|Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (2007)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Available for: Xbox 360, PC
RTS games come and go, but fans of the genre really seem to eat up the “Command & Conquer” series. God knows it’s been around the block a few times, and most installments have been met with much fanfare. The latest installment, “Tiberium Wars,” finds the series going a little retro and revisiting its roots, as it were. Well, you knew that as soon as you spotted that good old Tiberium in the title, right? Ah yes, Tiberium, that mystical green stuff that Nod and the GDI are battling over. Oh, and Kane is very much alive.
“Tiberium Wars” plays a lot like a ton of other RTS titles. Players unfamiliar with this territory can play through the tutorial which delves into the basics of controlling your army and its different factions, from riflemen to grenadiers and tech experts. There are, of course, a bevy of vehicles to command. These range from mining rigs to attack and transport vehicles. Hey, you can even lay down an air strip and launch attacks from the sky to go along with all those shiny tanks tearing it up with the ground forces.
Of course, all this is dependent upon your skills at creating a calm in chaos by building the essentials, such as barracks, silos, power plants and the like. Typical RTS stuff, basically. It’s all pretty easy during the first few missions, but then the shit starts hitting the fan and the skill level ramps up rather dramatically. A lot of success in the war zone depends on creating enough units to garrison buildings, as well as creating a front line of offense and a back squadron of defense. Or a flanking squad. Or however you’d care to play it out.
And, if you can dig it, “Tiberium Wars” pulls out the classic FMV cut scenes that fans of the series have enjoyed for a while now. Hey, it’s great to see Michael Ironside adding his talents to another video game, but when Billy Dee Williams showed up, well, I knew we were in for some classy acting. Let me just say this, though: Billy, you look better when your hair hasn’t been processed through whatever godawful gel and product they made you wear for your part. You’re definitely no Lando here.
There are plenty of engaging and fun missions to work through here, as well as a skirmish and a multiplayer online mode. The problem is, like a lot of other RTS games, the damn thing just feels repetitive too soon. You either need to be a fan or just plain in the mood to sit down and tackle these games. If you’re not either/or one of those, then you’ll probably find yourself getting distracted early on and ready to quit. But then again, these games are generally marketed for the gamers who do love them.The “Kane Edition” is a limited number (no biggie on that aspect, really) product that features a bonus disc filled with the usual bonus disc stuff. You know, junk like blooper reels, a documentary, strategy guides and the like. There are also some extra maps to play with, so if you absolutely need everything that goes with this game from the start, then have at this special version. Otherwise, the game is fine as it is and the majority of the bonus bits are just extra fluff that don’t really factor into the overall enjoyment of the game. So to put it directly to you, “Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars” is a nice new addition to the series without making any read radical or new changes overall. Sometimes, though, a holding pattern can be the best move to make.