FEATURES: Roundtable Discussion #28 – April 2010 (Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight Special Review Edition)

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The Roundtable returns after a 2 month break to pass final judgement on Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight. Here’s the panel.

Question 1) How did the final retail version of C&C 4 compare with your initial expectations?

Gben: The retail game gave me none of the answers I was seeking. In fact it even created new questions that weren’t answered (i.e. flying Tiberium crystal delivery). We do learn what Kane was doing all this time, trying to get off this dirt ball… but that has been obvious since the introduction of the Scrin in C&C3! This was highly unsatisfying.

  • The map and mission design of the single player campaign was linear and predicable.
  • Enemy crawlers rarely un-deployed and moved around.
  • Enemy crawlers were too closely tethered to the spawn points, they deserved a more generous patrol path which involved random deployment.
  • I expected a search/destroy mission for an enemy crawler using a random patrol path.
  • I had expected missions/objectives that were particularly suited to specialised units or certain combinations of units.
  • I had expected to battle alongside friendly crawlers.
  • I expected to be able to build every unit in my armoury by the end of the campaign.
  • I did not expect the red crystals, and how redundant they made “mining”.
  • I did not expect how hard some missions were for an inexperience crawler, and how easy they would be with a level 20 crawler even on the hardest difficulty.
  • I did not expect to finish one campaign in around 3 hours of game time.

The single player component was poor and very disappointing.

The retail game offered, in reality, very limited options and strategic depth. The low lethality and tight pop-cap leads, in my limited experience, to the tactic of maxing out with one unit type and spamming them with little subtlety.

The lack of MP game modes is sadly lacking. The lack of “random class” AI in game setup, or the fact that the AI can’t switch classes in-game seems an obvious missing component. Where are the advances in co-op game play from RA3 – why didn’t they continue to develop it? There doesn’t even seem to be a functional ranking system when playing online to guide the selection of players.

And while the novelty of levelling-up is interesting, the actual progress is too linear, too easy, and too short. The player progression seems routine and uninspired, you rarely have to do anything to earn your upgrades. And now that I have reached the top, what else is going to maintain my interest?

The concept of earning experience and using it to upgrade your arsenal is an interesting dynamic in a RTS, but having dabbled in the odd RPG, I particularly wish that you had more control over the upgrade path. I want to be able to manually allocate the points towards the units or upgrades according to my own choices.

I think it was a mistake to share xp across all three classes (defence, offense & support), and in all three game modes (SP, Skirmish & MP). I think you should only earn xp for the class you actually use. I think that your separate profiles should earn xp on their own… SP, Skirmish & MP. Because each mode, requires a different skill set.

Shared XP made an unfulfilling SP campaign either too hard or too easy depending on what level you were at.

The multiplayer component was average and not worth recommending to a friend.

Sonic: My expectation was simply this. We were getting a different way to play C&C. After years of basically the same game I welcomed the changes and I’ve enjoyed learning this new system throught the Nod campaign and various skirmish games of all different configurations. But thats not say I haven’t found things that bother me. At time units don’t seem respond when you tell them where to go. There’s still some major path-finding issues. But I overall I find the gameplay addicting, I’m ready for more!

Banshee: Once I’ve heard that C&C4 would have things like population cap, lack of resource gathering and few others features lowered the expectations I had for this game. So, considering the low expectations I had, the retail version has actually bypassed it, although I still enjoy more playing the old C&C games. C&C4 gets a little bit more fun when your crawler technology improves, specially when it becomes more useful for combats, with its own weapon. But it’s still a completely different game from other C&C games and you need to get used with a completely new tactics. But I do miss harvesters, lack of pop cap, proper base building and everything that C&C used to have.

Chickendippers: The multiplayer is fun, but then again it always was during the beta test. The problem of getting annihilated when venturing online for the first time has certainly been fixed by forcing people into teams – this is something I am in favour of. With the removal of base building I have found myself preferring the support class; zooming around the battlefield to the assist my allies (and taking my opponents by surprise who do not have the correct counters for my air-based units). But I found myself quickly learning that offence are the best class for all the missions.

