Review by z129000
"Classic gameplay with updated graphics makes a great game"
Command & Conquer: Generals is going to be the last C&C game done by Westwood, as the company has sold to EA. Westwood, the company which revolutionized RTS gaming with Dune and has put out many excellent C&C games, has really outdone themselves to go out properly. While many may claim that Generals is incomplete or lacking, the game is very enjoyable, on or offline.
Very detailed units, beautiful explosions and textured backgrounds make this one very pretty game. Parts shatter as a vehicle is destroyed by an amazing looking explosion. Zooming in and out gives you a closer look at the battle. While you may need a higher-end system to fully enjoy this game, it is very much worth it. The graphics do have their drawback, as multiplayer can tend to lag.
Enjoyable and lighthearted yet repetitive dialogue follows everytime you select a unit. Sound effects and explosions are done very well and compliment their wonderful graphics.
While the game still FEELS like classic C&C, the interface has been completely revamped for a more Blizzard-like Warcraft style. Instead of controlling unit production in the standard C&C sidebar, you now build units by the building they come from. Not much of a difference, as you will know this is C&C when you see buggies racing accross fields and engaging a squad of humvees. The three campaigns, USA, China and GLA, are short and rather easy, but still very detailed and enjoyable. Skirmish mode offers a wide single player experience, as there are many maps to use and the ability to upload custom maps. Units may be uprgraded which offers expanded possibilities in-game. Still, there is only one upgrade per unit, with the exception of the Overlord tank, meaning that you have little choice. It does well in upgrading each factions units, though, giving the potential for a weak tank to overcome an enemies more powerful units.
Unfortunately, the story is not what a standard C&C game would offer. Perhaps due to it's modern, real-world, atmosphere the developers did not want to offend any one race. Still, there is very little story to speak of. China wishes to control the world, GLA wishes to eliminate opposition in the Middle East and the USA wishes to stop all of that. The story never really goes into detail, and the only real ''characters'' are the one in-game character that eact faction gets. I would've prefered a GDI vs NOD scenario as the final C&C game, to compliment the classic campaign, but Westwood chose a real-world setting with realistic nations.
The three campaigns, though short, are definitely worth the play through. Multiplayer is fast paced and very enjoyable, even though it can be a tad frustrating at times, such as running out of money, another player using a super-weapon on you or players taking advantage of their forces strength, such as early game rushes with cheap, quick building weapons. Skirmish mode does a lot to lengthen this game, the AI is quick and the maps are fun to play around with.
Coming from a fan of the C&C series, this game is a great and welcome addition. Many feel that it was a step back from Red Alert 2, but I would not know as I have never played the game. C&C: Generals is wide open for an expansion pack, more weapons upgrades, extended campaigns and perhaps even naval units would really do a lot for this game. For now, we can only wait and see while playing multiplayer and skirmish modes..
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/17/03, Updated 06/17/03
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