Review by Sour

"It was Worth the Wait"

The original Command and Conquer left us with a teaser trailer for Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun. It kept getting pushed back however and it seemed like it was never going to come out. Finally it did, the the world's collective mind was blown. Some downright hated it, others loved it. It would be quite some time before we got another true sequel but this game's expansion, Firestorm, was a little something to tide the fans over with. Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun stands as perhaps one of the greatest games in the series, or one of the worst. It really is a love or hate sort of game. I thought it was fantastic and the first C&C I had ever beaten. I still sometimes play it to this very day.

Story:10/10: With Kane out of the picture, the Brotherhood of NOD, a terrorist cult that operates on a massive global level, is at odds with itself. It has split into many different factions. The leading faction, led by a man known as Hassan, has made good friends with the Global Defense Initiative. Hassan's faction puts condemns a NOD war criminal to death, an act to show GDI that NOD will no longer tolerate violent action. However, the aforementioned condemned is rescued near-death by a small NOD faction. This faction believes that Kane is coming back, despite being taken out at the end of the first game via an orbiting laser weapon called an Ion Cannon. It eventually comes to pass that Kane (wonderfully portrayed by the charismatic Joseph Kucan) is indeed live and well, and cuts the throat of Hassan in a public broadcast to show that there is only one way for NOD to operate, and only one true leader. The re-unified Brotherhood of NOD sets out under Kane's orders to take out GDI and coat the Earth in Tiberium, a radioactive crystalline substance that is seemingly alien in origin, for one purpose, one vision: creating a new people, humans infused with Tiberium that will be stronger and faster. GDI however goes up against Kane, knowing that the vast majority of humans will be killed from such exposure to Tiberium. You can play as either side and decide the fate of the world. It's in your hands.

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.

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.

Sound: 10/10: The game's soundtrack is simply fantastic like it's predecessors, focusing mostly on industrial rock and some pseudo-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.

Overall: 10/10: Like I said at the beginning, this game is love or hate. That being said, I recommend that you borrow it from a friend first and playing a bit of it to see if you like it. If you do, go ahead and buy yourself a copy. If not, oh well.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 06/01/10

Game Release: Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun (US, 08/24/99)

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