The recent introduction of customisable game options is definitely a welcome addition as it allows hosts to add some variety to the games. I was surprised to see them missing from the shipped version, as it was something that was specifically recommended by the community and promised by the devs. But overall the game is a lot more polished than the beta version, so if anyone has written it off based on their experiences, I recommend giving it another try.

[NE]Fobby[GEN]: When the original news came out about Command & Conquer 4, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was optimistic though. I thought the idea of a “mobile base” was interesting, and I wanted to see what would come out of it. In August I was invited for a pre-beta testing of Command & Conquer 4, and that’s when my view of the game went downhill. Although I see myself as being a traditionalist when it comes to C&C, I actually like innovation and differences, but what we saw with C&C4 was the 15-year concept turned on its head and replaced with an electronic whack-a-mole game type. There’s nothing particularly creative about the game structure – build guys, and send them out to control nodes when someone’s not looking. No resources to worry about, no base building whatsoever, a small pop cap in bigger games, lots of health on all units, and an overall very linear experience. Conquest mode isn’t anything special in an FPS, let alone an RTS. I put some suggestions that would “fix” the gameplay more than change it, but when I saw my suggestions and emails being ignored, I kinda stopped caring. I feel the final outcome is was pretty bad on the whole, even though my original thoughts were optimistic.

Cypher: Well, I was disappointed, during the development, that many of the things that could have gone in, or should have gone in, never made it. Be it cause of the lay offs or predetermined release date, doesn’t matter. I’m talking about the additional MP modes that were requested and a long time ago hinted at.

Overall, however, with the exception of the guy playing Dr’ Pascal, I’m having fun with the game. It didn’t exceed my expectations nor did it drop below them. I knew what to expect and got it. No, scratch that, the MP is much more fun than I anticipated, but that was apparent in the beta as well.

Zéphyr: I have nothing particulary to say about that. Except the lack of the multiple gameplay modes in multiplayer. Then I was disappointed about the game. When Sam Bass says : “We have not put on the game, all of we want”, It’s really true… unfortunately. CnC4 is not a bad game, but it needs the things that EALA have promised.

NODSOLDIERGIRL: The final retail verson was really good, I can’t really say that it met my expectations but it was better then I expected. This time the game that I pre-ordered was actually at my GameStop on release day which made me really happy. In the past many of the C&C games I have pre-ordered where never in my GameStop on release day….it was always one day later.

Nathancnc: My initial expectations (before the beta) were basicly the “C&C stereotype” that eveyone complains that C&C 4 is not. I thought that it would have been similar to Tiberium Wars, but with new units and continued storyline. Although EA did not make it a base building RTS, I feel that it has satified my expectations. I am although upset about the lack of single player missions. Only 7 missions per side is sad. I was expecting the scrin to be more involved, and I hope that they continue that story in an expansion pack.

Question 2) What did you think of the epic conclusion and storyline as a whole?

Gben: There were a lot of unanswered questions heading into this game. I’ve said this once or twice before on our forums, but I believe an epic conclusion should have its grounding in the introduction.

In my opinion, good story tellers, lay the foundation for their endings in the start of the story. They carefully place innocuous clues in the opening chapters that once you reach the ending you finally realise how important the clues were. I believe a good movie or book should be even more satisfying to watch the second time because you get to discover all the clues hidden in plain sight.

In contrast, C&C4’s storyline has relatively zero connection to the past lore of the Tiberium universe. A new cast, a new set of problems dominated the story, which by all rights, should have focused on the epic conclusion of the saga.

I think it was a travesty, a miscarriage of justice, that less than 5% of the game answered my questions about the universe and the characters in it. (And why did it seem that the GDI story revealed more about Kane than the Nod story?)

I was quite disappointed in the obscene amount of time in C&C4 spent developing the character arcs of the new characters, when all I was looking for was resolution of the very many questions that have arisen in the universe from past games.

