Review by imationdaman

"God Bless EA Games!"

The Command & Conquer series is as big as it gets. We had Red Alert, Tiberium Sun, and many more. There was the one element of Generals unto which made it slightly different. There was the "middle man", meaning you needed some form of construction unit to build stuff.

Generals was losing popularity because of that, and there were a lot of things that could have been implemented to give the game its ultimate respect that it deserved.

But then Zero Hour came along and all that changed. Read on gentle reader!

With everything on HIGH, it's simply stunning. The beautiful shadows, the pulsating orange of nuclear radiation as it sucks life from the ground, the gorgeous colours of a nuclear explosion, or even that of a SCUD missile crashing down to the ground.

In a nutshell; The graphics are superb. The meshes for tanks (especially the USA side) look brilliant, and really adds that war atmosphere to any game.

Being of a strategy game, it's relatively simple. Build base, build defense, wade off attacks. Build army, kick some butt.

But Zero Hour is something different. With all new special abilities (like calling in a Spectre Gunship, or a nuclear carpet bombing), there re many more elements and goals within a game. No longer are skirmish missions just for fun.

You can now earn BATTLE HONORS, various medals for various tasks (example: Build 50 tanks in one battle, Defeat maximum hard opponents on every map, etc.) which really does pump a bit of life back into skirmish missions.

The brand spanking new soundtrack is a fantastic one, each of the three factions sporting their own collection of songs. I'm particular of the Arabian-style music that backs the GLA faction, but enough opinions.

The sounds, for %90 of the things, are great. The other %10 are laughable. GUNSHOTS from troops are very annoying. The constant brrrrrrrrr from the Comanche Helicopter or clackity-clackity-clackity-clack from a red guard soldier will, essentially, give you the urge to smite your speakers, or just mute the sound when playing.

Some other noises, such as a nuclear weapon exploding, is fantastic, especially on a 5.1 speaker system.

After two years, I, and many other people, have still been playing this game a lot. The online mode, which is relatively simple to use, and fun (but a lot harder than standard AI) is what attracts most people to keep playing.

The AI ranges. EASY means pathetic. MEDIUM means "don't worry too much". HARD means "got two hours to waste?"

To nitpick on the HARD mode of the AI, it's very annoying to spend two hours to try and crack defense lines of enemy bases, when the enemy on HARD indeed cheat.

New units, new upgrades, new structures, new abilities, new characters to play and an all new GENERAL'S CHALLENGE mode, which is fairly fun. All in all, the new goodies should keep you happy for months, if not years, to come.

Look, Generals lacked a lot, and Zero Hour filled in those gaps. It's relatively cheap now, and it's damn well worth every dollar. So go for it, try it, you'll love it as much as I do. Good-day.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/20/06

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