Everyone's favourite bald cultist is back and stirring up anarchic trouble again, so clearly it's time for a fourth instalment of the wildly popular Command and Conquer series where actual tactics and strategy tend to take a backseat to basebuilding and shiny presentation. Mind you, that hasn't stopped me owning most of the games in the series over the years, although much of that has to do with the consistently OTT acting in the cutscenes.
Tiberian Twilight, released only last month, is now retailing for £12.99 over at Amazon and HMV, which is a good five pounds less than anywhere else.
- Click here to buy Command and Conquer 4 for £12.99 from Amazon
- Click here to buy Command and Conquer 4 for £12.99 from HMV
Twilight is a particularly apt name for this title, as it's somewhat clear that the series is teetering on its last legs. The year is 2062 and it looks like Tiberium - the crystalline resource that everyone's been scrabbling about and fighting over for the last 15 years - is overrunning the planet and will wipe out all humanity. Taking this into consideration, Kane (played again to perfection by Joseph Kucan) trots on over to the headquarters of the GDI and forms an alliance. Fifteen years later, the Tiberium spread has been stopped but that alliance is cracking thanks to wings of extremists on both sides. Cue the Fourth Tiberium War.
C&C4 is a mess. There are numerous gameplay tweaks that will upset series purists, not least the decision to abandon resource gathering almost completely. Instead you work to capture nodes spread all over the map, earning points over time and looking to secure more than your enemy and then defend them against attack. Stuffed with class-based elements and RPG mechanics, this doesn't really feel like a C&C game at all and, whilst you can choose between supporting GDI and NOD extremists, you won't see any real difference between the two for a good 3 or 4 hours. The unit number cap is laughable and ruins the juggernaut style of play that C&C always advocated. It's easy to rag on a series like this when there are far superior tactically minded games out there, but we never bought C&C for that. So why change it into a steaming pile of mediocrity now?
The graphics are really quite terrible and the DRM on this thing is insufferable. Having to be online at all times is just awful. Online activation is one thing, but having to constantly verify across the internet that you're not a pirate is almost guaranteed to drive more people towards torrents and cracked versions of the game. This is a very good price for such a new game and, in terms of saving money, this is a damn good deal. It's just unfortunate that the game in question is such a disappointment.
Thanks in part to Windle at HUKD