The campaign was so short anyway, why waste it creating new characters, with motivations, back story etc? There is simply not enough time to develop empathy for any of the characters or to build any sort of meaningful connection to the characters in this story.
A classic example was the introduction and killing of my wife at the start of the game. My dispassionate response to her death was compounded by the unfortunate coincidence that she looks uncannily like my sister – absolutely ruining any chance of romantic thoughts towards the actor.

Sonic: I’ll be honest, I went ahead and spoiled myself by watching the videos someone uploaded to YouTube (shame on whoever posted them there). But since seeing them I’m not really in any rush to finish the campaigns because the story is just so uninspiring, it’s to short and it answers nothing. If anything it creates more questions. C&C 4 is not the epic conclusion we promised it would be. So a bit of a let down. Oh well, at least Kane was there.

Banshee: The word epic shouldn’t have left the studio, really. It is not epic. The director or whoever decided that the background should be plain white, screwed up both endings, making them become very lame. Although I’m disappointed with the ending, the story itself is fine, better than that ending and it really delivers some answers to questions like ‘How come Kane lives for so long and doesn’t age’ and ‘What does Kane really wants to do’.

Chickendippers: ) I don’t know if the word ‘epic’ is really suitable. I think they tried to do too much with the story in too short a campaign and as a result it seems disjointed, I spent the entire GDI campaign confused; I thought Colonel James was a nutcase and had no idea why I following her orders. If I was meant to think that, could someone let me know? Are the Scrin and the Scrin Tower explained to C&C newbies? I fear it is not. GDI high command kept telling James she was causing too many civilian casualties…where were they, there weren’t any for me to kill!

But on to the Nod campaign and seeing Kane’s desperation to ascend is interesting and slightly unnerving; he’s been evil, maniacal and so sure of himself for 15 years. At the time I didn’t like it, but upon reflection I think it was a very clever move; having him sail to victory untroubled definitely wouldn’t have been as good. I loved the style of the FMVs and the acting was definitely the best in series.

The team claimed they’d rather have fewer excellent missions than a larger number of mediocre ones. Unfortunately I don’t think this succeeded. Some of the missions were excellent; I really enjoyed liberating the captured GST, defending the downed Methusala and the GDI battle for the Scrin Tower.

But some missions were just infuriating; defending those damn civilian supply trucks when there are 3 enemy crawlers and just 1 of me was impossible. The final Nod mission left me with a sour taste in my mouth too; after introducing the multiplayer ‘domination mechanic’ and I’m on the brink of victory, adrenaline pumping, some random ‘super ship’ appears. It was freaking impossible to kill despite being absolutely tiny – the decidedly massive GST was much easier to kill in the earlier mission. I just queued up 50 Scorpions and waypointed them to attack….A pretty lame final boss fight if you ask me. Did the team have something epic planned, but ran out of time and just cobbed that together instead? 🙁

[NE]Fobby[GEN]: I expected more from the story. The teaser and cutscene previews looked very promising, but as I played through the campaign I felt that the story was very rushed and poorly executed. So Kane goes through a portal, Tiberium starts disappearing, and that’s it? Didn’t the Scrin pledge to come back to earth with a bigger arsenal? If not as a faction, I at least would’ve wanted the Scrin to play some role in the game. Also, why does Kane make you his body double, and put you out in the open, if you’re the last implant and he’s practically invincible? And what happened to Legion, who we learned in Kane’s Wrath, was related to CABAL in some way and fused with the tacitus? Why is the GDI and Nod commander the same person? Why are they using the same set for both factions? Where did the portal lead Kane and his followers? Who or what is Kane? Previously he was like a diabolical Tiberium terraform agent, but he turned out to be poor ET wanting to go home. We knew you were on the earth for a prolonged period ever since we realized that from RA1 to Tiberian Sun, you didn’t age a bit, so that’s practically old news. The separatist movement was pretty lame – Kane is Nod, and Nod is Kane. He was held in very high esteem in Tiberian Dawn, and then worshiped by his followers in Renegade, Tiberian Sun, and C&C3. The separatist in KW made some sense, because Kane was hidden at that point, but a non-hidden-Kane giant separatist team is a bit unreal. The story doesn’t say much about anything – it’s like 6 hours long, the Tiberium Control Network was lacking substance and details, and I feel that there’s a lot less characters in this game than in the previous C&Cs. The wife scenes were just terrible.

