Welcome back, Commander

Command & Conquer 4 came out yesterday, and I thought I’d write a little about my beloved fondness for the series.

I’ve been a huge fan of Command & Conquer ever since the very first one came out way back in the mid-90’s.  The original C&C was one of the very first games we bought back when we got our first Windows 95 computer, and I’ll tell ya, I loved the hell out of it.  The awesome (albeit extremely cheesy) custscenes, the awesome units…nothing better than watching an Obelisk just slaughter an entire army.

I did play C&C Red Alert, but could never really get into it.  I don’t know if it was the fact that the units weren’t as advanced (ie sci-fi like), or that I just didn’t care as much for the story.  Either way, I did play it, and its 2 expansions, but the teaser in the game for C&C2 just made me more excited for that.  I did also play all the subsequent RA games, but again, didn’t enjoy them near as much as the original, Tiberium series.

Tiberian Sun, the followup to the original, was delayed a fair bit (especially considering Red Alert and the re-release of C&C on Windows 95 came with a trailer in 1997), but finally came out in 2000, 5 whole years after the original.  I don’t think the entire fanbase liked it as much as the first, but I sure did.  They really focussed in on the story this time…super cheesy of course, but they were still pretty fun to watch.  Michael Biehn (Kyle Reese from the first Terminator) and James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader) made appearances, along with Joe Kucan reprising his role as Kane…this time, much more sinister and dark.

When C&C3 – Tiberium Wars was announced in 2006, it shocked everyone.  I don’t think anyone was expecting another C&C game from the original series anymore, especially after they made C&C Generals a few years before that.  But I couldn’t have been more excited.  It was the first game in the Tiberium series to use a 3D engine, and did it ever look beautiful.  AND, we even got a 3rd playable race, the Scrinn, who were hinted at in Tiberian Sun.  Great custscens again, with lots more Hollywood talent, including Micheal Ironside, Tricia Helfer and Grace Park.  The gameplay was a little stale by this point (with games like Company of Heroes taking RTS’s in an entirely new direction), but it was still fun as hell.  There was also 1 expansion, Kane’s Wrath, that filled in a lot of details in between the 2nd and 3rd games (from Nod’s perspective), and continues a little beyond too.  I find it didn’t add a whole lot to the gameplay, but the story was cool.

We are now at the final entry in the Command & Conquer Tiberium series, Tiberian Twilight.  The name comes from the original name of C&C3, before the entire Westwood studio was scrapped and absorbed into EA.  EA held a poll online to choose the name of this game, and the fans overwhelmingly chose Tiberian Twilight.  A fitting name to the final entry in the series.  All the cheesy (although more serious in tone this time around) cutscenes are back, but they totally revamped the entire gameplay experience from previous C&C games.  This time around, there’s no base building, and it’s all about control points and micromanaging your units.  I’ve just started playing it myself, so I can’t really give any opinions on it yet.

I just wanted to show my love for one of the grand-daddy’s of the RTS genre (yes…Dune II was first modern one, but C&C made it popular).  It’s sad that this is the end, but I’m sure Red Alert 4 is still in the pipes, and also really excited to see where they take the C&C franchise as a whole after this.

Until next time…