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Command & Conquer Generals Q&A
(hx) 03:05 PM EDT - May,27 2002

Here is a short Q&A with Mark Skaggs (general manager of EA Pacific) as he talks about Command & Conquer Generals, the next installment in Westwood's C&C series which is in 3D and is set 20 years in the future and finds the US and China fighting against a rogue state. While Command & Conquer Generals is slated for release in december 2002 (hopefully), Skaggs said the game still has a lot of work before it is complete, but the show made it quite evident that this game is definitely worth the wait.

1. What is the basic storyline for Generals?

We've reinvented the Command & Conquer franchise with Generals, with a brand new storyline, units and tactics that have all been inspired by the technologies and ideologies of today's tumultuous world.

Generals spans between present day and 20 years into the future, and offers up a metaphor for today’s version of global warfare. Three very different sides are fighting for supremacy, the superpowers of the United States and China, along with an underground political terror organization, the Global Liberation Army. Each employs very different tactics in their war efforts. For example, the United States places a great deal of importance on human life, and thus has a small, but very capable, ground force among its weaponry. The Chinese, on the other hand, has a massive, swarming army that use their numbers to their advantage. China also has an affinity for fire and uses it in much of its weaponry. Finally, the Global Liberation Army relies on sneaky tactics and being hard to find...thus hard to kill.
2. What are some of the new gameplay elements we haven’t seen before in the C&C franchise?

I think the one of the most important, and certainly the most obvious, is the transition to a 3D engine, which gives the player even more of an immersive experience and also tense control over the battlefield. Aside from the beautiful graphics, the engine allows us to add some really unique and innovative gameplay elements. One of the big new features we’re adding to the C&C series is your choice of a powerful General. Depending on the General you choose, you’ll use completely different tactics and strategies to defeat your enemy. We’ve added a large number of other game play elements like upgrades, air-to-air combat, different resource collection methods and a new way to build your base. The engine also allows us to add some really spectacular special effects that will impact gameplay, including burning barricades, spectacular super weapon effects, and fully destroyable buildings and landscapes.

3. How will the single player campaign play out?

We've designed a 27-mission single player campaign that will unfold in a seamless, linear story, told in part by each of the three sides. The actual levels haven't been set yet, so I hesitate to go into specifics, but expect to see some things you’ve never seen in an RTS before.

4. Have you made any design changes to the basic RTS formula?

For C&C Generals, I think we’ve gone a step further in making improvements to the basic RTS formula. We're having to find a balance though, because we want people to be able to jump right into the game, but also at the same time, we realize that players always want to be entertained in new and more innovative ways. One of the big changes we’ve made is to move the interface from the side of the screen to the bottom. We did this to open up the number of special abilities we could assign to each unit. We’ve also added a unique resource gathering mechanism to each side, and changed the way players build bases. Add these elements to a whole new set of units and the ability to pick which General you take into battle, and you can see the scope of change we’re introducing with this game.

5. Will the game feature "hero" characters that continue through the campaign?

We actually have a combination of features that are a bit different from the standard "hero" characters of other RTS games. We still have "hero" units in the game similar to Tanya/Yuri/Boris in Red Alert 2 and Yuri’s revenge, but we also have the "General" that you select before each mission. The General will be a battlefield unit, but more importantly, he will provide you with specialized units, upgrades, economic bonuses and unique abilities. With respect to either of these units continuing through the campaign, we’ve got a lot of ideas in that area.

6. What are some of the units and structures we'll see in the game?

In designing the units, vehicles and structures in Generals, we've drawn inspiration from what we see on a real-world battlefield now...and what we may see over the next 20 years. We’re still finalizing the unit list, but there are a couple of stand out units that we can talk about right now. One of the cool units for the US is a top-secret Aurora Strike Fighter that moves at supersonic speeds to deliver bombs to enemy bases, as well as drones that perform various functions on the battlefield. The Chinese have tank called the "Dragon tank" that spreads waves of flame across the battlefield, along with Hackers who cause havoc on an enemy’s infrastructure. Finally, the GLA is more of a deadly rag-tag army that uses sneakiness as their strength. The GLA has the ability to recruit an Angry Mob of protestors while using their tunnel networks to pop-up just about anywhere on the map. After we nail down the final list of units and structures for each side, we’ll be able to give more details on each.