Cypher: Not sure about epic conclusions, definitely a conclusion to an epic. The ending resolves things, though not necessarily how everyone would like it. At the end of the day, the story in C&C4 fits well with what has been established so far, as does the ending. Personally, I’m a fan of not delivering all the answers, be they final or median, on a silver platter. There’s an example I always like to make:
Take the Dune novels – the biggest difference between Frank Herbert’s novels and Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson’s (besides the quality or tightness), is that that FH’s novels made you think. Forced you to figure out things on your own. Like the Guild Navigators folding space. Some think (like David Lynch) that they actually physically fold space, which is completely wrong. The original novel, Dune, leaves enough hints and allusions for people to figure out on their own that Navigators only fold space IN their minds, not WITH their minds – it’s a form of limited prescience that replaces the need for complex computers to calculate a safe path. The actual folding of space is done by the Holtzman engines on the Heighliners. Frank Herbert forces you to figure it out on your own – answer these median questions on your own, but completing the puzzle within the storyline. Brian and Kevin, on the other hand, actually had Leto (the first, as a young boy) ask that question and receive a full and detailed answer in Dune: House Atreides.

All this elaborate example is to say that I think that while there are still unanswered questions, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means that more can be said about this. It means that there’s room for speculation which is EXCELLENT. And also, there’s plenty said right there, in C&C4 and all the games that came before, if you just look across all of them for the storyline, and not just the last installment to get all the answers delivered by TibEx to your front door.

Zéphyr: The epic conclusion is not an epic conclusion for me. I have no answer to my questions. Since Tiberian Sun, I want the end of the game. Not to kill Command and Conquer, but when I read the book (“1984” – George Orwell, this month) I read the end of the story because I hate reading a story unknowing the end. And here, I wait for a really good end to C&C. Understand my frustration. I might invent a story in my head for the end of C&C4, it gives me no great wish to be a fan when you know it.

NODSOLDIERGIRL: I think it could and should have been written better so we would have a longer campaign to play but I don’t blame the devs. They were really rushed to get this game out the door so they could get pushed out the door too. I really hope they continue this story with Kane I want to learn more! Maybe the next game will have a longer campaign then four hours, that is way too short.

Nathancnc: Epic conclusion? Not really….. I couldn’t belive it. Yeah we found out Kane was an alien, and all of his “deaths” were just someting like a clone of him, but the final cinematics were not well done. The set was just white… no design whatsoever. Then Kane steps through a crayon drawing on the wall, which is supposed to be the Scrin Tower. I was dissapointed.

Question 3) In terms of graphics, sound and music how does this game fare in comparison with its recent contemporaries?

Gben: I have no recent competitors to compare. I have very few non C&C RTS games actually.

Graphically the game was executed well, but suffered from poor design. I would categorize the graphics as reasonable and functional – each unit and structure is unique and easily identifiable.

In terms of design, I thought GDI remained true to the image of brute strength – with clean, classical, near futuristic military design that is strong, crisp and enthuses a familiar style similar to current Western militaries. I dislike very few of the GDI designs and only for suspension of disbelief issues – like the Mastodon chin turret for instance.

The basic design or theme of Nod however – leaves much to be desired. Unlike GDI, I dislike almost the entire nod armoury. Nod used to be about exotic futuristic military strength that was both menacing and terrifying. Now Nod is simply embarrassing. i.e. Nod’s Scorpion tank.

Sound wise the effects are non-existent. I actually had to turn off the music to hear them for a few rounds and I shouldn’t have bothered…. anti-tank cannons that produce nothing more than a whoosh sound. In over an hour of game play, nothing else caught my attention.

