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Command and Conquer 4 is doomed!

January 30, 2010

I don’t like getting down on a game before release, I rarely do, but Command and Conquer 4 is buggered.

Unimpressed - Kane earlier today.

I’ve been dabbling with the beta recently and as a mild RTS fan I think I’ve got enough experience to declare C&C 4 a complete failure. Simply put whoever thought adding a levelling structure into a game like this needs a firm slap around the chops, before being taken outside and shot for evidently having no brain.

Ok it’s not the levelling that’s borked, CoH has a nice levelling system, it’s the application and repercussions of the system and to begin to understand you’ll need to know how things play out.

In C&C 4 every player has a walking ‘base’ from which they churn out units, units are used to take strategic points and return Tiberium to your drop zone in order to buy upgrades to your existing units. There are no resources, simply a population limit, meaning unit spam is the order of the day and once a unit dies you just replace it. Already the game has problems up the wazzo, but then the levelling structure enters the fray.

Not much of a looker either.

To begin with you can make four units from your chosen base (offensive, defensive, or support) and research one tech, you are locked to tier one and that’s your lot for the duration of the match. Until you level up, which for some unknown reason takes a few matches to even get to level ruddy 2, at which point you get one more unit for each ‘class’, yay?

At one point me and a friend were playing a match with someone who could get tier three units and had a base firing death lasers from every orifice, and then some, frying our tier one units and whereas normally I can accept being beaten in an RTS this was the equivalent of bringing cotton wool buds and a pasty to fight a fat bloke wielding a flamethrower . We didn’t have access to effective counter units, fair? Not at all, fun? Most certainly not.

And then there are the matches themselves, or should I call them meat grinders, the simple technique of ‘fill the population up’ means players prefer to spam one type of unit at one time, only changing if something drastic happens. On more occasions than not me and an opponent would have our bases facing each other, constantly putting units out to die in a never ending battle of the mundane, It’s so basic it needs to sit in the corner of the RTS classroom wearing the dunce hat for a bit until it wises up.

The game will garner a dedicated community due to the name C&C, and the fact it’s probably fun when the game deems you worthy to even bloody tech up, but before lon the multiplayer will become impenetrable to new comers.

On account of the fact you earn XP in all modes it depends how much you level up in campaign really, but what if you don’t want to play Campaign? Grind against CPU until you can actually deploy effective units? Piss off is that what anyone wants to do.

Even Tim Curry has to stiffle back the laughter.

It’s a shame really as this is EA’s last chance to impress the C&C audience until Starcraft finally arrives, but instead they’ve created an abortion of an action strategy role playing game that sits somewhere between Company of Heroes, Final Fantasy, and a pile of rancid Chihuahua turd.

Command and Conquer 4 – Level up or get tae fuck.

Oh and the menu’s look abysmal too.

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3 comments

  1. EA said they wanted people to play single player more. They’ve probably gone about it the wrong way though. I wish I were able to find out for myself, but I keep desyncing.


  2. Well you’ve confirmed all my worst fears…damn.

    A true unlock system in RTS will never really work for me. Unlocks that take place within each game rather than than over multiple games can work and have worked well it lots of games mind.

    Overall though this does seem to just make basic errors. Will I buy it…..probably, only to see Kanes last days. But I think this following Red Alert 3 might mean the end of C&C as a respectable franchise.


  3. @ rikkit, I can understand them wanting more people to play single player, the price they must pay for the C list celebrities probably takes its toll, but single player should not encroach on multiplayer and visca verca.

    @ Tam Tam, I think my main issue is that the need for unlocks ruins the flow of the game for those starting out, half the fun of RTS is the escalating battle, starting small and building up to the big units over time, but this doesn’t exist for C&C 4 players to begin with and that’s rubbish! I prefered CoH’s idea of unlocking alternatives and so customising your army more to cover your weakness’.

    Ultimately an unlock system works in something like an FPS, because a lvl 1 in CoD can still get the drop on a lvl 70 and score a headshot, the issue in a strat is that a lvl 1 with five initial units is cannon fodder for a lvl 20 with five of his special units he just unlocked, that’s just the way a strat game works out the maths.

    It could have worked, but I think EALA have just gone about it the wrong way and it’s too late to turn back now.



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