Review by AzNGaMeR

Reviewed: 05/29/00 | Updated: 08/07/01

A big disappointed, but it still filled the void of a C&C fan.

First thing first, Command and Conquer has always been in my heart when we come to real time strategy genre (Yes, but I still like Red Alert better than Starcraft). When Command and Conquer first came out, everyone was all amazed by the gameplay, storyline, and the interface design. Westwood has shown the game industry that real time strategy is the way to make profit (And here’s where all the clones come in). After you beat the first Command and Conquer, Westwood threw in one cutscene shows a mech warrior unit and the title says ‘Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun’. I am sure many gamers wonder what this new game is like? Would it be a first person shooter? A mech type game? Or would Westwood keep it as real time strategy? Now, here it is, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, the latest real time strategy for this century.

When companies like Bungie and Blizzard started moving towards 3D with real time strategy games, Westwood kept it 2D like it always been. Some of the changes are the terrain. You will be impressed when craters caused by the explosions, some ruined neutral cities with civilians running amok, and bridges that can be destroyed and repaired. Of course, some of the new lighting effects such as brightly greenish glow produce by the Tiberium, real time lighting created by light posts so you can see better, and shadows created by cliff edge so you can hide in it. The units are still rendered in sprites and Westwood used voxel rendering for the vehicles. That way it gives a 3D look when the vehicles goes up hill or down hill. The smoke and spark effects give the damaged vehicles a nice touch. The map size is twice as huge as it was compared to Red Alert.

But what about the gameplay? After all, we have seen Total Annihilation’s real 3D terrain and lots of units to choose from. Not to mention Blizzard’s Starcraft with three sides’ units are all different from each other and each has unlimited amount of strategies to attack each other. Frankly, I have expected more from Westwood after seeing those two games. But yet, in the end, Westwood kept it the same. The game is still two sided (GDI vs NOD) and a hidden 3rd side called ‘The Forgotten’. The Forgotten is humans that were mutated by the Tiberium. The interface should be familiar to Command and Conquer vets and the building tree should be familiar too.

To think after four years, Westwood should at least have some of the best new unit designs for Tiberian Sun. But somehow it kind of fell short. GDI has gone mech and sci-fi with Wolverine, which is armor powered suit with machine guns, giant mech such as Titans with laser for weapon, and the biggest mech of all, Mammoth Mk II, an AT-AT look alike packed with two rail guns and its own anti-aircraft missiles. There are other tanks such as MLRS, a hover tank equipped with long range missiles and Disruptor that fire microwave and “disrupt” the enemy. On the other side, NOD units are more stealthy and sneaky than GDI’s power pack mechs. NOD has some old units with new look and new units like Devil’s Tongue, a subterranean flamethrower, the light infantry’s worst nightmare. Also Cyborg Commando, I just call this thing ‘one man army’. There’s also a new type of Tiberium. It’s blue and it will give you more money if you harvest it. But beware, you ignite that thing and whole patch goes KA-BOOM.

The campaigns are fantastic. Each side has twelve missions with seven alternate or optional missions. It may not be a true branching structure but it does help your main mission. Some of the missions are just “kill everything” and you win. But some of the missions that are not like that are enjoyable at times. For example, you have to rescue a captive prisoner, but you can not just bust in from the front gate, you have to find a back door and sneak yourself and free the captive. But I wished there were more than nineteen missions.

The music has always been well produced by Westwood Studio. Remember ‘Hell March’ from the Red Alert? The sound effects are the same as it has been. Infantry reply back when you click on them, EVA inform you when there’s a problem or something is done, and the newly Cabaal, NOD’s EVA, which sounds very evil.

Over all, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun is a decent game. However the game did not change except the graphics. With little to no drastic changes in the game, Westwood has created a problem for themselves. We hoped Tiberian Sun would set a new standard for real time strategy, but instead, it blends in with other real time strategy games. For me, a new generation of Command and Conquer with lush graphics and simple interface is good enough. But for cocky hardcore gamers, this may not be worthy of your taste.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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