Articles & Editorials: Not Improving…

I know, you thought I was gone. Actually you probably don’t even remember me. This is Infiltrator, and I have a few things to say. Yeah, I’m mad, so don’t email me unless you agree with me (just kidding).

I hate to sink to the level of those who have recently been leaving the community, but I must say that the Command and Conquer series is all but dead. Westwood may still make a profit off the twelve-year-olds who still buy their games, but for the rest of us, I say it’s almost over. Since its beginning in 1995 the C&C universe has continually become more and more stupid. Probably because Eric Yeo, if I remember his name correctly, left Westwood. He left them with a potential multimillion dollar franchise, and what did they do with it? They threw it to the pigs. Red Alert was good. Tiberian Sun was OK. What pisses me off is Red Alert 2.

First and foremost, The game HAS NO STORY. The Soviets invade, Yuri mind-controls Romanov, and that’s just about all the storyline consists of. If you’ve seen the ending movies, you know what I’m talking about. I remember when I wrote “RA2: A New Hope for the Community,” and you know what? Everything I said in that article was 100% BS, just my trying to convince myself that things would get better. Second, don’t you think they could come up with a better name than “Red Alert 2”? The alternate-timeline idea for RA was stupid anyway. Red Alert was intended to be a prequel to C&C, not some spin-off. Third, the entire game is cheesy. The movies are poorly acted, the story is stupid, the units are unrealistic, the tactics are too simple, the language and graphics are completely sanitized, and the list goes on. It’s supposed to be a war, not a cartoon! And worst of all, nobody complains. If Tiberian Sun was so bad, what about RA2? Come on, tell me!

I’m sorry I had to say all that. I don’t hate C&C, and I’ll still buy the games, at least for a little while longer, to see if things improve. I hope someone with influence at Westwood sees this and gets some sense. But chances are, the C&C universe will continue to degenerate until it has faded away. The series will probably never be finished. C&C has already fallen to second place. Or third. Or fourth. At this rate, it won’t last much longer. I’ll be surprised if Tiberian Twilight ever makes it into the stores, and if it does it will probably suck. I used to get angry when people predicted all this. I thought they were just out to get some attention. I was wrong, and now that I see what’s happened and I find myself on the other side of the fence, I hope some of my readers won’t make the same mistake.

So here’s the question: would Westwood rather have unbelievable profits from a game tailored specifically for the nine and ten year old newbies, or would they rather make good profits off a more intellectually oriented game with a good plot? Unfortunately, the answer is the former. They are in it for the profit. Of course, I don’t blame them for that. The video game business is just that – a business. Their goal is to make as much money as they can. But I can’t help being angry when I remember what the C&C universe used to be, and what I used to expect it to become. Westwood was better as a small company, before they sold to Electronic Arts.

Was C&C always this stupid, and I was just too young to notice? I think not. Six years after first playing Command & Conquer I still play it regularly and consider it one of the best games made since I first sat down in front of a computer screen (back in the reign of DOS). So, to summarize everything you just read, Westwood needs to make smarter games for a smarter audience. Let the kiddies go play with their Pokemon dolls and stay out of our C&C universe. Meanwhile, I still have a tiny bit of faith left that maybe the C&C series could improve, so I’m not finished here yet.

Hope against hope everybody, it’s not yet over. That’s all I’ve got to say.

Articles & Editorials Index