There are three rules in the realms of computer games and they are as follows. Firstly, strategy games are always better on a PC than a console. Secondly, System Shock 2 is better than Ocarina Of Time no matter what Famitsu says. Lastly, Joe Kucan (who plays Kane in the C&C games) can do no wrong.
Seriously, the guy is amazing – even more amazinger than Chuck Norris, and that’s saying something.
In fact, Joe Kucan is so beloved and adored by gamers that he managed to even hold Command and Conquer 3 together - not that Tiberium Wars was bad per se though, the game was still well-balanced and enjoyable – it’s just that it had somehow lost some of the charm of the highly regarded series. There wasn’t as much of the piss and vinegar personality that had made the earlier games so enjoyable.
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Electronic Arts bore the brunt of the blame for that dilution of the most sacred of game series, and thankfully EA was able to accept that blame gracefully. The publisher acknowledged the error and pledged to remedy the mishandling of Westwood’s seminal franchise.
And, you know what? It looks like John Riccitello was telling the truth because Command and Conquer 3 has fixed a lot of those dilution problems in the new expansion, Kane’s Wrath. The focus of the game is now heavily on Kane himself, shifting the game back to the true centre of the fictional universe and the rest of series’ character starts to build itself back up around this centrepoint like Tiberium growing on a battlefield.
EA Westwood has learned some more tricks too. The game no longer tries to tell one long, continuous tale alone, but instead is set as various acts spread throughout the Command and Conquer timeline. These acts themselves, though divided, do have a continuing narrative running through them though and players will wage a continuing war for the Brotherhood of Nod in the singleplayer campaign.
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To this end, a variety of characters old and new are introduced throughout the game and EA Westwood has continued to make heavy use of FMV sequences to drive the experience on – both in and out of missions.
That Joe Kucan reappears as Kane isn’t exactly a surprise as the game is explicitly focused around him, but joining him are the lovely Natasha Henstridge as Kanes right-hand woman Alexa Kovacs and Carl Lumbly as Brother Marcion, the disaffected leader of The Black Hand.
So, from my point of view things are already off to a good start. The gameplay mechanic has remained mostly unchanged except for a few new units and added factions, but the tone of the game has been raised back to where it should be, restoring much of what we had thought was lost.