Music is a mixed bag. I’m listening to the soundtrack as I write this, and some of the pieces created for the game are truly beautiful works of art.

The brass section is used really successfully in a couple of pieces… for tension in “From bad to worse”… for the reveal in “the beginning of the end”. There are some really interesting middle eastern sounds (e.g. Heresy’s Reward, To the death) that should evoke the factional theme of what we understand are the yellow zones but are poorly used for Nod… the last few seconds of “love and death” when the piano keys kick are very poignant filled with loss and ache…

Hearing the epic “Prophet’s Ascension” was very emotional experience for me. I love instrumental music that takes you on a journey… that tells a story. This magnificent piece of music told Kane’s story better than the game eventually did. Listening to the music before the game was released, fueled my imagination to heights that playing the game was almost redundant. I could see the prophet ascending thanks to the music. The scope of this piece reminded me of Ravel’s Bolero.

The music has strong BSG influences, I’m not quite sure what the purpose was though. I assume this is more than simply because it’s cool right now, or what I suspect, was there were inferences that it was trying to evoke and tap into. I really enjoyed this soundtrack, it is great background music.

But unfortunately it makes a terrible companion to a frenetic RTS military simulation.

I believe that James Hannigan, Jason Graves, and Tim Wynn all were wildly successful in fulfilling the briefs they were given. But I think the lead designers and producers made a fatal flaw to commission an entirely orchestra style soundtrack for this game.

I believe an epic conclusion should be reflection of the epic introduction. One good thing and the Star Wars prequels was the way John Williamson was able to reflect musically back to the original themes. I think a great opportunity was missed here to reflect and pay homage to the musical elements in previous games.

Sonic: If your system is up to it C&C 4 is a visual treat. I’ve it seen running a low end system and doesn’t look to good. My own computer runs everything is high detail and it looks great. Some of the unit models look a bit bland or in the case of Nod, they look weird. One thing that is really strong when compared to C&C 3 and Red Alert 3 is the enviornment detail. How can you not like seeing Visceroids being roasted on an open fire! The sounds are somewhat lacking, weapons don’t sound loud enough to me with an overuse of zap zap and pew pew sounds. But I think they nailed the EVA voice over perfectly. Especially for Nod. The music works for this game. Normally I’d rather have some heavy rock music for some reason the music just fits for C&C 4. The opening mneu music sounds really epic, it goes really well with the cinematics as well. So overall, graphics are great, sounds not so great and the music is spot on.

Banshee: In terms of graphics, I think C&C 3 actually has better graphics. I mean, the quality of the models is similar, except that the artists from C&C3 made a better job when they’ve designed the units. The sounds of the game are nice, just like in most C&C games. The opening/menu music is very nice, however, the ingame ones are not.

Chickendippers: I must admit I was wrong about the music. When the sample from the soundtrack was released I was very critical towards it, however I was quick to judge as only the ‘themes’ were released. The battle music is excellent, and that’s certainly the most important part.

The graphics are fine, I do like the detailed damage of the larger units and the detailing in the maps. I think this general perception that the graphics are inferior is due to the lack of the Red Zones, which really ramped up the atmosphere previously. I did notice that the Nod crawlers lack the sunlight glint that the MCVs had in C&C3; I remember when the demo was released zooming right in and panning the camera round, admiring the shiny-ness….sad I know.

[NE]Fobby[GEN]: Graphically, the game looks a lot like C&C3. Although I like the SAGE engine, it’s quite outdated in my opinion, as they have been using the engine since Generals in 2003. Also, I think a big part of the Tiberian series was the Tiberium itself, as well as the fauna, plants, ion storms, etc. was missing in this game – it’s a shame, as it provided more contrast to the otherwise dull environments. Overall though, the game looks good. I feel that the game’s music was not very befitting, as it sounded heavily inspired by Star Wars. I myself am a Star Wars fan, but it doesn’t suit the series. The sounds were pretty good I think.

