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Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight - Review - PC

by Steven Williamson on 30 March 2010, 08:59 3.55

Tags: Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), PC, Strategy

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The Conclusion of the Tiberium Saga

Reviewer: John Layland

Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight is the latest installment of EA's well known and much loved real time strategy series. Set fifteen years after Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, the earth is now nearly uninhabitable due to the spread of Tiberium, a crystal of alien origin that while a hugely valuable as a mineral resource threatens to extinguish all life on earth as it spreads across the planets surface.

Tiberian Twilight is the final chapter in the current story arc and see's GDI and NOD forces pitched in battle yet again for control over earths most valuable resource. Being the final installment in such a long running tale it seems strange then that EA Los Angeles have chosen to completely thrown away the Command and Conquer rule book and disposed of the traditional base building and resource harvesting that the series is known for. Question is, has it paid off for them?

In the past Command and Conquer games put the player in command of their own virtual fortress with the objective being to harvest as many resources as possible, build your army and then march across the map to whatever the objective might be, wiping out anything that gets in the way at the same time. It sounds a little shallow to describe the game in such terms but the base building and resource management have been staples of the series since I was in short trousers. Even in recent years as that kind of gameplay has begun to feel a little "old school" when compared to more modern RTS titles it has always been great fun, especially when playing with a few friends over the Internet. Tiberian Twilight changes all that from the beginning and replaces the traditional style of play for something much more intense and fast paced.

For a start there's no more base building at all, you now command your units from a walking command module that's eerily reminiscent of an Imperial AT-AT walker after one too many Pukka Pies. There are three different kinds of walker that you can spawn at will - Defensive, Offensive and Support with each one capable of manufacturing unique units once it's "unpacked" onto the battlefield. This change alone really shifts the pace of gameplay by throwing the player straight into the action and there's no more sitting back upgrading units for half an hour before your first contact with the enemy anymore.

There's also a pretty tight limit on the number of units you can spawn so you can no longer build a mass of Mammoth tanks and rush whatever's on the other side of the fog of war, victory safely assured because of the sheer number of units at your command. The constant respawning of new walkers to manufacture units specific to your objective soon begins to feel limiting though and despite the new units you unlock as you progress you never feel like any one of them gives you complete control over the battlefield. It also has to be said that the single player campaign is also disappointingly short, with only seven or eight missions not counting the tutorial and combined with the pace at which combat now moves you'll be lucky if it lasts longer than ten hours before you're done.

Continued overleaf...