C&C 4 review

Now that I’m not heavily sedated, I can review C&C 4 more effectively. Though, having stated that, being drugged up to criticise Tiberian Twilight’s epic FAIL could ease my mind.

Note: I completed both GDI and NOD campaigns fighting fatigue and bad-ass headaches.

Also, this game was meant to keep me sane and happy over the course of my recovery from wisdom teeth extraction.

As you will read, I am a sad victim of clever marketing.

For die-hard C&C fans who haven’t had a chance to sample Tiberian Twilight (sadly, no vampires this time), prepare to weep at how ridiculously terrible this game is.

It’s true; I spent entire levels roaming the lack-lustre maps with my support crawler to eventually stumble onto victory.

No more traditional bases, no more tiberium harvesting and no more interesting stories.

Most of the missions are silly. Fine, they all are. The final GDI mission almost gets tense—I might actually have to try and use my brain—and then fifty-kabillion AI supporters deploy out of nowhere and all I have to do is wade through the pissy AI versus AI skirmishes and capture a TCN node at the top right-hand corner without worrying about being swamped by the enemy. And that’s a win!

One memorable NOD mission requires you to eliminate an experimental GDI bomber that likes to fly tight combat air patrols. This mission is memorable because it takes ages to bring the bastard down and it’s uber powerful so it instantly wipes out your hordes of scorpion tanks.

I tried to play a co-op mission with my Daddy and we were overwhelmed by tier 3 units. The AI tries to compensate for your additional aid, but the game that we played forced us to give up. We’d break through the AI’s units, destroy their crawlers but all that work means nothing when they respawn a minute later.

Both campaigns are tedious and boring. The live action sequences are mediocre at best; the commander’s wife skyrockets the cringe factor. Sadly, we learn nothing incredibly new about Kane—my main motivation for playing in the first place.

The most exciting aspect of the story is when Kane transmogrifies your character to look bald and beardy like him. And that’s as cool as it gets.

Multiplayer sucks multiballs.
See, you have to play to unlock better units and technology. Unfortunately, the game is unbalanced from playing early on and this can be very demoralising for the new player.

Multiplayer demonstrates this.

Most 5 versus 5 matches end up being a race to tech up (you collect tiberium crystals which are deposited on the field and you escort them back to your deployment zone to gain tech points).

Manually selecting a unit to grab a crystal and then scarper home is annoying. At least harvesting was automatic in the previous C&C games.

The multiplayer differs from previous C&C titles in that you hold objectives, those TCN nodes, rather than ‘command and conquer’ the battlefield by blowing shit up. This forces the game to play out less dynamically than its predecessors. I find it’s also less fun.

I usually play as a defender and build gun and rocket turrets around a TCN node while spamming 1 or 2 different types of units to send off to aid in the capture of another node.

Ironically, this method of play still uses a build order of sorts (something the lead designers wanted to stray from for less hardcore gaming). Playing C&C 4 is arguably more formulaic than C&C 3 because even though you don’t build a traditional base in C&C 4, C&C 3 has more options to play with.

So yeah, Tiberian Twilight does feel and play a little dumbed down.

If I wanted to capture points on the map I’d play Company of Heroes or Dawn of War. This is hardly innovative for EA.

Speaking of innovations, the crawler idea isn’t really new anyway. MCVs were eventually re-deployable and Tiberian Sun introduced those deployable war factories which are essentially early-day crawlers.

Final thoughts.

In the end, did I get my money’s worth? Probably not. Does C&C 4 feel like a satisfying conclusion to the tiberium saga? Hell no.

Despite what they—EA—say, I doubt this is the last of Nod and GDI. There is always room for an expansion, unless the powers that be have lost too much faith, and money, in this particular venture.

The legacy of C&C is tarnished by this title because it dared to try something different, something the fans worldwide will never forget, or forgive.

Perhaps, if this game was given a different title (something without C&C in the title) then it would have been received by the gaming community with a little more warmth. I did comment on this in a PCPP mag many months prior to C&C 4’s release and was met with scepticism. Essentially, why fear change? Well maybe because change isn’t necessarily for the better.

I rate Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight 4/10.

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