Cypher: Music is okay. I don’t have much to say about that. Or anything at all.

Sound, if we’re talking unit voices, is much like the unit design – a bit all over the place. While I’m happy with the GDI designs – they feel really spot on to me – the Nod designs are a bit too varied, too lacking a single direction. Who knows, maybe it’s cause this Gideon guy. Having two leaders probably drove the weapon designers of Nod to bipolar concepts 🙂

As for the graphics themselves.
Well, I’ve played Supreme Commander 2, I’m playing StarCraft 2 Beta, and I gotta say, the amount of detail in C&C4 is much higher, especially on the environmental design. I’m playing on the highest settings (with only a GeForce 7800 GTX) and am loving the detail put into the map designs and some of the units. Check out even that very controversial Scorpion Tank, the concept may be off for some, but the detail on that sucker with the highest settings is excellent.

C&C4 lacks in the variety of… tile sets, for lack of a better definition, when compared to StarCraft 2, but with what’s there, the detail is much higher.

Zéphyr: Compared to the previous question, the graphics, it’s really good, but I prefer the C&C3 animation, because I see the graphics of RA3 when a unit explode. It’s not cool, I think, because RA3 and his “toy-graphism”, it’s bad for C&C4. But finally, it’s a good game, graphically speaking. For the sound and music, it’s the better I have heard. The music, it’s magnificent, sumptuous, rich, etc… I enjoy listening the music so much that I put on my MP3 player (yes, I have an old MP3 player, I hate Apple and this ipod, iphone, ithing, …) what ? I talk so much about my life ? Yes… I know.

NODSOLDIERGIRL: The graphics are pretty good, I really like the fact that they added water to this Tib Universe game. The music for the main menu just doesn’t go with this game really, it sounds like it belongs in Star Trek or something. It just doesn’t sound C&C-ish I guess is what I’m trying to say. Some of the music belongs and some doesn’t you do have that sometimes in games. But for the most part its alright, the main menu music just bugs me a little bit.

Nathancnc: Graphics were done very well, I have a powerhouse PC, and the game is beautiful! Everything is well smoothed, and the artistic quality was very high. Sound effects were done well, but as for the music tracks, I much enjoyed Tiberian Sun’s music more.

Question 4) Did you experience any technical problems installing/playing the game?

Gben: None. Absolutely none.

Sonic: I got the game on the day of release here in New Zealand, and C&C 4 installed without a hitch for me. However once it loaded to the main menu for the first time it simply dropped back to my Windows 7 desktop without any error message. It did it one more time during the second mission of the Nod campaign. But since then its been great. No crashes, no freezing. Just a smooth running game. So when they released the 1.2 patch it made no difference to me because my game was working fine. It probably helps that my internet connection is fast and stable, if yours is not your in for a frustrating time.

Banshee: Once in a while, my modem gets unstable and C&C4 doesn’t like that. So, I’ve got kicked from the game once in a while because of my modem. One of these times, the system had an uber crash and I could only recover it after a minute.

Chickendippers: None what so ever.

[NE]Fobby[GEN]: I personally did not face many problems. My game crashed a couple times while playing online, and I’ve had teammates/enemies drop out of the game randomly, but that’s expected for a multiplayer game. Those who live in areas with shoddy internet, on the other hand, have much to worry about with the current DRM.

Cypher: I haven’t. Not yet at least. And with the latest patch, where they introduced the ‘save if disconnected’ feature, I expect the outcry on that issue to lessen.

Zéphyr: Oh yes. About one thing : I have install the game in French. It’s a big problem for EA. We need a lot of accent on the vowels in French, especially in Switzerland because we talk 3 languages principally : German, French, Italian (and English but it’s not an official language) well… it’s not a cultural geography course, right now. And in the French-speaking world, strangely, the update was not installed on the people who speak French, because of our accents on the vowels. It’s really weird…

NODSOLDIERGIRL: No the game installed just fine, I was lucky. I knew several others that had issues but not me. As for playing the game it did take some time getting used to it, but once I got the hang of it, it was like I had been playing for years. Once you start playing sometimes its hard to stop, its sort of addicting.

