Review by Raistlyn

Reviewed: 04/03/07

Command & Conquer 3 - Return of the RTS King

As a hardcore Command & Conquer fan, I remember the good old days. The original game that started it all. Fighting the good fight as GDI...and then bringing the world to it's knees as the Brotherhood of Nod.
I'm sure we all remember building our first Obelisk of Light and blowing a Humvee to smithereens in one shot. That was one of the little things that kept me playing Command & Conquer for hours on end. You could always get better at the game. Your strategies could always use tweaking. It made perfectionists out of more than just a few thousand people...and that's saying something.

The Command & Conquer series in short revolutionized the Real Time Strategy genre - singlehandedly. With fast paced gameplay, strategic and on the fly decision making, reflex testing unit micromanagement...and the occasional Ion Cannon or Nuclear Missile, C&C appointed itself the king in the RTS world. And rightfully so.

Through the years, we have seen the Command & Conquer games evolve to become much more sophisticated and edgy. It's still making perfectionists out of us isn't it? After 500 skirmish matches, we're still looking to hone our mouse clicking skills. Memorize our hotkeys. Master our armies.
Online, we're still striving to beat that one guy we could never beat before...and once you do, you feel like reality is your plaything. Until you get a taste of your own medicine by someone who was holding a grudge against you!
Is it a desire? A passion? Yes to both. Nobody likes to lose...and so you play more to get better. All of a sudden, you realize that you've probably spent 1000 hours on the game.

THAT is what Command & Conquer 3 is like my friends. It was the same in the original game. It was the same in the Red Alert series. It was the same in Generals and Zero Hour. You take your lumps when you first start out, and then you learn how to deal death to your enemies faster than a Formula 1 racer gets from 0-60.

Graphics: 9/10
Face it. Command & Conquer 3 looks spectacular. Lighting effects, Ion Storms, clouds of Tiberium, tank models, structures...they look awesome. C&C 3 uses almost the same graphics engine that C&C Generals uses. It's all in 3D. You can zoom in and out. Zooming in reveals several of the graphic flaws with some of the units. Most notably, the infantry. But look at your army from afar, and all is well. I'd bet money in amounts that I don't have that you won't be looking up close to your army in the middle of a epic land war just to take in the visual details. Command & Conquer has always been a "Gameplay FIRST!" type of game, and this is no different. But it still looks pretty.

Sound and Music: 6/10
Command & Conquer has always had a memorable sound track. The Red Alert games stand out above all others. But even the songs from Tiberian Sun and Generals still stick in your head as well. That being said...it was a huge letdown in this department. The music is just forgettable. I remember playing Red Alert and stomping my enemies with legions of Heavy Tanks and V2 launchers...all while the most "scene fitting" track was playing - Hell March.
Unfortunately, the music doesn't stand out in this game. Maybe it wasn't meant to, but...with all of the other games having great sound tracks, why did this game have to break a tradition?
Now, the unit voiceovers are spectacular. Everything is clear. Crystal clear. Every unit has it's own voicework and sounds great. Nothing too cheesy. Basic Command & Conquer at work here.

Gameplay: 10/10
Leave it to a Command & Conquer game to provide top notch gameplay that is fast, smooth, and utterly satisfying. Hotkeys are customizable so you can control the game the way you want to. There are new units and strategies to apply to your war effort. New special abilities to exploit. And of course, new ways to blow stuff up with your legion of Mammoth Tanks. Upgrades are a relatively new addition to the Command & Conquer games. It started with Generals, and was a welcome addition. The upgrades stay with this game, and it adds a lot of depth. Make your infantry immune to Tiberium. Give your tanks rail guns. Give shields to your biggest, baddest, alien walker assault tank.
Command & Conquer 3 gives three different factions to play as. Each is radically different from the other. Each side has their own obvious strengths and weaknesses and no side is truly overpowered. Every unit can be countered...and it all boils down to your strategies. Since you are in command of everything that happens with your army, the gameplay is as good and satisfying as you want it to be. Have fun.

Replay Factor: 10/10
Play another skirmish. Challenge yourself by trying the campaigns on a harder difficulty. Go online again and play against friends or total strangers. With the seemingly infinite possibilities of strategies and tactics, you can always play again to hone your skill to help you Command...and conquer.

Overall: 9/10
Buy it, learn it, love it.
It's hard to dislike this game. It's the perfect balance of new age C&C with just the right amount of old school tossed in for good measure.
It's sure to please all the hardcore fans out there and intrigue newcomers to the Command & Conquer universe.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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