Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
Review by matt91486
"Finally! The REAL sequel to Command and Conquer is here!"
Command and Conquer: Tiberium Sun. I have waited five years for thee. Five long years broken only by playtime as the Germans and Ukrainians. Now the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and the Brotherhood of Nod (NOD) are back, and back in a big way.
Command and Conquer is the definition of a real-time strategy game. Your opponents could not care less if they are attacking you while you are in the middle of searching for the Tiberium Refinery in the tool bar...they will attack you anyway. This creates a sense of urgency that will have you hurrying through all of your tasks during the game.
There are three things that you need to concentrate on in Command and Conquer. Offense, Defense, and Special Teams. You need to determine a way that will allow you to succeed using all of these tools to your advantage. First of all, there is the offense. The offense that you can use is basically comprised of various units and vehicles. These all range in ability, and damage, and the wide variety in them, makes the game ever so much more interesting.
Defense and Special Teams are a bit more complicated. There are plenty of defensive mechanisms for you to choose from. They range from the towering Obelisk of Light, which shoots a highly powerful laser beam at your opponent, and can destroy a soldier in one shot, to the Sam Site, which takes out air attacks before they can destroy your base.
Special Teams may be the most interesting category. All of the buildings that cannot be used as a weapon in some way fit into this category. There is a wide spectrum of selections for you to choose from. You can build Radars, Power Plants, Walls, and even Tech Centers. Each of these buildings as a different, and decisive, impact on the game. Yes, I made these three categories of Offense, Defense, and Special Teams up. They are not called that in the game, but they make Command and Conquer: Tiberium Sun be understood better.
Yes, Westwood Studios has done a spectacular job of improving the graphics from all of the earlier Command and Conquer games. Everything is a bit more detailed, and it all looks better in three dimensions that the Nintendo 64 version of the original did. The fact that Command and Conquer: Tiberium Sun is three dimensional adds a new dimension of realism to the series. Some of the units translate well to 3D, while others do not. The units that have rounded helmets or the like benefited the most.
Of course, the graphics still have their problems. The terrain looks like that from a model train table. That is the best way I can describe it. The water looks like blue Saran Wrap. The ground all looks like the cheap fake grass that you would nail to a wooden plank for your Union Pacific to ride the rails along. The terrain was done quite poorly, and it looks laughable. Especially the water.
As usual, the audio capabilities remain Command and Conquer: Tiberium Sun’s greatest superficial addition. The music stays with the cynical sounding music of old. The music is an odd blend of techno, heavy metal, and hard rock, all slowed way down, that works rather well. Also, there is a large variety of odd percussion instruments found in the tunes. These create songs that truly display the hopelessness of the world until one of the two sides wins.
The sound effects are great as usual, as well. First of all, the troops learned some new sayings. Instead of saying only two sayings like last time, they have learned about eight new ones to go along with the usual duo of remarks. The attack sound effects are also of great quality. Just, occasionally, hearing your units talk constantly can be really annoying.
This is the biggest advantage that the Command and Conquer series has on the PC over its console ports. The game just does not work as well without a mouse. But, Command and Conquer: Tiberium Sun works nearly perfectly with a mouse. My only complaint is that occasionally, when I am navigating on the tool bar to find a unit or building to build, the map moves along with my mouse, and I end up with my map being in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, it is easy to get back to your original location, but it is still a pain. The units all move according to plan, and selecting units or groups with the mouse is a cinch.
Some of the missions are rather boring. But the Skirmish Mode completely makes up for this. I played the Skirmish Mode more than anything else in the game, and with good reason. Not because the missions are not fun, because they are. The Skirmish Mode is just that fun. You can choose from one of seven opponents to battle against. Then you can choose from one of and endless supply of maps. Then set the rest of your statistics as you wish, and you are in the greatest Command and Conquer experience around. No mission objectives, no endings. The game ends when all of the armies but one are destroyed. Until then it is out and out war.
CHALLENGE--MEDIUM TO HIGH
The Computer AI is considerably better than in Command and Conquer Red Alert: Retaliation, which was the most recent Command and Conquer before this one, at least to my knowledge. The missions are considerably more difficult to complete. The Computer AI in Skirmish Mode has been improved the most. In Command and Conquer Red Alert” Retaliation, the Skirmish Mode was a cakewalk, I could win in twenty minutes, no problem. Now, in Command and Conquer: Tiberium Sun, it takes me well over two hours on the quickest games, with only three opponents.
REPLAY VALUE--MEDIUM TO HIGH
Chances are you will play through the missions a couple of times. But, you will play the Skirmish Mode hundreds and hundreds of times. Mainly, because the Skirmish Mode just allows you to take the best of the Command and Conquer universe, while the missions involve more of everything.
Command and Conquer: Tiberium Sun was well worth the five year wait from the original. It improves over it, and all of its many versions, not sequels, in most every aspect. Westwood Studios did an excellent job with Command and Conquer: Tiberium Sun, and I will be expecting more from them for all eternity.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/25/00, Updated 07/18/01
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