Nathancnc: I had the retail DVD, and had no trouble installing it on my 64bit Windows 7 rig. When I went to launch the game, it didn’t at first. I ran it as admin and all was solved. Seems to be that it needs admin rights during it’s first launch, after that you can run it as normal.In game, I have had it dissconnect me on many occasions, for no reason at all. No expaination, just that it lost connection with the server. That was annoying, but it isn’t happening anymore.

Question 5) Where does the game rank in the C&C Universe?

Gben: At the bottom.

Sonic: This is a hard one. And this is my own personal opinion. If you take the modern C&C games produced by EALA my list would be

  1. Red Alert 3
  2. C&C 4
  3. C&C 3/Kane’s Wrath

I refuse to campare to C&C 4 to the Westwood era C&C games.

Banshee: Really, I think it is the worse C&C game I’ve played, although I do still enjoy it. They’ve tried to inovate too much, but they’ve done it to the wrong game. They could have started a new storyline and used these game mechanics on it.

Chickendippers: Of recent games (I don’t think it’s fair to include old games) I would rank it 3rd:

  1. C&C3: Tiberium Wars
  2. Red Alert 3
  3. C&C4: Tiberian Twilight
  4. Generals

[NE]Fobby[GEN]: I would say that this was the very worst Command & Conquer game. I wasn’t a fan of Generals, but it ranks a lot higher in my book than C&C4. The game is definitely no real sequel to C&C3, and an a disappointing ending to the series overall.

Cypher: I’d agree, to an extent, with what Adam Isgreen wrote – it’s not a Core C&C game. But I do love the direction they went with. Also, I don’t mind that it’s not a Core C&C game. I like the fact that the gameplay is different enough in both SP and MP to give me something fresh to play, after not being able to even finish RA3 and Uprising because I was tired playing the same thing over and over again for 8 games (including Emperor) and 6 expansion packs.

I wouldn’t necessarily go so far so drastically so suddenly – if I were to make it, I’d keep GDI with bases and make Nod all Crawler based – further enhancing their philosophies of “Nod for Progress and Evolution” and “GDI for tradition and stagnation”. Maybe move more slowly to these new mechanics, allowing it to be a Core game. But ultimately I like the game, and I’d rate it a solid 8 or even 8.4 among C&Cs – with Firestorm being 9.7 and Kane’s Wrath 8.9, just to give you a scale.
Maybe with a good economy or tech tree model, I would have given it a higher mark.

Zéphyr: Fourth place. C&C 2 in first, C&C 3 in second, and C&C 1 in third. It’s really an innovate game, but, I don’t think it’s a good idea to “forget” a lot of things (mentioned in Question 1).

NODSOLDIERGIRL: I don’t really think C&C 4 should even be a C&C game to be completely honest. My reasons are C&C = RTS not MMO. You have to level up just to get the good units, and still no base building which we all knew from the start this game wouldn’t have. But yes I do understand the lore and get why there are no bases. I just think C&C needs bases. The only thing that makes this game C&C is GDI, Nod, Kane and maybe a few of the units but thats really it…its kinda sad for the last game.

Nathancnc: I don’t want ot compare any of EA’s C&C games with Westwood’s because there is no comparison. I would say that C&C4 is better than Generals, but doesn’t measure up to C&C3/KW or RA3.

Question 6) Final thoughts – How would you rate C&C 4 overall?

Gben: I must say, I really enjoyed the new style of the FMV. It was such a breath of fresh air to see the camera move around and really create the sense that we were a real person in the story. It’s a shame the camera operator couldn’t create more personality in his movement – there were a couple of scenes where we needed to experience an emotional response visually that were missing. I am thinking of scenes with our wife for instance. I truly hope that the next C&C game is able to continue this style of movie making.

