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The Details On Command & Conquer 4

We get an up-close look at what could be Kane's final ride into the sunset.


This big walker gets big holes blown in it as it takes enemy fire, making for an impressive demo of the game's graphical capabilities.
When it was first announced that a team at EALA was developing Command & Conquer 4 for release on PC in 2010, it felt like too much, too soon. Since the 2007 release of Command & Conquer 3, that studio has produced two full RTS games, each with its own expansion pack. I suppose I had just gotten a little RTS'd out. That's why EALA's recent visit to our office with a playable version of Command & Conquer 4 turned out to be such a pleasant surprise. The structure of the game looks like a pretty serious departure from what series fans are used to, which could shake things up in a way that appeals to new players while still offering enough of what makes C&C tick to keep the existing players on-board.

The big thing that first struck me about watching C&C4 in action is that it looks like a quicker, more nimble game than its predecessors. This game isn't about building a big base, entrenching, and sending out waves of units to secure your expansion across the map. Heck, in C&C4, you don't even really build a base. Instead, you're working with the crawler, a mobile construction unit that can build all of your other units while rolling around the battlefield. The catch is that it can only store four units while moving. So you'll have to deploy the crawler to let your units out onto the map. This means you aren't building war factories and barracks to build your combat units. Your crawler handles all of that for you. On top of that, if the crawler gets destroyed, it'll respawn, letting you continue the battle.

So without building structures and teching-up in the traditional fashion, unit selection is now handled by a class type, selected when you spawn your crawler. The offense class gets the heaviest units. The defense class gets infantry units, but can also build defensive turrets, useful for guarding locations. The support class controls the skies with its aircraft and can also buff other units with special abilities. But you won't have immediate access to the game's most powerful units. You'll have to earn them.

A look at the game's HUD. In-mission FMV holographically pops up above the unit box in the lower-right corner instead of blocking your view of the map. 
Command & Conquer 4's experience system is persistent across every mode in the game, from the campaign to offline skirmish matches to online play. An on-screen experience bar lets you know how close you are to the next level, and gaining levels confers benefits in the form of additional units, support powers, and other abilities. There will be multiple ways to gain experience, including the elimination of enemy units, completing objectives, and so on. It sounds like the developers are still determining whether players will have one experience level overall or one level per class.

The multiplayer gameplay in C&C4 will allow for two teams of five to face off in objective-based matches. One such mode will place a number of control points around the map, giving defensive players something to guard while offensive players head out to conquer additional control points. This sounds like it'll really take advantage of the class-based systems in place. Additionally, you'll be able to change classes between spawns, but changing classes will destroy any units you may have on the battlefield to prevent players from simultaneously controlling units from different classes.

The mysterious thing about Command & Conquer 4 seems to be the number of playable factions, but maybe I'm just reading into this. EA is only committing to two factions--GDI and Nod, naturally--but executive producer Mike Glosecki, who came by to show us the game, said that they're only confirming the two main factions "at this time." Take that how you will, I'm probably making a big deal out of nothing... right? Either way, it left me wondering about whatever happened to the Scrin, the alien race that debuted in C&C3. As Command & Conquer 4 is being billed as the conclusion of the series' main story, we'll probably be able to see all of those loose ends tied up when the game is released in 2010.     Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff

This big walker gets big holes blown in it as it takes enemy fire, making for an impressive demo of the game's graphical capabilities.
When it was first announced that a team at EALA was developing Command & Conquer 4 for release on PC in 2010, it felt like too much, too soon. Since the 2007 release of Command & Conquer 3, that studio has produced two full RTS games, each with its own expansion pack. I suppose I had just gotten a little RTS'd out. That's why EALA's recent visit to our office with a playable version of Command & Conquer 4 turned out to be such a pleasant surprise. The structure of the game looks like a pretty serious departure from what series fans are used to, which could shake things up in a way that appeals to new players while still offering enough of what makes C&C tick to keep the existing players on-board.

The big thing that first struck me about watching C&C4 in action is that it looks like a quicker, more nimble game than its predecessors. This game isn't about building a big base, entrenching, and sending out waves of units to secure your expansion across the map. Heck, in C&C4, you don't even really build a base. Instead, you're working with the crawler, a mobile construction unit that can build all of your other units while rolling around the battlefield. The catch is that it can only store four units while moving. So you'll have to deploy the crawler to let your units out onto the map. This means you aren't building war factories and barracks to build your combat units. Your crawler handles all of that for you. On top of that, if the crawler gets destroyed, it'll respawn, letting you continue the battle.

So without building structures and teching-up in the traditional fashion, unit selection is now handled by a class type, selected when you spawn your crawler. The offense class gets the heaviest units. The defense class gets infantry units, but can also build defensive turrets, useful for guarding locations. The support class controls the skies with its aircraft and can also buff other units with special abilities. But you won't have immediate access to the game's most powerful units. You'll have to earn them.

A look at the game's HUD. In-mission FMV holographically pops up above the unit box in the lower-right corner instead of blocking your view of the map. 
Command & Conquer 4's experience system is persistent across every mode in the game, from the campaign to offline skirmish matches to online play. An on-screen experience bar lets you know how close you are to the next level, and gaining levels confers benefits in the form of additional units, support powers, and other abilities. There will be multiple ways to gain experience, including the elimination of enemy units, completing objectives, and so on. It sounds like the developers are still determining whether players will have one experience level overall or one level per class.

