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Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars
(hx) 07:40 AM EDT - Jun,04 2007

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars is a sequel to the 1999 RTS title Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun and its expansion pack Firestorm by Westwood Studios. The original story tells us of the battle between the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and the Brotherhood of NOD, where you had to earn funds by harvesting Tiberium, which could then be spent on constructing new buildings and military units. The year is now 2047, and the spread of the alien substance,Tiberium, is beginning to take hold over the planet. Whilst the Global Defense Initiative is trying to contain the spread of the substance, the Brotherhood of NOD, led by their egotistical leader Kane, have other twisted plans. The Brotherhood of NOD hopes to use the Titanium in their plan to control the human race. These events results in a huge war between both factions. The plot is told through gorgeous FMV sequences, as with the first game. In recent years, FMV hasn't exactly been a much-used plot device, with in-game cut-scenes being preferred. However, the return to FMV marks an attempt to recreate some of the old-school flavour of the first game. Best of all, EA recruited some major talent that includes the likes of Michael Ironsides, Grace Park, Tricia Helfer, Jennifer Morrison and Joseph Kucan, who once again reprises his role of the charismatic NOD leader, Kane.

C&C3 Tiberium Wars brings back the classic factions of GDI and the Brotherhood of NOD, along with a new third faction, the Scrin, with each bringing its own play styles; GDI is heavy and slow, NOD is sneaky and fast and the Scrin (new alien faction) is fairly powerful but fragile. Each side collects Tiberium, the game's primary resource, with harvesters. Each side has infantry, vehicles and air forces with units that are strong against one unit type and weak against another. Each side gets access to special units, super weapons and abilities.

GDI relies mainly on its tanks, and while the infamous Mammoth MKII is sadly no longer with us, due to budget cuts, the new Mammoth MKIII is most defiantly a significant successor. The NOD forces have certainly seen an upgrade too. They came accompanied by the expected buggy, recon bike, stealth tank and flame tank etc. What's new and ready for action are the avatars, tall and strong walking death walkers. These two legged beasts can be upgraded by savaging other vehicles in Nod's arsenal; they can be equipped with flame, stealth detection, stealth generator and an improved beam weapon. Big, bad and rather effective for removing an opponent's base defenses. The Scrin, the new kids on the block, are a little stir to the mix. They don't act too differently from the GDI and Nod bases, but are sure pretty and interesting in their own right. They heal in Tiberium (!), they've got airborne harvesters, they've got tanks that power up by sucking up Tiberium and units that have rechargeable shields. Their basic anti-infantry unit is a swarm of bugs that moves in to envelop enemies and tear them to shreds. You can even slap the swarm on any Alien vehicle and they'll serve as a kind of defensive screen, following the unit around and disposing of nearby infantry. The units are relatively balanced across each faction, though with each campaign you start, there's a certain learning curve as you discover what does what, how to get the most out of them and what situations they best work in.

As you'd expect from the impressive backdrop, C&C3 Tiberium Wars has plenty of gameplay to go around. There are three absolutely epic campaigns, each from the viewpoint of one of the factions, with roughly forty missions in all. Likewise, the action takes place throughout much of the world, with missions occurring in the United States, Egypt, Brazil, Australia, Germany, and Italy, just to name a few locales. The missions all follow the same old formula of build a base, collect resources, start cranking out units and rush the enemy until victory is assured. Yeah, it's pretty standard fare.

Of course, the bigger battles are the most satisfying. Toward the end of the GDI campaign, you can enjoy playing some massive battles where you'll need hundreds of units to pull off a victory. The Nod campaigns emphasize fanaticism and stealth. You can send suicide bombers to take out a bunch of GDI defenses, but they're vulnerable to small weapons fire. The alien Scrin add some new dimensions to the game play, such as the shielded Tripods that you have to take out with either massive air attacks or Mammoth tanks. In some of the missions, the superweapons such as the Ion Cannon, which shoots giant beams down from space, are critical to breaching the enemy's defenses.
Fortunately, the game never becomes overly repetitive thanks to its dynamic feel. Firstly, the missions aren't all "search and destroy" based either, though the vast majority are of that ilk. Peppered through the campaigns are missions which start you off on the defensive, such as taking command of a base low on power with no ability to build new structures. You have to carefully manage your base's power consumption to balance between your perimeter defenses and the buildings inside to keep the frontline topped up with troops. These missions, though they still end in the usual way of building up a force and destroying the opposition, do provide a nice break from the usual missions. Secondly, each mission has several main objectives, but there are also several secondary objectives that can help ease the burden of overcoming your foes. Completing secondary objectives also has the notable result of often providing you with new intelligence briefings and the occasional in-mission cutscene, which really helps flesh out the game's story. There are also plenty of reasons to return to the campaign once you're done, since the game rewards you with medals based on your performance and tracks a good number of statistics for you to chew on.