Overall I think the emphasis on 5v5 MP game play is actually fun, and using the crawler to achieve this is okay, but it should have been an alternate game mode not a wholesale replacement of game mechanics.

And I repeat my previous posts on these forums, it would have been better to launch this crawler concept as a spin-off IP, rather than attach it to the epic conclusion of our beloved franchise; and having this set on an alien planet with different atmosphere would be all the logic required to explain the new MCV system.

The game seems to suffer from too short a development cycle, with not enough testing of the “proof of concept”.

Based on mission design, campaign length, answers to fiction during the epic conclusion, loss of core C&C game-play style I would give C&C 4 a “2/10” but the multi-player while bland, is okay, the 5 v5 teamwork is fun, and I enjoyed levelling up by online much more than via skirmish or campaign… so I will bump the final score up to “5/10”. The game is average at best. The question remains how long can the interest last, now that I have levelled up.

But hey it’s not all bad news – we finally have Kane in game… so when does the “C&C4 Retarded Mod” come out again?

Sonic: Normally I hate slapping a score on something because everyone has different ideas about what is good, mediocre or bad. But I would give C&C 4 a solid 6/10. I would go higher and give it an 8 if the story was better. But overall its a solid game from a gameplay point of view. And here’s something to dwell on. The C&C 4 storyline maybe weak but its way better than the total lack of a coherent story that Generals served up.

Banshee: I’d rate it 5.5/10. The gameplay is much more rock-paper-scissors than the previous game and the strategy depth is lower with the lack of resource gathering. You rely a lot on building units that simply counter the enemies and gathering husks with engineers to get the big units. Pop cap only limits things and forces the rock-paper-scissors style and doesn’t stop rushing. The game seems to be very well ballanced, compared to the older C&C games. Skirmish is not fun at all, although multiplayer is much better, since they’ve focused the whole game on it. The campaign is too short, although it is more challenging than the previous games. The movies are fine, except for the very ending ones (which are very lame). Regarding actors, Joe Kucan is amazing, as usual. Most of the other actors do work fine, except for the wife and Col. James (she has exagerated with the drama, even for an emotional character, honestly). GDI musics are a way too much orchestral. They’ve made the same mistake from Tiberian Sun. TD’s musics were successful because it focus on action and treats environment as background, unlike TS and TT musics (which focus more on environment than on action).

Chickendippers: I know I have been harsh on this game, particularly in question 2 about the singleplayer campaign. I think this game could have been great if the development team were given longer to perfect the design and craft a campaign of suitable length to tell the story. But we were promised an epic conclusion to the Kane saga, and it pains me to say that hasn’t been achieved in my eyes. We have a fun game, an interesting gameplay mechanic, but the implementation lacks that final polish.

Writing such negative things is very difficult for me having met the developers, I consider some of them my friends, and knowing how much hard work and dedication they put into this. But in the end they are limited by the time and money allocated to them. I think a fundamental paradigm shift at EA’s management needs to take place, one that allows the development teams time to actually create great games, try new ideas and hook a new generation of hardcore fans. 6/10.

[NE]Fobby[GEN]: If 1 meant bad, 10 meant great, and 5 meant average, I give C&C4 a 3/10. The gameplay is broken in a dozen different ways, the storyline is unsatisfying and poor. C&C4 simply adds more plot holes, raises more questions, and takes everything we loved about Command & Conquer and throws it away.

Cypher: Sorry, already answered above. 😀

Zéphyr: 6/10, only for the music and innovation of the gameplay. But the rest, is clearly average

NODSOLDIERGIRL: I give it a 6/10 I really think had the Devs been given more time this game could have been so much better, but we can’t change the past. All we can do is hope they learn not to get rid of the team before the community likes the game.

Nathancnc: Overall, bringing everything I just stated into account. I would give Command & Conquer 4 Tiberian Twilight a 7/10. It was really the good appearance and fun multiplayer that brought my score up to a seven.

Average Roundtable Review Score
cc4_roundtable_reviewscore

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