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Command & Conquer 4

Reviewed on: PC

Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

I’m a bit confused. Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight is supposed to be the last game in the long running series. So why then did EA feel the need to completely revamp the gameplay, ridding it of almost everything franchise die-hards have come to love?

I really wanted to love Command and Conquer 4 as the series holds a special place in my heart. I spent many nights in my basement building outposts and waging intergalactic war. Sadly though, I cannot. With a neutered gameplay system and development decisions that make such little sense your jaw will hit the floor; EA has taken a much loved series, removed the heart and given us this mess.

One of the great things about the Command and Conquer series has always been the resource gathering gameplay. If you really wanted to dig deep into the game and get the most out of it – this is where you spent most of your time. This is all gone here. In its place is a half-assed capture the flag type system that just doesn’t feel right in a Command and Conquer game. You capture a point on the map and your units will bring tiberium back to you. If that all sounds incredibly too simple, it is. Yes, it’s much more accessible and much less daunting than its predecessors, but at what cost does this come?

"Want to check out the tutorials? You better have a good connection."


Oh, and here’s the kicker – when playing Command and Conquer 4; no matter if you never have any intention of touching the game’s online suite, you’ll always have to be connected to the internet. Want to check out the tutorials? You better have a good connection. Want to go through the campaign? Not unless you’ve got a wireless signal. One of the great things about PC games is that you can play them even when you don’t have a connection. Now I can’t play Command and Conquer 4 during bad weather or on a road trip? In defense of EA, the tactic does come off as justified, your every move goes towards your next level up and it encourages player interactivity, but it still seems very shady.

Command and Conquer 4 is built on a much smaller scale than any of its predecessors. Unlike previous games, you never feel like you’re the leader of a massive army. Instead, you take control of a much smaller, much more intimate force. Again, this makes the title not feel much like a Command and Conquer sequel. You’ll often find yourself plodding along with the same units from point to point until your goal is accomplished. As you can probably imagine; this makes for a pretty bland campaign. There’s really no thrills and no big mcguffin moments to speak of and you feel like you’re just going through the motions.

One thing I did like about the campaign is that after a few levels you’re given the opportunity to side with the law-abiding Global Defense Initiative or join forces with series baddie Kane. No matter which you chose you’ll be able to experience the game from both perspectives so your choice isn’t set in stone, but it’s interesting to see just how the conflict looks on both ends. No matter which you choose though, you can’t help but feel disappointed by the pullout of an ending EA tries to present here. Rather than wrap things up, the game seems content with ending the game on a sudden and disappointing thud.

"...the game still overuses the full motion video novelty."


The presentation of Command and Conquer 4 is more of a mixed bag. There’s definitely some improvement here – the colors aren’t as flat and the set pieces are ten times better than those of previous games (they don’t look like cardboard backdrops anymore), but the game still overuses the full motion video novelty. Personally, I love the over acting and hammy dialogue of Joe Kucan; who reprises his role of Kane, some gamers may see it as a bit much though.  This is a different Kane than before though – Kucan’s portrayal is much more frightening than before; really the same can be said for the entire game; it carries a much more mature tone than previous titles. I’m all for the new tone, but again – isn’t this supposed to be the series’ swan song?

The heart of the Command and Conquer series has always been the online multiplayer and if you can stand the game’s changes – it still is. After I got over my grumblings I found myself having a blast playing against others. This was pretty much as close to a Command and Conquer experience as I got. A lot of the fun of the battles came from the fact that before each battle you choose a faction and a role. Which faction and which role you choose has a great effect on just how you handle your troops and resources in battle and can lead to some very interesting choices and dilemmas.

Command and Conquer 4 has its moments, but Kane and company deserve a better sendoff than EA offers here. The biggest problem is that with all the changes it just doesn’t feel like a Command and Conquer game any more. Why make these changes when you’re ending the series? Why alienate the fans who stood by your games for this long? Unless you’re really desperate for new Command and Conquer, it’s best to stick with the games you already have, and not let your last memory of the series be this. 



CHEATS USED: Unlimited Command Points, Power Points, General Mode, more

At the end of the year, the trainer for Command and Conquer 4 may very well be considered for best trainer, but I just couldn’t give it the full 10 in honor of Command and Conquer’s memory. So yeah. Take that EA.

In all reality, Command and Conquer 4’s trainer has everything you could want in a game like this. You’ll get unlimited access to pretty much everything and the best part is the General Mode, which unlocks all units immediately.

I didn’t like Command and Conquer 4 much, but I loved its trainer.



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