Monday, October 3, 2011

Command and Blunder!

Okay, I just have to get this off my chest...Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight. Okay, first off...really? They couldn't have picked a better name? Did they watch the Twilight movies to the point they decided to tack that on at the end?

While, I have yet to play CNC4, I've seen enough videos of it that I kind of want to avoid getting it. At the same time, I do want to try it out because of my mere curiosity, and I'm sure it's a good game on its own in its own right and I'd play it, just I won't play it in the classic manner. I'd only play it to watch the series come to a close regarding the story since it's the end of the Tiberium-verse story arc. The mere fact that EA took out base building entirely is basically saying, "Hey. Let's screw over the franchise even more by taking out the mechanic that made the franchise successful initially in the first place!" That there hurts me as a fan of this series. If they had added what they have now in that game like as a separate sort of tactical mode and kept the default base building as the default game mechanic, I wouldn't be so critical about it, and would probably dive in to buy it. I think EA at that point didn't give a crap about the gameplay and just wanted to kill it which I think they were trying for years. Or they gave a crap about the gameplay, but didn't put in quite enough effort that they should have to make it a CNC game that the whole community would want to play. While I agree that some franchises need to end eventually, I wish they had tried to end it in a more 'true to a sequel' way. Again, I have yet to play it, but I've seen enough of the gameplay on YouTube and on the official webiste to make my decision on this matter.

I am not going to call it a complete fail, because I'm not that kind of person, but honestly, if you're going to make a've got to care about the fanbase. Command and Conquer has been my favorite RTS series since I've first played the N64 version of Tiberian Dawn, when I rented it from my local Blockbuster. I absolutely love the franchise, I do. It's epic. It's, in my opinion, the most epic RTS series I've ever played. I really have to give props to Joe Kucan, the man who played the role of the charismatic leader, Kane. The Tiberium series has always been my favorite. Red Alert was fine and I loved that series too, but the Tiberium series has to be my favorite. Why? I can't even begin to tell you. I guess I just like the GDI versus Brotherhood of Nod struggle a bit more than the Soviets versus the Allies one.

Then, of course, next to the Red Alert series and the Tiberium series, is the Generals series. Okay, only a game and one expansion for that one, but it's still pretty cool how it captured more of a modern our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. I've always loved the Command and Conquer series because of the base building and the massive amounts of units you can build up to go crush your enemy, not to mention the superweapons. At first glance, that seems like a rather simplistic RTS...and if you look at it, it kind of is...however, I think that's what the RTS standard should be. I know I sound a bit critical, but that's just always how I viewed an RTS game. Base building, unit building, you's just nice to have that 'commander' feeling...where you feel you can conquer anything with enough tactics and strategy behind what you do. I am not saying I am not open to ideas....I am, but I prefer the base building formula as it has been since CNC95.

I am also not saying that I won't play Command and Conquer 4 based on the mediocre name choice and the formula alone...that's just silly. That's like saying that you won't talk to a person because they're wearing crocs or some other bizarre piece of clothing that looks rather....stupid. While I am open to the idea of the 'base on the move' thing in CNC4, I don't think that should be the main focus....that's just not how Command and Conquer has ever been and ever should be. It was always about base building and unit well as power management. It puts people's command abilities to the test. As I said....I wouldn't have minded so much had EA made it like a different game mode for skirmish...but as far as the default gameplay goes, I think base building would've been ten times more efficient and would hit closer to home.

However, I noticed a severe lack of Tiberium fields in what I've that why they made it like they did? Oh wait, apparently we 'control' Tiberium now? You can't just simply control Tiberium! ....can you? Okay, I guess I'll let it slide a little, but the fact remains that the base building could have still worked. harvesters? Gotcha. Apparently the Tiberium flows through large giant tubes? How about build bases on or near Tiberium 'hubs' with those Tibtube things. Oh wait, I vaguely remember a video about Tiberium crystals with mechanical rings around them that you pick up and take back to your base? Great for a capture the flag gamemode, not so much for what should've been a basebuilding RTS in my opinion. I liked the classic 'build a Tiberium refinery, gain cash' method.

I guess I kinda get the 'crawler' concept now, but I feel making other classic buildings such as barracks and war factories useless is...well...wrong. People love building things. The crawler should have been no more than a mobile construction vehicle. Maybe it can have some defenses on it, sure. Just don't make it overpowered, have it allow you to build classic buildings, and there you go. Please old fans (somewhat), while sort of toying with a new idea, you know? Also....NO infantry whatsoever? Why? Is the ground poisonous? Can't you just put them in suits or something, then...kind of like the Nod Saboteur outfit in CNC3? Infantry combat is essential in Command and Conquer...or really, any RTS franchise. I'll admit that infantry are mostly cannon fodder, but they prove a nice distraction for when you bring your other forces from a different side and wipe out the enemy. I like doing that. It helps me think strategically and tactically. If this were the Sims, my logic skill would continuously be going up from playing this game franchise.

Maybe I am a bit critical, especially seeing as though I haven't played it yet, and typically when you're ranting about something, you really have got to have some hands on experience with it to help your case, and I agree with that. These are just my impressions of it from what I've seen from my own eyes and I'm sure I'll get some hate from it, but I just love Command and Conquer and I just don't want it being twisted into something that it shouldn't be. It's like trying to put out a forest fire with're just making it worse. I've been a dedicated fan since 1995...I applaud EA for trying, but I think for the most part, they kinda dropped the ball and let it fumble on the field for a few minutes before realizing the play was over and the game was lost.

I'll play the game when I get the means to get it, but for now I stand with my opinion. I might budge a bit after I play it, however I feel as though I prefer the classic style just from looking at the classic stuff versus the new stuff, but that's how it's been with anything people like, really. I wouldn't say I'm a 'hardcore purist' or anything, I'm not....and honestly purists annoy the hell out of me, I just....I don't know. I just feel weird when I see gameplay of CNC4. It just conflicts with many of my thoughts. A few things I've seen, I just don't think should be there. There ARE some cool things about it that I've seen and liked, but...CNC4 looks like an acquired taste. It's like that drink where it tastes horrible when you first drink it, but then you get an after taste and you become uncertain...and then you eventually like it or just put it back on the rack and not touch it for the rest of your life. This is just my honest opinion and if you hate it, so be it. My opinion may or may not change once I play it. I really am an open minded person...I just feel EA took out what was precious about the Command and Conquer franchise. It's like they ate the classic concept, crapped it out into a nearby ditch, and lit it on fire. That might sound a bit extreme, but at first glance at CNC4, that's essentially what it looks like to me. Until I manage to gain a copy of CNC4, I will stand by my current opinion until I am otherwise able to give a more accurate opinion, but I'm confident that with the amount of gameplay videos I've seen....I can completely avoid playing it and have a valid point.

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