Review by Janors 2
"Not what I was expecting, but a decent RTS none the less"
What do you expect from a C&C Game? I know what I want; The same fast paced gameplay, excellent story, and simple gameplay. C&C: Generals has thrown this all out the window for a new, yet somewhat disappointing gaming experience.
There is absolutely no story to this game. Some may mark this as a positive, ''I always hated the C&C stories anyway, they were too stupid.'' But when you think about it, a lack of a story has drastic effects on a game. The campaign missions are an absolute bore, usually boiling down to ''Blow up everything.'' The GLA (Terrorist) missions usually involve demolishing a building, and after that destroying everything else. What, I ask, was the point of making us destroy the first building if we end up eradicating everything? It's irritating moments like this that really bring Generals down.
Graphics have some astounding highs and disappointing lows. The tanks, buildings, and environments are mindblowingly detailed. At High Detail you can see individual molds in the metal of a tank, banners blowing in the wind of a Middle East palace, and individual cracks in boulders that scatter the landscape. But as you'd expect, this kind of detail exacts a HUGE toll on your system. You'll probably need to upgrade your PC to get the desired graphics and performance out of Generals.
Infantry is probably the only downside to Generals' graphics. Weaponry is paper thin, and every infantry unit looks blocky and undetailed. When contrasted to the resounding detail put into tanks and buildings, it makes you wonder why they didn't just balance the detail (a la AOM).
Probably the hardest part of Generals to judge. Instead of your typical C&C sidebar routine, EA/Westwood have decided to take the Warcraft/Starcraft/Nearly every other RTS way. The sidebar is completely gone; You must now click individual buildings to produce units. There are now upgrades (Plutonium Shells from a nuke silo... Give me a break!) and WORKERS (Probably the worst part)! To C&C newcomers this may not be a problem, but when I buy a C&C game, I expect A C&C GAME!
Although it's not your typical C&C gameplay, Generals is still an easy to use system. Every side has a wide balance of units, all with their unique purposes. The GLA Toxic Tractor is horrible against tanks, but it melts infantry away like butter in a microwave. Each side has one superweapon, which are all pretty fairly powerful (Except the nuke, which, in typical C&C fashion, is horribly underpowered).
My favorite part of Generals' gameplay is all the cool stuff units can do. The USA's Rangers can be upgraded to use flashbangs, which are the ultimate anti-infantry weapon. Their hero, Colonel Burton, can actually scale cliffs to sneak in a base and plant C4. It's stuff like this that really makes Generals cool.
I bet a lot of people will blow off this review as ''just another RA2 fanboy''. Honestly, though, I've tried my hardest for an unbiased review. Generals has some awesome highs and disappointing lows, but in the end you'll find a pretty satisfying gaming experience. If I were you, I wouldn't shell out $50 for it right now, but wait about a month till the price goes down. Then it'll be worth it.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/01/03, Updated 03/01/03
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