Fans of the legendary Real Time Strategy (RTS) Command & Conquer (C&C) series rejoiced when the long awaited sequel to the 1999 game, C&C: Tiberian Sun, C&C3: Tiberium Wars finally hit the shelves on Mar 26 for both the PC and Xbox360.First of all, if you’re wondering why the game in your opinion has such a stupendously weird name, then let us enlighten you. Tiberium is the self-replicating alien substance that has infected the Earth’s surface, making most of world inhospitable for human life. Interestingly enough, it’s also Tiberium that players must harvest (using the tractors of course) to earn funds to make purchases as part of the game-play.
And if you’re a fan of the C&C series, you’d remember that the series is renowned for its beautiful videos. And in this aspect, Tiberium Wars certainly doesn’t disappoint. The full-motion, live-action videos before and in-between missions is certainly breathtaking, featuring futuristic buildings and spectacular combat sequences.
Tiberium Wars, like all C&C games, still retains that distinctive format that has made the series a massive hit with gamers all over the world. With its well scripted storyline, and nice mission narratives, where both the various campaigns essentially tell the same story, but from opposing viewpoints, the user will never be confused about what is going on in the game.
Anyway, let’s move more into detail about the storyline and game-play.
Tiberium Wars continues where its predecessor, Tiberian Sun left off. The Brotherhood of Nod (a mysterious, highly militant Abrahamic society), led by Kane, is still combating their eternal enemy, the Global Defense Initiative (GDI), an alliance of the world’s most technologically advanced nations.
This time round however, there’s a new player in the war, the alien race known as the Scrin. As a result, it adds a completely new dimension to the gameplay, especially if you’re playing the campaign missions. Indeed, the campaign missions are real fun, loaded with extravagant sequences, filled with intrigue and suspense.
The missions are incredibly varied and certainly involve a lot more than amassing troops to obliterate the enemy, or to defend a particularly valuable structure like a nuclear power station.
Not only do you have to alternate between doing either of those, but at the same time, there are also primary and secondary objectives to complete at every mission, such as making use of engineers to capture vital enemy buildings, using a specific way to destroy base defenses, or even teaming up with the enemy (GDI if you’re playing as Nod, and vice versa) to ward off Scrin attacks.
With every mission played out on real-world theaters (Washington, D.C. and Sydney), it adds to the realism factor and increases the thrill and excitement of the game.
And just when you thought you’ve completed all the missions, there are a few surprise missions that you’ll eventually realise are as good as the main storyline itself.
Each faction also has different game-play styles, as well as distinct feels which the players will undoubtedly appreciate.
The GDI rely on powerful assault machines such as the Mammoth tanks of old, the Juggernauts and Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), whilst Nod relies on sneakiness and stealth.
Of course, the new faction, the Scrin is immense fun to use, their units and structures showing a distinctly different, bio-mechanical, insect-like appearance. Their in-game super weapon, the Rift Generator, creates a flashpoint on the targeted area and ejects everything near it into space. The visual effect from the blast is really stunning.
The game’s combat is gripping and intense, requiring good micro-management skills to pull of a victory, especially if you play at the higher difficulty levels.
Speaking of difficulty levels, the developers have ensured that the game’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) now matches your style of play, be it distinctive tactics such as “rushing” and “turtling”, providing the AI with the ability to devise its own tactics to give you a difficult challenge which though hard to overcome, still provides you with mind blowing fun.
Besides the AI, there are also other improvements from the previous C&C titles, of which the most important would be the new, ultra-responsive smooth gameplay that allows you to intuitively order your entire arsenal around the battlefield easily.
One tip from us here at UrbanWire though, the most important thing is to tech up as quickly as possible. This allows you to gain a headstart over your enemies when it comes to producing the more technologically advanced attacking machines, which in turns means a better chance of routing them.
It’s a greatly-entertaining RTS game, with extremely promising game-play mechanics and an addictive storyline that will occupy you for hours on end. Players shouldn’t be surprised to find themselves unwilling to take a break from the fighting (even to take a leak) despite leading soldiers to their deaths continuously for 30 hours (yes, we took that amount of time) to complete a single campaign.
Add the part where you don’t need an insanely powerful computer to run the game and Tiberium Wars truly becomes a masterpiece.
But nonetheless, should you have a good machine to start with, (we tested ours on a Quad-Xeon MacPro running Windows XP on BootCamp) you’ll find that a beautiful game just waiting to be completely explored and enjoyed.
Addictive Rating: 8/10
Overall Rating: 9/10