The game also features a robust skirmish and multiplayer mode. There are close to two dozen maps for up to eight players, and the pitch-perfect placement of garrison-friendly buildings and central tiberium nodes will get you right into the action. Players can participate in 1v1, 2v2, and clan 1v1 and 2v2 ladders, each using separate rating systems, or they can choose to play unranked. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the new multiplayer setup is the Battlecast functionality, where games can have an announcer and players can watch any battle currently being played on a 10-minute delay (to avoid spotting for friends currently playing). Games can also be watched through replay once the match is over. Of course, the game also supports voice-over IP.

So, is Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars worth splashing the cash on? Definitely yes! Sure, the game lacks the revolutionary innovations introduced by competitors in recent years but it almost would not be Command and Conquer if it did. So, if you are a longtime fan of C&C, this game brings the goods to the battlefield. Get it! It's one of the finest real-time strategy games in years.

related links: official forum, trainers, patch v1.04, demo, get DVD

System requirements:
OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista (32-bit; 64-bit versions of Windows Vista are not supported),
CPU: Intel P4 2.0 GHz or AMD Athlon 2000+ for Windows XP / Intel P4 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon 2200+ for Windows Vista
RAM: 512 MB for Windows XP / 1 GB for Windows Vista
Video: DirectX 9.0c, NVIDIA GeForce 4+ or ATI Radeon 8500+ for Windows XP / NVIDIA GeForce 6100+ or ATI Radeon 9500+ for Vista (Note: ATI Radeon 9200 and 9250 PCI, NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX cards not supported)
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card (Note: For Creative Sound Blaster Audigy cards running under Windows Vista, Intel P4 2.6 GHz CPU or equivalent, or multi-core CPU, required)
Disk Drive: 8X or faster DVD-ROM drive
Hard Drive: 6 GB or more of free space
Multiplayer: 2 to 8 players with optional voice support, network or Internet connection required (Cable, DSL, or faster connection)


snd: 5/5 - sounds and voice acting are well done, nice music, some awkward transitions between songs
gfx: 5/5 - sufficiently upgraded to reflect the latest technology, visual effects are pretty awesome, FMV sections very well done, soldiers could look a bit better :-)
playability: 5/5 - excellent-dynamic-addictive, good fast action, small maps make for fast and frantic gameplay, solid AI, simple resource management, highly polished SP, no resource hog (game performed well with my old Athlon 3500+/2GB RAM and 6800GT), limited and simplistic research tree, limited scope for customizing units, a few bugs in MP
genre: sci-fi RTS
platform: PC (also available on Xbox 360)
release: March 2007
developer: EALA
publisher: EA
Excellent
Overall: 90%


last 10 comments:

darknothing(03:51 PM EDT - Jun,04 2007 )
i played this game for a few weeks, but i just started playing other stuff after that, i didnt find the MP to be fun at all just spamming units untill the other player is dead, the single play was fun but i didn't see a need to play it again after i beat it on the hardest difficulty.
fun game for me for a while.
good review on it.

Stumpus(04:30 PM EDT - Jun,04 2007 )
I love C&C3, although at times i've taken a break from it as it can get heavy in the later missions. (as hx has said)

I also like the fact that if your getting your butt kicked or you just want an easier ride, you can adjust the difficulty before each mission.

Overall, a very good review and a very good game -especialy if you haven't played C&C for a few years like me :wink:

The FMV has better acting than i've seen in some movies! ROFL

Safer(10:46 AM EDT - Jun,06 2007 )
C&C3 is pretty fun - enough fun that I have played it both on the PC and the 360 (mostly for the nice and easy points :3 ). Let's hope for a swift expansion pak!

lmer(11:23 AM EDT - Jun,06 2007 )
Wasn't blown away with this one personally. I'm still trying to beat every map in ZH skirmish on Hard difficulty. Enough C&C challenge for years to come.

Penetreitor(07:33 PM EDT - Jul,31 2007 )
This is an example about how the big enterprises and corporations destroy the good ideas.

After several versions of impecable Westwood RTS releases (C&C, Red Alert, Red Alert2, etc.) EA bought the product and they think can develope a good RTS game.

What we have now?

Nice graphics?, is this more important than the gameplay?

3D perspective environment, what kind of strategy can you handle in that way?, did you realize how difficult is select your units?, or have a general point of view for your tactics?, do you think that the real war games software use this perspective?

What about the random map, I'm still playing Red Alert 2, and every match is a new game, but of course..., it prevents to I buy a online account to EA isn't it?

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