ByÂ Werner Dohse
If you don’t know what Command & Conquer is, then I don’t know under what rock you’ve been living the last 13 years. As I’m sure most of you know the first C&C was released in 1995, and following that, a total of eight C&C sequels (excluding the Red Alert spin-offs). For most of that time C&C has only been ever released on the PC but as of C&C 3: Tiberium Wars this proud franchise has made its way to the console. C&C 3: Kane’s Wrath is for all intent and purpose an expansion, but you can actually also say that it’s just a lighter version of C&C 3. Yes, there are new units and new factions (i.e. more teams) but the single player has been watered down quite a bit.
It’s always difficult to explain about the story without giving away any spoilers and it’s even more so with an expansion. In the single player campaign, the story for C&C 3: Kane’s Wrath continues where C&C 3 finished off. Everyone believes Kane to be dead and because of that Nod splinter factions have appear. It’s basically up to you, as a commander in the employ of, who has to bring these splinter factions back under his control. The story, as always, progresses with the use of live-action cut-scenes and to be honest, except for the occasional laugh due to the acting, the cut-scenes are most of the time quite boring.
The game consists of three single player modes, Campaign, Kane’ Challenge & Skirmish. There are 13 missions in the Campaign, each mission expects you to finish it differently, from escort mission to kill-them-all missions. The biggest issue with the Campaign, is the fact that you can only play with Nod, this is after all Kane’s Wrath. The Kane’s Challenge mode on the other hand allows you to select from nine different armies. The three armies from C&C 3 and then two factions each for those armies. Each faction has some sort of specialty. Kane’s Challenge has 10 different mission for each faction, so that’s a total of 90 missions, although those 10 missions are the same for each team with just a different opponent being faced. It’s basically a combination of the Campaign and Skirmish, pitting you against AI opponents. Coming from a mouse and keyboard RTS environment, I must say that the control system is very well done. The new Radial Menu, allow you to quickly access building queues, create & access groups and access all those necessary functions that we take for granted in a good RTS. The menu is called up using the trigger and then selections are made using your analog stick. It takes a bit of getting used to, but at the end of the day it’s very powerful tool.
A lot of people will skip the single player section and jump straight into the multiplayer section. The five modes available in multiplayer are Versus, King of the Hill, Capture and Hold, Capture the Flag and Siege. I didn’t get to successfully test the online matches as much as I wanted toâ€¦ a lot of the time, when I got into a match my opponent would leave/time-out, leaving me with a victory (Got a few achievement point like thisâ€¦ see there is a silver-lining in our â€œwonderfulâ€ internet).
No enhancements have been made to the graphical system. If you liked C&C 3: TW’s graphics, you’ll like Kane’s Wrath. I did experience some frame rate drop when there were big armies on the screen but nothing so bad that it’ll spoil your game play. The sound in this game is great, pump up the volume and you’ll think there is an actual war going on in the room.
I think Kane’s Wrath is a great addition to anyone’s games library. Even though I didn’t get a chance to properly test the online capabilities, I think it’s worth it to get the game for the chance to annihilate your friends’ armies with the new units. If you enjoy C&C 3: TW’s you’ll most definitely enjoy this.
Gameplay: 8/10 [Controls very smooth. Radial Menu very well implemented] Presentation: 8/10 [Game runs smoothly] Sound: 7/10 [War in the living roomâ€¦ and not the bad kind] Value: 7/10 [Single player might be short, but online multiplayer will make up for it] Overall: 7.7/10 [One-team campaign drops this below a smooth 8] Better Than: [C&C 3: Tiberium Wars – New Radial Menu kicks ass] Worse Than: [C&C 3: Tiberium Wars – Not enough single player campaigns] [Remember Werner is up against Brett for the prestigious job of Lazygamer sub-chief-junior-reviewer-sidekick… (we are still working on the title) The details of how to vote and stand in line to win Kratos will be posted around noon today]
Last Updated: July 10, 2008