Command & Conquer 4 GamesCom 2009 PreviewBy Andrew Pfister - Posted Aug 21, 2009
I feel a bit ill-prepared for the finale to Command & Conquer's Tiberium story arc -- coming into a series on the last chapter rarely works out ("Wait, that's Solid Snake's mom?"). So I went into my Command & Conquer 4 demo at GamesCom with open ears and paying very close attention. When co-lead designer and story lead Sam Bass started describing the game's Support class as the way to go for people who are unskilled or intimidated by RTS games (*hand raised*), then I was able to see myself exploring the C&C universe after all these years.
The story goes that the planet's Tiberium infestation has reached a critical level, and the GDI is at a loss as to what to do about it -- that is, until series nemesis Kane marches in and offers a possible solution to their shared problem (more games should use live action cutscenes, by the way).
Our live demo begins with the 5th mission in the GDI campaign: a giant GST transport ship, the one they use to transport and launch the game's crawler bases, has been downed planetside and repairs need to be made to get her back into service. But NOD forces are in the area making that difficult, so you need to retrieve the needed materials to make the repairs and provide enough time to get the GST ship-shape again.
Bass selected the Offense class Crawler (the third and final class is Defense), and immediately began to make his way through the desert badlands terrain looking for the necessary repair materials. During the course of this, he came across some burrowed NOD units that turned a terrain chokepoint into an ambush. After dealing with the threat, finding the gear and returning to the GST, there was one last defensive stand which showed off GDI units like the Sandstorm, a mobile missile launcher. We also got to see the Crawler's top-mounted turrets, which you can get via upgrades.
I really don't play too many RTS games, but there are a couple of things that have me really interested in C&C4. Aside from the support class -- which is totally my speed -- the multiplayer is objective-based, which means you can respawn after dying. And during the campaign, you gain experience, level up, and are able to start customizing your class -- the hottest trends in my preferred genre of FPS.