Review: Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight (PC)


Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight
Genre: RTS (real-time strategy)
Developer: EA Los Angeles
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: 03/16/10

It’ s is 12:39 AM. I have finally forced my self to go upstairs and remove my contacts, which have adhered to my irises severely! Ugh…part of me blames EA…the reason for this agony is their release of the Command & Conquer series latest installment Tiberian Twilight. I’ve been playing since putting my kids to bed at abruptly 8 PM, which I have to admit has been the routine since last Sunday (for those of you that know my wife, she’s not to happy with EA right now either so keep this on the down low.) Having not played a solid RTS in over a year Tiberian Twilight has greatly appeased my RTS gods. I can’t wait to talk to you about it so enough with the jibber jabber on with the show!

Story/Modes:
In Tiberian Twilight, EA Los Angeles continues to use their unique story telling format. This is primarily through the inclusion of real actors and actresses portraying cut scenes. This approach differentiates from those of most games which primarily utilize computer generated graphics. I would have to say I enjoyed this digression in cut scenery. I found that despite the quality of the acting it was quite engaging to have actors on screen as both part of your HUD coaxing you through important missions and acting out the story before you. Having not played recent editions I would have to say Tiberian Twilight was a story all by itself. Without using a spoiler here the idea of it, is you basically destroy this or protect this, to save this and to save this you end up having to save your wife etc etc… I was engaged enough for the brief intercessions where it was acted out before my eyes though I can”Ëœt say that it was an extremely compelling story line. It was however, enough to not degrade the overall playing experience, which I consider to be the most important part of a story.

Story Rating: Average
Graphics:
Tiberian Twilight came packing with big bangs and solid graphics. EA’s combined use of recorded videos and computer generated graphics was seamless from cut scene to gameplay. This was a great way to give the player a sense of being part of something and gave the game a movie-like feel. In addition to that, the combat feel of your units is amazing. The explosion are perfectly portrayed and vivid. Vehicles get trashed, catch on fire and explode. This all occurs in very satisfactory ways.

Minuscule details are also clearly rendered, even on small, hard to see units. There’s several types of animated weapon fire, all of which is intricate and unique to the vehicles choose. Whether a fan of a rocket launching, laser shooting spaceships, or of dual BFG wielding one man armies, you wont be disappointed, this one lets you have both.

Graphics Rating: Great

Sound:
Epic, suspenseful, conquest music. Unmistakably, gratifying explosions, and clearly rendered voice over. I plugged in my headset from 8-1 each night and listened to it for a week and I’ve yet to experience any negative side affects. There has been one positive side affect as well. I no longer hear my wife yelling at me to get off the computer.

Sound Rating: Above Average

Gameplay:
Being a fan of other RTS games and also having played earlier versions of C&C I knew what to expect from C&C 4. The game pretty much holds true to the RTS model and utilizes many of the concepts RTS games have over the years, however there were some interesting innovations to note as well. Some of these include, the use of a moving base of operations (called a Crawler) where most of your units are created, the removal of materials farming (no gold farmers here), and the ability to choose a specific class that suits your play style. I found the last innovation to be one of the coolest. There are three classes in C&C 4. Each of these classes has unique Units and the abilities of these Units are either more offensive, defensive or support depending on the class you choose. What this means to the player is, do they like to rush headlong into battle hoping to sort the bodies later, or would they prefer to slowly etch away the opposition in more controlled and precise manner. I find both are appealing in different situations and it’s cool to replay missions with different classes to see if you are equally successful. There is also the online aspect of play. The game uses DRM technology which is the only downside and in some situations not even a downside but will explain. I am a person who hates to have to log in every time I want to play a game and not to mention log in twice because my EA downloader requires me to log in as well. That being said, it does seem to provide some security against hackers, so on the opposing end I’ll concede that. Either way online play is cool as well. You can run co-op missions or compete against friends so it does add a social element. It’s my opinion that co-op games are almost always better than playing by yourself.

Gameplay Rating: Very Good

Replayability:
There are several reasons why Tiberian Twilight is highly replayable. First, there are two factions that you get to choose from, each with a different campaign and each with three playable classes. You can also choose specific units in each class giving even more diversity in your gameplay. There is also a leveling system that unlocks both achievements and upgrades to your Units and gives you a new rank. With the ability to level your armies you feel compelled to return your newly upgraded troops into a previously difficult mission. The online play also inspires one to get on late at night with ones younger brother and run co-op mission till our eyes bleed. Yes, I like the ability to play online with friends in any game and this one is no exception.

Replayability Rating: Great

Balance:
C&C 4 utilized the customary overhead view and the mouse controlled point and click model, which is accustomed to playing games of the RTS genre. There were also easy to use hot keys to select specific units in your strike force. This allowed for swift formation changes allowed you to focus repair damaged units. There was minimal burn in time as I felt comfortable with the controls right away. I have to admit I lost a Crawler or two while testing my units out, but once I learned their strengths and weaknesses was able to easily triumph over the enemy.

Balance Rating: Enjoyable

Originality:
This is one of several installments of the C&C realm and the new game isn’t extremely original overall. The general idea and game style hasn’t changed. What I give marks for is some of the newer advancements mentioned earlier. The moving base, the class options, and the cut scenes that makes C&C stand out. With a few more options like this the game will keep on being interesting to me.

Originality Rating: Enjoyable

Addictiveness:
Once I started playing I was truly unable to stop. The look of the game is pretty cool and all the unique units and the differing strategies you can employ to overcome your enemy makes this game addictive as hell. I spent hours the first night just playing the same mission with each class to find out what I like the best. Not long after that I introduced it to my brother and we have being playing co-op for the last couple evenings.

Addictiveness Rating: Very Good

Appeal Factor
If you’re a fan of previous C&C games than I’m sure you will like this one. For others fans the RTS market hasn’t seen any really good games in awhile I would say give it a try. The 25+ hours of game play I’ve had is well worth 50.00 bucks.

Appeal Factor Rating: Enjoyable

Miscellaneous:
One more nod (no pun intended) to the developers, even though the acting at times was unbelievable and almost comedic it was refreshing to see something different.

Miscellaneous Rating: Good

The Scores:
Story: Average
Graphics: Great
Sound: Above Average
Control/Gameplay: Very Good
Replayability: Great
Balance: Enjoyable
Originality: Enjoyable
Addictiveness: Very Good
Appeal: Enjoyable
Miscellaneous: Good
Final Score: Enjoyable Game

Short Attention Span Summary:

I continue to enjoy playing Tiberian Twilight. It is a refreshing break from all the hard core RPGng I’ve been doing and I recommend anyone looking for something different to play for a bit, pick up and give it a try and don’t forget to recruit a friend to get on co-op with you! NOD RULE!

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