Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight


posted 5/31/2010 by Tom Bitterman
other articles by Tom Bitterman
One Page Platforms: PC
Otherwise, the online experience is well-done.  Single-player and multi-player experience points count the same, so your solo adventures can help you unlock more powerful units for use online and vice versa.  The game blurs the boundaries between solo and multi-player play in an FPS-like way.  For on-line players this is great.  For solo players it means a short, poorly thought-out, haphazardly-balanced campaign.  Par for the course, really.

The aforementioned unit types are what make on-line play excel.  Both sides (GDI and Nod) produce three types of Crawlers – offensive, defensive and support.  The type of Crawler the player builds determines what sorts of units can be built.  Need to assault a base?  Pick an offensive Crawler and build for firepower.  Need to defend a base?  Pick a defensive Crawler and hunker down with tough units.  Need to defend a base you just took?  Lose the old offensive Crawler and have a new defensive one delivered.

How does this help on-line play?  Well, now not only is cooperative play available, but the players can choose different specialties.  Do you like to fiddle with the special powers while your buddy likes to blow things up?  Start a co-op game where you can be Support and he can be Offense.

Of course, this extends to competitive multi-player.  Much like, say, Team Fortress 2, different player styles can be accommodated by the different unit types.  It can be a downer, though, when you come up across a more experienced player who has unlocked more powerful units than you have.  This would be a good thing to fix in the future, so players could arrange matches between sides of equal strength.

Another nod to more FPS-style play is the constant action.  Now that there are no fixed resources that need to be harvested and no unit production buildings to be built there are no barriers to non-stop combat.  And that's what you'll get.  Your Crawler can pump out units as long as it has spare command points and dead units return their command points to the spare pool, so you will never be hamstrung by the loss of a limited resource.  At least until the Crawler itself is destroyed.  And even that can respawn.  There is enough carnage for everybody.

The graphics are good: informative and colorful.  They are busy in an exciting way with missiles and lasers all over.  There is a real sense of urgency to each engagement, with flashes of color and rapid movement drawing the player's attention into the action.  Controls are acceptable.  Nothing to ruin the game here, but nothing to write home about, either.

So how does the whole thing hang together?  Not that well, really.  There are decent gameplay mechanics, acceptable graphics and good multi-player options.  Unfortunately, the cut-scenes were awful, the story shallow, the DRM enraging, the single-player campaign lacking, and the unit lock-out mechanic can rub players the wrong way.

There was once a time where a single RTS could stand astride the entire genre.  Command and Conquer was that game, back in the day.  That time is no more.  C&C4: Tiberium Twilight is an acceptable game.  Nothing is really wrong with it, but nothing makes it stand out compared to the hundreds of other games in the genre.  It is an average game and so gets an average score.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.

Command and Conquer continues its tradition of existence to its fans.

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