GameSpot Reviews - Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight Video Review

Uploaded by gamespot on 16.03.2010

If you've played a command and conquer game before, you'll probably be surprised by command
and conquer 4: tiberium twilight. The high energy real time strategy has been replaced
by a tactical kind of game more akin to dawn of war ii. No base building, smaller control
groups, and a focus on team tactics over traditional strategizing. Online play and computer skirmishes
can be fun but aren't consistently so. And the campaign is really straightforward and
boring in spite of how well actor Joe Kucan chews up the scenery as Brotherhood of Nod
leader Kane. Command & Conquer 4 isn't bad, and a system of persistent unlocks will keep
you engaged for a short time. But this is supposedly the last C&C game featuring Kane,
and this isn't the explosive sendoff he deserved. Tuberium Twilight's focus on online play is
immediately apparent. Even if you're in it to see how the story plays out, you're gonna
need to be online and sign on through Electronic Arts' online portal. You enter a chat channel
from the moment you start and can invite other players to parties from there if you want.
The online requirement is part of an unreasonable but growing trend for PC games, an unfriendly
way of approaching copy protection. But at least there's an attempt here to give the
game an ongoing sense of community. You're always connected to other players, and there's
a system of persistent experience, achievements and unlocks that spans every mode. And that
leveling is perhaps the game's most interesting feature. Whether you're playing a campaign
mission, a match against the AI or an online match, you earn experience. As you level up,
you unlock new units and powers and whatnot. So if you're interested in tuberium twilight
for the online, be aware that you won't have access to every unit right off the bat. This
is a double edged sword. On one hand, you get that urge to push forward so you can unlock
cool units like the Avatar or the Mastodon. On the other, you might find yourself in unbalanced
matches against players that have access to higher tier units that you can't effectively
counter. If you're hosting the match, there's no way to limit players to a certain level
cap. But the online play is at least enjoyable.
Maps are set up for five versus five--one team of GDI players, and one team of Nod.
Before a match begins, you select one of three roles: Offense, defense, or support. If you
like rolling over the opposition on the ground, go with offense, since that's where you'll
find all the tanks like scorpions and mammoths. Defense grants you infantry and turrets. And
support is all about aircraft and healing. When you choose your role, you drop your assigned
walker onto the map. Walkers are mobile bases, though if you lose one, it isn't game over
or anything... You just summon another one down to a spawn zone after a short wait. And
dismissing your walker to summon down a different type is quite a valid strategy. From here,
your team tries to dominate the map by capturing control nodes. The more nodes you capture,
the faster you accumulate points. The team to reach the point limit is the winner.
It can be fun, particularly when things come down to the wire, and when teams click together
well. Beating good players means exploiting the rock paper scissors relationships of your
units and micromanaging your special abilities. You also need to grab scattered tiberium crystals
and bring them back to a spawn zone to gain access to upgrades, better units and better
powers. But it isn't as exciting as it sounds. A preset pool of command points lots your
unit cap, the camera stays close to the battlefield even at maximum zoom, and the maps aren't
that huge... It's just that units are comparatively slow even after a speed upgrade. Tiberium
Twilight may take cues from Dawn of War 2 and World in Conflict, and it is fun, but
it doesn't capture the excitement and sense of controlled chaos of those games.
At least the famous live-action cutscenes give some of that Command & Conquer vibe.
The story seems to take itself a bit more seriously in the final outing. The lighting
is darker, the soundtrack is more overpowering, and the sets look less low budget than before.
The campaign is set up in and interesting way too: as the nameless commander, you choose
a path after a few missions and side either with Nod or GDI. You can then return to the
other side and see how things play out from the other perspective. Sadly, even a few story
twists and some of the usual hammy acting can't make the campaign exciting. Missions
generally, but not always, involve moving a single control group around from one objective
to the next, or if you play it cooperatively, two players moving around their single control
groups around. The missions are sort of short and there aren't many of them to begin with,
and the ending, well--let's just say that the ending doesn't do the series proud.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't play Command & Conquer 4. It's still fun, though hardly
the best in its class. Online play is enjoyable when balance issues don't make things lopsided,
and the game looks and sounds quite good. But the tepid campaign and limited sense of
excitement make this an unusually modest installment in the series, and a disappointing way to
end Kane's story. You'll enjoy Tiberium Twilight for what it is, but it's you'll also wish
it was something more.