Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
Game Review - by StormDaemon
GDI has gained a new General by the name of James Soloman (played by James Earl Jones) and a new commander that is your alter ego. His name is Michael McNeil and Michael Biehn plays him. You must guide either GDI as McNeil or NOD as Anton Slavik, a commander of one of the Nod factions.
Along the way you'll encounter the Forgotten, a tribe of people that were mutated by Tiberium, an alien crystal. All three factions will be battling for both survival and supremacy, and it'll be up to you to determine who wins.
The first and foremost feature is the new and absolutely improved graphics engine. Westwood has done an incredible job with the use of new graphical technology to produce maps and units that both and act realistically. All of the maps have detail down to the nth degree and have really sweet features such as day and night lighting, and multi-colored lighting.
Along with the great graphics, there is the riveting storyline that makes use of in-game and in-between mission movies that are superbly produced. The acting, the graphics, and the sets are awesome and are the equivalent of a grand movie production. Everything was finely meshed together to create a believable and exciting story.
Once you get through watching the movies, of which you won't be able to get enough of, you'll be thrust into the next level of strategy gaming that has superior artificial intelligence, superior control, and superior re-playability. Just one mission is not enough because you'll be coming back for more and more of the intense, strategy filled missions that comprise Tiberian Sun.
You'll be able to just play alone, or against other opponents in the new and improved multiplayer which features as a great advancement the capability of creating random maps for endless hours of conquering. All those features and so much more help to make this game as great as it is.
If you aren't familiar with the genre, then you should be able to pick up the gameplay fairly quick. The manual is a must for those that haven't played RTS games before though because the sheer number of things to create and use. Whether it is infantry that can hurl explosive discs long distances or flame thrower tanks that can burrow underground, there is enough units to keep any newbie or hardened veteran busy for hours trying to develop that almost perfect strategy for world domination.
The creation of an elaborate strategy is an art form in Tiberian Sun because of the difficulty the designers have put into the game. Whoever has played the previous C&C games will remember how quickly a huge tank force could be amassed and thrown toward the enemy. Well, in this game, the playing field is a whole lot different. The tiberium harvester is slower, which means that it takes a good while to accumulate money, which in turn means that infantry plays a bigger part in this game. I can barely remember using a machine gunner in the previous games, but in Tiberian Sun, they are used often.
With the slow resources, you have to use your units wisely and keep them in good health, otherwise you'll be crushed by the enemy forces. Bigger units now can change the course of a battle, and a few underground drilling troop transports on the side of Nod can really ruin your day if you are GDI, or make your day if you are Nod.
Another great strategic advancement is the use of a waypoint system that can stay in place over time. Not only does this relieve the tedious and time-consuming effort of directing your troops throughout the map just to get to a staging area for an attack, but it also allows units to patrol an area and attack enemies as necessary. Units that can heal others can also be put on the patrol route and heal units as they come near damaged ones. The waypoints can even be put into a loop, allowing for continuous patrol activity, which takes a large burden off of you and allows for better warning if your enemy is going to stage an attack.
Aside from all of the strategy and counter-strategy, the game is just a lot of fun to play. Whether you want to relieve some tension by blowing up large amounts of enemy troops, or if you want the satisfaction of knowing that you have conquered an equal, if not better, opponent, then you'll certainly get what you want out of Tiberian Sun.
Since the interface is rather intuitive, just about anyone can jump right in and get a semblance of a game going. You don't even necessarily need some spectacular strategy to have fun, you may get pummeled, or you may beat down your enemy. Either way, playing is just a lot of fun to do, and especially to watch.
At time though, you won't be able to see a lot of the detail because it gets dark after a while; yes, that's right, they have actual lighting that simulates day and night. Once it gets dark, though, you'll have to watch out for the towers that have spotlights searching around for any enemy activity and also for enemies of yours that are sneaking around in the darkness. Along with regular lighting, the dark red glow of Nod buildings, and the neon green and blue glow of Tiberium also permeates the land.
Not only is the lighting incredible, but the detail of everything is just as good. Units are detailed down to the tiniest bit, as are the buildings, which are very sci-fi and high tech looking. The mechs that GDI has are detailed right down to their feet, which clomp down in the ground. Once those mechs start wandering around and blowing up things, you'll get to see detailed explosions that look great and send pieces of the enemy flying in all directions.
The movies are also just as detailed and are absolutely awesome. An incredible cast that acted very well combined with the latest in computer graphics made a completely believable world that is hard to deny as being one of the best in game set of movies ever created. They set a new standard when putting together the story, the actors, and the graphics all into a really sweet package. The actual computer graphics themselves were above the level and even beyond some. There isn't anything cheesy at all in these movies, and after viewing just one, you'll want to watch even more.
After so heavily advocating the awesome graphics in the game, I must mention, in all fairness, the most major fault in the graphical department. I'm sure anyone that plays the game will have it jump out in their faces, and they'll be slightly disappointed.
I'm speaking of the infantry units on all sides. When you put a little gunner next to any other unit, you'll notice that the gunner was so simply made that it is ridiculous. A few colors combined with little to no detail are extremely disappointing. I can't comprehend why that decision was made-- maybe it was for sped up graphics when hundreds of troops were battling on the screen. That would be a good excuse but with all the incredible detail that pervades the rest of the game, I can't see why the infantry is so simple. No matter though, that is just a tiny part that isn't so noticeable at 800x600.
The two main voices you'll hear during the game are EVA and Cabal. EVA is the voice of the computer for GDI, while Cabal is the voice of the computer for Nod. Whenever you build something, create new troops, lose troops or just about anything else, you'll be notified by the computer. Your troops will also be an indicator of what is going on because they'll voice their recognition of a command given, or they'll be screaming if they are under attack.
If something important is going down, a little in game movie will pop up in the top right corner, and you'll get to listen to the soldiers on the battlefield give you reports of what is going on. This is usually an introduction to the mission and serves as a good booster for the storyline.
The music is just as good as the sounds of gunfire and huge explosions, which sound spectacular. If you ever heard the techno like music of the first two C&C games, you'll be reminded of them with the new even better soundtrack that accompanies this game.
The music is perfect for the mood and stays out of the foreground of attention, just as game music should. It's futuristic and techno and has an awesome beat that will make you want to listen to more. Certain editions of the game also come with an extra CD that contains all of the music tracks for play in your favorite CD player.
Tiberian Sun very much reinforces that idea, and brings an incredibly huge game out into world. Most games are barely worth the money you pay for them, but not TS. This game is worth much more than what you pay, because if you look at everything that has been put together in this game, you'll see how truly awesome it is. My point, and bottom line, is that just about anyone can enjoy this game. They may not sit down and play it for hours on end every day like a large number of war gamers will, but they still can watch the movies and play around with the units enough that they'll have fun. I heartily recommend this game to everyone.
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