7. Where will the game take place?

We're still finalizing out all the locations, but players will fight on a variety of battlefields across Asia and Europe. Battles will be fought on a variety of terrain, from urban landscapes to mountainous deserts.

8. What are two or three features in the game are you most excited about?

Of the features we’ve already announced, I like the Generals and the way the three sides are shaping up to be very different play experiences. experiences. However, there are some features and solo play experiences that I cant talk about right now :)

Note: I strongly recommend you to check this E3 Generals trailer at  (it's not the ingame video seen at Gamespot) that gives you a general idea of what the the cutscenes will be like in C&C:Generals.

C&C Generals Features:
  • Modern Military Warfare - Unleash your fury using modern and near-future military weaponry on the bleeding-edge of technology. Wage real-time war in more ways than ever before, with thrilling air-to-air duels, urban combat, and an enhanced veterancy model.
  • Command Your General - Select from nine powerful Generals, each with special strengths and a unique vehicle unit. Direct the NATO Tank General to smother the opposition with raw power or let loose the Chinese Secret Police General to spot and capture hidden enemies.
  • Three Ways to Dominate - Command one of three unique armies inspired by real-world ideologies: the high-tech US force, the swarming Chinese war machine, or the resourceful Global Liberation Army.
  • State-of-the-art 3D ‘SAGE’ Engine - Experience Command & Conquer in unprecedented detail as you battle it out in full 3D on urban cityscapes, rugged deserts and frozen wastelands. Real-time strategy never looked so sharp!
  • All-new Units and Tactics - Assemble your war machine with top-secret Aurora Strike Fighters, massive Dragon Tanks, Angry Mobs, skilled Hackers and over 60 other distinct units. Bring death from above with your side’s exclusive super weapon - the US Air Fuel Bomb, the Chinese Nuclear Missile, or the GLA Scud Storm.
  • Multiplayer Mayhem - Wreak havoc online by going head-to-head in all-out global domination with a multitude of other players.

release: 2002/12
developer: EA Pacific
publisher: homepage

last 10 comments:

Raymond XXXposted - May, 30 2002 - 11:08
Wow!!wow and wow. that's only the word i can say. Westwood gonna do it again. Their success in RTS game is incredible. Westwood creates the serial of C&C which are the legendary game best ever. I hope this game will release soon as possible

Samuel Avellanoposted - Jul, 12 2002 - 07:01
How come people kept on talking about CnC Generals there isnt even a demo to download it.

ArgCmdrposted - Aug, 31 2002 - 21:21
This is not Westwood...This is EA Pacific

Mike@Mike@beta2002posted - Nov, 09 2002 - 18:18
This game Rocks i have always been a CnC fan and this game looks Very good Peace

Davidposted - Feb, 16 2003 - 13:55
i dont understand, what happen whit Westwood, ??

Maceposted - Apr, 21 2003 - 21:47
I wonder if westwood or EA pacific made the game.. doesn't look like westwood made it but it says its property of westwood, How weird!!

ArgCmdrposted - May, 07 2003 - 13:47
Westwood doesnt exist anymore. Electronic arts dissolved it, first into a Westwood Division (Las Vegas) and EA-Pacific (Irvine, California), and now its dissolved both (firing most oldest Westwood workers meanwhile), into Electronic Arts - Los Angeles, aka EA-LA

GENERAALposted - May, 26 2005 - 13:00
this game is the best pc game ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lost-Edenposted - Jun, 18 2005 - 08:19
ArgCmdr - a@a.a posted - Aug, 31 2002 - 21:21 This is not Westwood...This is EA Pacific Thats right pal !!! This aint Westwood you could see it in the Gameplay.

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