Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Review: Command and Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars

The year is 2047 and iPod’s have taken over the world as our human overlords. In order to keep running, the iPod army needs a precious crystal called Tiberium. This gives them a battery life of longer than 4 hours (we all know that 15 hour advertised battery life is a bunch of bunk). Humans are forced to mine this crystal which serves as fuel source and paradoxically as a devastating environmental hazard. But hope springs eternal as Sawyer from “Lost,” the guy who does the voice of Sam Fisher in “Splinter Cell,” the hot chick from “Battlestar Galactica,” and Lando Calrissian are fighting for humanity.
Okay, so maybe that’s not quite the plot from “Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars” but its not that far off. All of the above listed actors - Josh Holloway, Michael Ironside, Tricia Helfer and Billy Dee Williams - do have significant roles in this fun game and while the storyline is a tad far fetched (and reeks of more environmental overtones than an Al Gore documentary) "C&C3" certainly is fascinating and really gets gamers engrossed in the latest offering from EA’s popular series.
For the uninitiated, the “C&C” franchise is an RTS (real-time strategy) series that dates back to 1995. The original "Command and Conquer" was one of the very first RTS's (1992's "Dune 2: The Building of a Dynasty" is widely accepted as the first ever RTS game). In “C&C3” you play as a battlefield commander whose goal is to defeat opposing armies with your military might and superior strategizing skills. Gamers play as one of three factions – the more mainstream Global Defense Initiative, the underground Brotherhood of Nod (which sounds like something from a Monty Python movie) and later as the alien Scrin.
Game play is standard RTS fare. Constructing bases, training a wide variety of combat units and battling your enemy to the point of extinction is what’s on the agenda. What makes “C&C3” different is the depth in which you do it.
There are 35 different single-player missions to jump into, a wide range of powerful weapons to use, a sweet online component that’s almost a game by itself and the option to choose different AI playing styles. The game presentation is top notch, with beautiful graphics that will make you drool. Large vehicles look spectacular and menacing. Individual units are painstakingly detailed and even though they are small, move impressively. The game really shines during large battle sequences that fill the screen with smoke, lasers and explosions. Throw in the impressive cast with a fascinating story line (with 90 minutes of live action video) and an incredibly intuitive interface and you have one addicting game.
Whether you’re new to the RTS genre or a longtime fan, you need to check this game out. It’s a blast to play and in this current dry season for hot new releases, it’ll keep you busy for a long time.
Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
Price: $49.99 – $59.99
Rating: T (Teen)
Category: Real Time Strategy
Players: 1-8 (8 online)
Formats: PC, Xbox 360
Grade: A
Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Michael Ironside
(General Jack Granger in “C&C3” and voice of Sam Fisher)
1. Born Frederick Reginald Ironside in Toronto, Canada.
2. Makes guys heads explode in the 1981 sci-fi classic “Scanners”
3. Was a successful armwrestler in his teenage years.
4. Have I ever mentioned he played Jester in “Top Gun”?
5. Lost his left arm in two movies (“Starship Troopers”, “Total Recall”).

No comments: