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E3 2013: Command and Conquer (Hands On)

by: Chuck -
More On: E3 2013 Command & Conquer
Here's a ProTip for you when you play Command and Conquer, a Gaming Nexus exclusive if you will.  When you play Command and Conquer don't accidentally sell off all of your buildings at the start of the game as it leads to instant defeat.  I tell you this as this totally happened to the guy next to me at the demo room yesterday and not me.  Definitely not me.
With that out of the way the new Command and Conquer does look solid so far.  While Victory Games doesn't have a release date for the game yet they are expecting to have the game out by the end of the year.   The free to play game will feature three factions: the EU, the Asian Pacific Alliance, and the Global Liberation Army (GLA).  Each faction has five generals to choose from and each general has their own special units and abilities. 
The team at Victory has flushed out each faction a bit with the GLA getting the most love.  What was once a fairly stereotypical mid-eastern terrorist organization is now a bit more global in their reach with members from around the world. 
I spent about 25 minutes playing the skirmish mode against an enemy AI and it feels exactly like you would expect a Command and Conquer game to.  There's the usual resource collection (gold and oil), base building, unit creation, and combat.  What took me back was that the game was using the Frostbite 3 engine as it makes a huge difference.  Not only are the graphics great but there's a level of destruction and explosions that I haven't seen in a RTS game before.  It doesn't really impact gameplay but it does make the combat that much more engaging. 
I was also impressed with the generals themselves and how much personality they have in the game.  We've seen some of that in Generals before but this really elevates it to a new level.
The game does look and play well and I'm interested to see the monetization structure behind the game.  The folks at Victory are committed to making sure the game isn't "Pay to Win"  but I'm interested to see where they land on where players will spend money.  Outside of that and the some fit and polish stuff I can see the game becoming something that RTS fans will want to sink their time into.