Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

With this many troops firing on the enemy, we’ll soon have all the sweet Tiberium we can harvest.

 

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars hits the sweet spot in real-time strategy games, somehow making it fun to micromanage your resources, buildings, and troops. As in other RTS titles, players need to keep harvesting the land—in this case, gathering mysterious Tiberium crystals—to fund the production of buildings. Those buildings then create vehicles, fighters, and other units you can use to attack your opponent on the battlefield. Additional twists, such as maintaining enough power plants to give your growing encampments electricity, keep the game interesting. Command & Conquer 3 does nearly everything right, including providing extensive single-player options to play as the good or bad side, and online multiplayer match-ups. Even the things it gets wrong—goofy video sequences—are somehow so bad they’re good.

 

Command & Conquer 3 helpfully walks beginners through the first few game levels. Most missions follow a similar path, where you initially need to harvest Tiberium, build defenses, and then build an offensive force. But even with this linear approach, the game progressively adds more vehicles and challenges, so things stay fresh. Eventually, instead of just sending troops out into the battlefield, skilled players will put them in an armored personnel carrier, build special structures that heal infantry, and even upgrade units’ armor and weapons. The actual combat often plays out like a game of rock-paper-scissors; each unit has specific strengths and weaknesses against foes, adding more strategy.

 

Even after winning the single-player campaign, gamers have many other ways to continue. They can go back and play the same missions as the enemy side, with an alternate story, troops, and abilities. They can match up with players on a local network or online. There are even a dozen skirmish maps for quick sessions with no story.

 

Aside from a handful of bugs and user-interface omissions (memo to EA: Command-Q should always quit Mac software), Command & Conquer’s biggest mistake turns into a positive: its over-the-top story. B-movie-like video sequences detail exposition between missions. Those clips look like they were all shot in a single day; you can almost see the actors checking their watches during the production. But because the gameplay is so strong, we just laughed at the videos’ style.

 

The bottom line. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars nails the often-elusive balance of resources and strategy that makes an RTS fun.

 

COMPANY: Electronic Arts

CONTACT: www.ea.com
PRICE: $49.95

REQUIREMENTS: 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo or faster, Mac OS 10.4.9 or later, 1GB RAM, ATI X1600 or nVidia GeForce 7300 or later video card.
Terrific balance between RTS chores and battlefield conquest. Multiple ways to play through the game. Extensive unit upgrade path. Entertainingly bad videos

Occasional bugs and interface glitches. Intel Macs only.

 

 

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CPT KILLER

Should I assume that a Intel MacBook is a NO GO due to the integrated graphics?

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Anonymous

Thanks for the review, as a long time player of C&C this certainly whets my thirst!

However you missed the greatest bug - this runs only on intel Macs. My terribly weak Dual 1.42 Ghz PowerPC G4 isn't good enough.

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Roberto Baldwin

That's stated in the "minus" section at the bottom of the review. I feel your pain, I have the same machine at home.

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