Review by pikamemnon
Reviewed: 10/29/12 | Updated: 05/11/15
I've got a present for ya!
Once you get adjusted to the games outward appearance and unique approach, there are some nice things to be found waiting inside. Even while Tiberium Alliances is making some odd missteps, it also manages to accomplish some pretty good feats of gaming at the same time.
Lets start with the weak spots, this browser based game does have a few of the flavors of Command & Conquer but I can assure you that this is no Command & Conquer. (at least not in the traditional sense) Units that are supposed to be the workhorses of a given faction are relegated to late game cameo's or are completely absent. (where are the GDI Humvees? Grenaders? Etc?!) You will not find these troops available because this is a new world with some new rules. The basic system of rock, paper and scissors like play is still functional though so let us proceed for now.
Personally, I do not think that the music is even better than the N64 version of C&C but what does play is acceptable at a minimum. There seems to be a strange bug or glitch that sometimes causes it stop however. The interface voice is a nice and familiar touch.
Graphics: 9/10 (for effort)
Looks good for not needing a download but arguably it would have been a lot better to just totally simplify the appearance in order to improve the flow and reduce loading times. The game is also hurt by the omission of the infamous pre mission cut scenes. (although understandably there was probably not a lot that could be done to keep them in this format. Since when does harvesting Tiberium create plumes of smoke?
Game play: 9/10
This category is difficult to pin down. While there is still resource management, the combat is in no way an improvement from previous Command & Conquer games but what does get presented can be captivating in its own ways. Players set up formations but do not have direct control during battles. In fact, combat has a few layers of depth tucked away that does actually add a lot to what the player can do. It is quick and efficient but this is not how the GDI nor the Brotherhood of NOD normally fight. Harvesting management is quite involved, which can be seen as a plus or a minus depending on your preferences.
Some of the cooldown and resource systems are decent enough ideas (like limiting the number of attacks you can perform over time) but others are downright absurd. (Research points and their related costs are by comparison, ridiculous) Have fun unlocking tanks or even simple rocket infantry, which will take hours to do at the absolute minimum. It is also a bit silly that your units seem to be incapable of performing both offensive and defensive duties. ("What, I need a Pitbull to help defend my base? But I just built 2 of those!" Sorry, but they are separate vehicles) It sounds unusual but there is a sort of method to the madness.
I have to admit that it is rather amusing to roll into a camp of the randomly generated enemies (they are called the forgottens) and obliterate everything that moves, although they get more difficult to handle as the game progresses. Real life money can be used to speed up certain tasks, players can freely make and join alliances and there is good potential for peer vs peer, if you are in to those sorts of things. I am happy to report that some real thought went into balancing the item mall and making sure that paying players do not gain an immediate overwhelming advantage. Which is not to say that the playing field is always even but the difference can be somewhat covered with enough strategy and practice.
So back to the overall score. As a Command & Conquer game, Tiberium Alliances fails harder then sending a single technician to destroy a NOD Obelisk. But as an un-named free to play strategy game with an interesting and detailed base management angle, it does fairly well. Perhaps with a few tweaks and design changes, some day it could possibly earn the right to be called Command & Conquer. The main goal of a lot of games is to do something at least semi productive and/ or meet new people and at the end of the day, Tiberium Alliances gets that job done. Mission Accomplished soldier!
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances (US, 05/24/12)
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