Review by Sour DieseL
"A great expansion to a great game"
Tiberian Sun left some people with a sour taste in their mouths, though others loved it. Tiberian Sun: Firestorm was released shortly after the original Tiberian Sun and features several new things, including a shorter but still fun campaign mode. Unlike the first Tiberian Sun, Firestorm is a single disc game, hence the short campaigns. There are a total of nine missions for each side, and the last mission is the same for either side, it just determines what you start out with. While the campaign is much shorter in this version, it can be said the Skirmish mode has been vastly improved, giving you new units to command without sacrificing any of the old ones from the previous game.
Story:10/10: Kane has once again fallen to the forces of GDI, as seen in the last game. The Brotherhood of NOD is once again split and at odds with themselves, not knowing what to do without Kane's grand leadership. Some branches favor a more peaceful future, while others want to continue with realizing Kane's vision, still believing him to be the messiah. However, NODs key computer network known as CABAL, begins taking control of all NOD forces and begins to try and wipe out the various other branches of NOD, including the one you worked for if you played NOD's campaign in Tiberian Sun. Perceived to be a renegade computer, any NOD force left that isn't under CABAL's control teams up to destroy the computer program, and even goes so far as to team up with GDI. While the campaigns are different, your enemy remains the same. You'll have to work together with the opposite team to bring down CABAL. But remember, not everything is as it seems...
Gameplay: 10/10: The Command and Conquer series a utilizes real-time strategy and micro-managing style of play, very much akin to the Dune series of games. Most single player missions will give you a Mobile Construction Vehicle which is deployed to build your base around. As you progress through the campaign, more and more units will be available for you to utilize. Units and other buildings aren't just free though. You'll have to build a Tiberium Refinery to rake in some cash. These refineries send out Tiberium harvesters to, well, harvest Tiberium to increase your cash flow. The more refineries and harvesters, the faster you'll get money, and you'll have more of it. Technically Tiberium is limitless, but it takes quite some time for the material to re-spawn. Walking regular human units through patches of Tiberium will also damage them. If they stay there long enough they'll eventually die and potentially come back as a mutant so attack you or your enemies. So make sure to be careful when sending units through Tiberium-laden areas. Also, not every mission will allow you to build a base. Some missions, you'll just get a small group of units and have to accomplish your goals with that group. Sometimes you may even have to be stealthy. And it's usually a good idea to do so instead of rushing into an enemy base and attempting run-and-guns. Most of the map is shrouded, except where you start off. It's best to be careful and look for a back way into bases in these small group missions.
In addition to the campaign, you can play Skirmish Mode. In this mode, you can pick your own maps and set-up AI opponents. You can choose whichever side you want and what faction (GDI and NOD) the AI will be. You can make them fairly intelligent or stupid, and you can also set the technology level for you and your opponents to utilize. A feature available in all modes of the game is to open your Sound Menu and pick any track available to listen to. There's even a loop option if you find a particular song catchy and cool if you so desire. You can also go head-to-head against players all over the world in the online mode. Beware though, as you may come across the occasional hacker. But for the most part, the online is pretty fun and will surely test your skills against those of other players. There's also an option to ally with another player in all modes (if more than two players are left, that is. Otherwise you can't ally with the other player), which can help greatly if you're having some trouble against another player. Most matches will have set rules however like 2v2, free-for-all, etc., which are announced by the host before the game starts. If you don't like their rules, go ahead and open up a game. You can also add people as buddies and bring them into matches if they're online, if you so desire. Overall, both the campaign and multiplayer modes are really, really fun. Firestorm also features various new units for you to have at your disposal, such as the Cyborg Reapers for NOD.
Graphics: 10/10: The graphics have improved noticeably since the first game. Scan-lines have been reduced, and cut-scenes are great, the characters being acted out by real people, in front of a green screen with CGI graphics for the backgrounds. The in-game graphics are pretty good, and you won't have trouble differentiating between what's what. The maps and sprites are all in 2D because the game's major focus is gameplay and not graphics, though once again, there is a significant difference between Tiberian Sun and past Command and Conquer games. This version is exactly the same in terms of graphics when compared to Tiberian Sun, which are still pretty great.
Sound: 10/10: The game's soundtrack is simply fantastic like it's predecessors, focusing mostly on industrial rock and some psuedo-techno. Some tracks are simply addictive and catchy, such as Nod Crush. That being said, some tracks are only selectable for certain factions. Nod Crush for example can only be listened to if you're playing the The Brotherhood of NOD. The sound effects are good, explosions sound like explosions, etc. The voice and acting and overall acting in this game is great, and you'll even get to see and hear James Earl Jones himself. He plays General Solomon, the heart and will of GDI. Everything sounds clear and crisp and there's really no disappointments here. You also have several new tracks to select. It features all of the songs from the first Tiberian Sun and then some others, such as Killing Machine and Slave to the System, both of which are really catchy.
Overall: 10/10: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm is a fantastic addition to the Tiberian Sun storyline. The multiplayer mode is vastly superior to Tiberian Sun. It's recommended that if you liked the first Tiberian Sun and want some more greatness, go ahead and get this game! If you get get the Command and Conquer: The First Decade collection, this game will be included as well as the original. So whichever way you purchase this game, go ahead and enjoy!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/01/10
Game Release: Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm (US, 03/08/00)
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