Crispy Gamer

Outlook 2010: Command & Conquer 4

Command & Conquer 4
Tom Chick

Tom Chick: There are two reasons I dread Command & Conquer 4. The first is that it seems to run counter to the very nature of real-time strategy games. The point of an RTS is that you get a box full of toys and you choose which ones to play with. Maybe a few soldiers here, and a whole bunch of helicopters, and a tank for later. Or maybe all upgraded tanks. Or maybe jeeps with artillery support. Wide-open choice is a hallmark of the genre. However, C&C 4 is drawing from the MMO business model of having to level up to unlock toys. Having tried various RTSes that attempt this online model, I'm not convinced it's going to work. The second reason I dread it is that Electronic Arts is notorious for compromising game design by doling out content. In C&C 4, this isn't just an afterthought come up with by the marketing guys. It's the basis for the game's design.

Troy Goodfellow

Troy Goodfellow: There are other reasons to dread this game, though, Tom. First, C&C 4 follows on the heels of the very annoying and very not good Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. Will this have the same micromanagement and super speed that made that game such a pain? Second, EA laid off a large part of the development team just after the game was deemed "finished enough" to let people go. The new MMO-inspired persistence is an intriguing idea, but I wonder how far they can really go with it before the traditional RTS audience turns its back on the game altogether. Command & Conquer is one of the great franchises in the genre, and I hate to see the Tiberium saga come to a close with so many question marks.

Our Outlook for the first half of 2010 continues...