Command and Conquer 4 PreviewPublisher: Electronic Arts
Expected release date:
Command and Conquer
is changing, in a big way. True, it’s already changed an awful lot over the last few years as Electronic Arts has pushed out more and more games in the franchise. The series has changed styles and even genre occasionally – but the biggest changes are still yet to come.
You’re probably not going to like them all either. If you’ve been a long-time fan of the Command and Conquer
series and love the classic, strategic feel of the C&C
universe then you’re probably going to be a bit uncomfortable with the direction that the new game is going. We aren’t just talking about the constant online connection requirement
either – which actually feels like it may be a pretty cool idea now we know a bit more about it.
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No, these changes are bigger. Respawning teams, class-based gameplay and mobile bases – things that might monumentally change the face of the game. Chatting to producer Jim Vessella after his presentation, he talked about how the team was hoping to make Command and Conquer
more accessible than ever through these new and not-yet-finalised gameplay mechanics.
At the same time though, Electronic Arts still thinks it can cater to the hardcore audience by harnessing new methods of storytelling and doing away with some of the stalwarts of the C&C
universe. Those static-camera FMVs and long rambling monologues issued to your silent protagonist are now going to be a thing of the past, for instance.
Even Kane, played by Joe Kucan, is being done away with in a manner of speaking – EA has given the startling announcement that Command and Conquer 4
will be the final game in the Tiberium storyline and that it’ll wrap up the story good and proper.
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Here lies C&C
’s most exciting prospect then – that we may finally find out who or what the demagogic Kane actually is and what his plan for Earth might entail. Kane has been killed, thwarted and betrayed so many times that actually getting to see him accomplish his mission is a tantalising prospect. Whatever Kane’s endgame is, it’ll apparently involve reaching back to all past Command and Conquer
games and pulling together all sorts of story references, from The Forgotten to the Tacitus.
That said, we do we find it a little unusual at EA is changing the fundamental gameplay to entice new players and hoping to still interest hardcore gamers with a in-depth and cinematic story. Aren’t the hardcore players more likely to be interested in multiplayer gameplay?
But that doesn’t mean that long-time fans won’t be interested in the plot, obviously. It’s certainly got our attention, picking things up almost fifteen years after Command and Conquer 3
with a reluctant GDI having teamed up with Nod to bring the tiberium infestation under control and harness the alien crystal as a power source that is leading the world into a new golden age.
Until the back-stabbing begins, that is – and GDI and Nod start facing off for the final time as the allied world leaders attempt to uncover Kane’s intent and put a stop to it once and for all.