instantly recognisable to anyone that played the games in the Generals series. It’s been expanded on though, with three factions vying for control of the world now. The European Union, the Global Liberation Army and the newly formed Asian-Pacific Alliance.

One change already seen in the game is that the GLA is now a more multi-ethnic bunch of global terrorists. According to Victory Games, this came about as people had complained previously that the first Generals game insulted Muslim culture with it’s portrayal of terrorists. “Now, we can offend everyone across the world,” Victory Games jokingly said.

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So, with an intro out of the way, I sat down to play some Command and Conquer. First off, it’s pure Generals. Building bases, gathering resources, pumping oil and training troops will be instantly recognisable to veterans.

And the DICE engine on display here doesn’t look to bad either. Units have a nice pop, the terrain has some great textures and the action unfolds with all the baysplosions that you could ask for. It still needs some polish though, but when the game eventually launches, it should be able to knock quite a few socks off.

As for gameplay, this particular Command and Conquer feels faster, more intense. This isn’t a bad thing, but quite positive actually. It suits the world of Generals perfectly, and the action never skips a beat, while remaining a challenge for players who don’t prepare properly.

It’s none of that annoying gaff from Red Alert 3 and Command and Conquer 4. Instead, it’s one of the purest Command and Conquer games that I’ve seen in quite a few years. And for a free-to-play title, it’s got a little of quality for zero bucks.

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Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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