Command & Conquer has been one of the most popular strategy game franchises, spawning numerous sequels and spin-offs like Red Alert. Thus, it’s an understatement to say that the next game in the series was hugely anticipated, both by fans of the original and the gaming community in general – it was obvious that a new hit was on its way to the shelves.
What we got somewhat clashed with expectations though – even though the game turned out very well-done and polished, it was a large departure from the previous ones in terms of gameplay. Instead of using the standard mechanic of gathering resources and using them to build a base and a strong army, C&C 4 plays more like a real-time tactics game, having the player capture various control points across the map. The goal is to control as many points as possible over time, which eventually leads to victory.
You can again play as the main rivalling factions in the game’s storyline, the NOD and the GDI, and your units are separated into several groups based on their role on the battlefield. Your success depends on picking the appropriate combination of units for the situation and using them correctly, with a lot more focus on micromanagement than the previous games, which focused more on building massive armies and spamming units.
Graphics and System Requirements
The game looks well enough for a strategy, even if it does come across as a bit outdated in several aspects. You’ll find the graphics pleasing to the eye even on a large monitor running a standard resolution, and some of the special effects utilized for the units are very well-executed. There’s been a lot of emphasis on using visuals to better aid the gameplay, and this shines through in many spots of the game.
The system requirements are bearable, and there’s quite a large gap between the two ends of the requirements list – relatively old computers shouldn’t have much trouble running the game, but of course don’t expect to enjoy a lot of its beautiful visuals. For that, you’ll have to get yourself an upgraded computer, but it won’t be necessary for just playing and enjoying the game.
Even though a lot of the accent here is on the game’s online play and competitive capabilities, make sure you give the single player a go as well. It may not be as heavily defined as in the previous games, but you’ll still get a well-written saga with your favorite characters – and yes, the game does still feature those awesome live-action cutscenes, so you’ll have something to watch inbetween the missions as well.
You may consider this to be a strange addition to the C&C series if you’re a fan of the previous games, but you should still give it a go and disregard what you may expect about it. It won’t be just another C&C strategy game in the line of all the others, but it should definitely be remembered as something unique.