Review by Lestat The Vampire

Reviewed: 05/02/03 | Updated: 05/02/03

What an utter disappointment.

Well, I'd like to be able to say that this game is great, but unfortunately it was anything but that. I've been a Command and Conquer fan ever since the first game was put out, but this is the biggest disappointment I've ever had with a C&C game. To add to that, I always said that I would judge the EA - Westwood merger by the first new C&C game that I played. This is it, and oh boy, does the future not look good for them or what?

Graphics -

The first noticeable flaw in this game is the insane requirements for such mediocre graphics. I mean, sure, some of them are decent looking, but the majority of them are anything but spectacular (if you ask me, Red Alert 2 looked much better). Speaking of Red Alert 2, this game seemed to take a step down graphically. While the units all seem to look decent, they aren't anything amazing or breath-taking. The only bit of graphics that has caught me by surprise thus far has been the fact that the planes look great when taking off from the airport (the thrusters were a nice addition if you ask me).
But, unlike in Red Alert 2, the graphics seem to look too much like boxes, if that makes any sense to you. They aren't what I would expect from a game with high requirements to say the least.

Gameplay -

Wow, where do I start? The first noticeable flaw is how you create things. If you want to buy men you must click on the barracks and then build men. The same thing applies for everything else, too. That is unbelievably stupid. If you're fighting and you need more men to come to back your troops up, you have to go all the way back to your base, click on the barracks, select the men, and wait for them to build. Whereas, in Red Alert 2, you could click the infantry tab and build away without having to go all the way back to your base.
This excludes the incredibly stupid way to get money in this game, too. Instead of the classical ore refineries we all know and love, we have 'supply' yards. Choppers are the only way to get money in this (excluding the UN assistance and oil derricks). This is ignoring the fact that the general amount of money you receive from each shipment is a whole $600 compared to the average of about $1200 in the 'old days'.

Sound -

The only mildly entertaining thing about this game is the music. There are some good tunes in the game to listen too. Something that I noticed when playing, though, is that they don't play continuously and repeat. That utterly bugs me, as the music is too good to be rarely played. So, what was redeemed by good music is now lost because the music hardly plays.

Controls -

The controls are relatively similar to the other Command and Conquer games. You use the mouse to do the majority of the work, while the keyboard has a few 'hot keys' for selecting some things, as well. Nothing to be amazed at.

To rent or to buy... that is the question.

There's one simple answer - neither. Save your money or something, but do not get this game. And if you do, then don't expect anything, because it's not going to impress you.

The Numbers -
Graphics: 6/10.
Gameplay: 2/10
Sound: 7/10
Controls: 6/10

Conclusion -

I don't know whether to blame this game on Westwood or EA, but no matter who made it, it still sucks. Red Alert 2 was, as far as I'm concerned, the pinnacle of strategy gaming, but all is now lost after this has been released.

With the exception of a few nice things, this game was a prime example of a good series go bad. I'm definitely not going to get my expectations get a hold of me the next time I hear that another Command and Conquer game comes out, that's for sure.

Oh, and I might as well say this - while there are good points in this game, and while the game has a good idea and basis for the story, something went wrong somewhere. How something with so much potential turned out to be this, I don't know, but it did.

Small note -

I compared this to Red Alert 2 because a) it was my favourite C&C game, and b) because it was the most recent (excluding Command and Conquer: Renegade, which I haven't played but have heard bad things about).

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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