On the 28th of March 2007, the Third Tiberium War was unleashed upon us. This legendary franchise was being brought back from the wilderness by the EALA team, and it was bringing something with it….’The Visitors’
On the 20th April 2006, EA officially announced Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, at the time a ‘working title’ and a title that would go on to, and still does cause much debate among C&C fans. Many people suggested a change in the name, Tiberian Twilight and Tiberian Dusk were both mooted by the fans, but the team led by Mike Verdu has stuck to their guns with the title Tiberium Wars.
However, the community has shaped the development of this game. We must credit jshu0107 for setting up cncvision as a site which, thanks to the regular polls and ‘Ideas’ threads both there, and on the official C&C3 forums have been acknowledged by the EA Community Representatives, Predator and Apoc as being read by the development team. Some successes jshu and the community as a whole are issues ranging from major; Blue Tiberium, to the smaller; roofs for the GDI Buggy.
The proof that community knows how to shape a game
While many people have lambasted EA for their handling of the C&C franchise, it is important to note that they have involved the community and kept us appraised of the development progress. With features such as the Newsletter, Developer Blogs, Podcasts and work from Predator and Apoc on the C&C3 forums and ‘away from home’ on sites such as gamereplays.org. Oh, and of course perhaps most significantly the Community Summit held before Christmas. This was where key figures from many relevant Command and Conquer fan sites were invited to the EALA studios to play the game and hold discussions with the Dev. Team…and they also had a great laugh while they were at it.
Tiberium Wars is based on EA’s SAGE game engine used in C&C: Generals and the Lord of the Rings series. It has been heavily updated and modified since we first saw it back in the day. From videos we have seen, explosions, gunfire and many other aspects were shaped up very well. Despite some early clipping issues and worries on the Juggernaut’s firing stance with the latest batch of videos, the game came to an excellent state engine wise.
Faction in the Tiberium Wars
Onto the factions, we have three of them. The Global Defense Initiative, The Brotherhood of Nod and a mysterious alien faction referred to as ‘The Visitors’ by Kane and ‘The Invaders’ by GDI forces. The campaign is multi-dimensional. You start as GDI and then take to the battle as Nod. You will end with the Alien forces. To intersperse the missions the classic FMV’s are returning as does Joe Kucan in reprising his role as Kane. Many other Hollywood stars will appear such as Billy Dee Williams and Michael Ironside. There are due to be 30+ missions; a key feature will be that choices made in the campaign will affect the story later on. You have been warned!
Changes to the gameplay
The gameplay has also gone under the scalpel so to speak. Those that followed the development of the game could see some shifts in the way GDI and The Brotherhood play (no more GDI Mechs). In general, only the Juggernaut remains, and Nod has a new top-level unit, The Avatar.
Despite some subtle changes the GDI remained focused on using pure power to dominate the battlefield; The Predator light tank is used for speed, while the Mammoth tank implemented a split-tread system that can roll in behind to pulverize the enemy.
Nod remains the faster-paced side to play; Flame Tanks although having undergone a massive face lift, again deal admirably with infantry. The Avatar Mech can be seen as one of the harder units to play, but in no way less powerful – having the ability to rip pieces of other units off to use itself –and this changes the dynamic of many battles. The Aliens use a different style; they have a basic unit which can swarm and a Tri-pod unit that can fire on multiple targets at once. The Alien units are comparatively weak against infantry but strong against vehicle units.
The highly desired update of the interface and multiplayer
The interface was changed at this point as well – while remaining in its core a C&C interface; a new innovative side bar was introduced. Rather than taking up a whole block as in previous games, this is an adaptable menu system allowing for the classic build from the sidebar that many fans love. However, units such as the Crane and Mini-MCV have been introduced to cater for fans of more modern RTS game mechanics.
The multiplayer aspect of the game was the main focus of the game for many people. As ever with the development of this game the development team have been aware of this fact and have put a lot of time and effort into making sure the multiplayer aspect of the game were up to scratch. They spent the last few weeks of development time to ensure the balance of the game was as fine-tuned as possible. As with the single player game you were able to play as the GDI, The Brotherhood, and the Scrin. Multiplayer had an eight player battle system with the inbuilt Clan Support 1v1, and 2v2 Clan battles were available.
Command and Conquer 3 was released on the Xbox360, a big step for the franchise moving into the Next Gen console world at that time. It maintained the same features as the PC version.
Ten years later – The state of multiplayer
Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars multiplayer was a successful addition to the game, and its legacy still lives on. Even now you can find a dozen or two active lobbies across different platforms where you can play the game. There are some issues with account creation, so it’s best to pick up the game on Steam as their support knows how to deal with that.