The multiplayer gameplay in C&C4 will allow for two teams of five to face off in objective-based matches. One such mode will place a number of control points around the map, giving defensive players something to guard while offensive players head out to conquer additional control points. This sounds like it'll really take advantage of the class-based systems in place. Additionally, you'll be able to change classes between spawns, but changing classes will destroy any units you may have on the battlefield to prevent players from simultaneously controlling units from different classes.

The mysterious thing about Command & Conquer 4 seems to be the number of playable factions, but maybe I'm just reading into this. EA is only committing to two factions--GDI and Nod, naturally--but executive producer Mike Glosecki, who came by to show us the game, said that they're only confirming the two main factions "at this time." Take that how you will, I'm probably making a big deal out of nothing... right? Either way, it left me wondering about whatever happened to the Scrin, the alien race that debuted in C&C3. As Command & Conquer 4 is being billed as the conclusion of the series' main story, we'll probably be able to see all of those loose ends tied up when the game is released in 2010.    
Staff
Posted by Coltonio7

Persistence!? In an RTS!?  Every mode!?
 
Sounds rad =D

Posted by Daryl

yawn.

Posted by Seedofpower

God, EA. Please stop.

Posted by Vorbis

HUD is all wrong, wheres the sidebar?

Posted by Chewii101

Wtf. Come on. I going to sound like an old turd but EA has really fucked up this once awe-inspiring franchise. They're trying to cram in Company of Heroes/Dawn of War's style while trying to please the old fans but really, they just ruined it all together. Ugh. This just pisses me off. 

Posted by ashbash

I really want to get into a RTS but I just can't be bothered to learn a new type of game genre from scratch. I don't think I'll be bothering with this title.

Posted by Kolonel_Kool
@Chewii101 said:
" Wtf. Come on. I going to sound like an old turd but EA has really fucked up this once awe-inspiring franchise. They're trying to cram in Company of Heroes/Dawn of War's style while trying to please the old fans but really, they just ruined it all together. Ugh. This just pisses me off.  "
True, true.
Posted by Civvie

Sooooo I cant use a mamoth walker from the start because i need to LVL myself up to use it ? Am I reading that right?

Edited by Rasgueado

Sounds like they took a cue from some aspects Homeworld has.

Posted by IncredibleBulk92

Seems to me more like a World in Conflict style game, 4 classes to fight as each with different units and abilities that rely on each other to function effectively.  Think I'd rather have more World in Conflict tho 2bh. 
 
Weird how last week they were talking about NOD and GDI forging an alliance to save the world and this week their releasing screenshots of them fighting.  Not like I actually expected this to be a damn greenpeace clean up the planet game or something.

Posted by Th3_James

>_>

Edited by CitizenKane

 

GDI Mastadon

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This reminds me of the AT-AT in the Empire Strikes Back.
Posted by crusnchill

Guys! don't decide yet. Do what I'm going to do. which is, take a wait and see approach.
Posted by Delta_Ass
@CitizenKane said:
"  
GDI Mastadon
        This reminds me of the AT-AT in the Empire Strikes Back. "
I thought that as well, good sir.
Posted by Ineedaname

Every game is an RPG these days.

Posted by Dane

i love greg kasavin

Posted by Gargantuan

This looks really interesting. I might have to buy it. hmm, Now I want to buy C&C 3 too.

Posted by RIDEBIRD

Well, it doesn't seem you've played every C&C, ever, like me. This series needs a goddamn reboot, and I'm glad they did it. RA3 is great and awesome but it does feel a bit old really, even though they did alot of new stuff there too. C&C3 was just Generals in a new costume, which was fine but didn't exactly entice the mind.

Posted by SunKing

I liked DoW and CoH for their gameplay and unique focus on units, upgrades and levelling system, special abilities, tactical cover, etc. I like C&C for its base building, teching, turtling, resource mining, massing, big-ass superweapons and units. That's what C&C is – or used to be, at least. 
 
From your limited description of the game mechanics, it's really just sucked out my  enthusiasm for the game big-time. It may end up being a good, or even great, game, but it's not really the type of RTS I'd want C&C to be. 
 
That's just an initial reaction, anyway. Maybe the idea will grow on me. At the moment, though, count me unimpressed. :(

Edited by dagas

Another game for the 'modern generation' read people that all have attention defecit disorder. What happened to RTS games being about building a base and making strategic decisions? These days you need the reflexes of an FPS guy and the multi-tasking of an air traffic controller. Each unit has to have a billion different skills you need to micro. Soon you'll need to manually wipe their butt before a battle and babysit them so they don't kill themselves because you didn't touch them for 5 seconds. It used to be you could sit back and enjoy a nice little mind battle with a friend. Now it's rushing after 1min of gameplay and constant adrenaline pumping and everything is over after 5min as if you were playing Quake 3.
 
I blame the Zerg!

Posted by stinky

bit early for me to pass judgement, but after playing 3 they had to do something. it was getting old.

Posted by nick69

it sounds interesting. I might pick it up

Posted by JoeH

For me CnC3 and RA3 were the last RTS warriors amongst a sea of action games masquerading as RTS *cough*DoW2, WiC*cough*. But now, they have to jump on the band wagon.
 
I'm still open to this game, but instead of leaping blindly into this game as i did with previous ones. I shall tread carefully as not to crack my skull on the rocks of dumbed down RTSs.

Posted by Jambones

Haven't played C & C since the first Red Alert, so I doubt this would affect players like me. I just think the whole shift to everyone making 'baseless' RTSs a bit strange.

Posted by JoeH

Worst thing about this is that the base RESPAWNS. One of the main tactics of CnC and RA is to destroy their MCV, then cranes, then war factories. But this time it's ok because EA is here to cater to the casual gamers! YAY! Don't worry if your base blows up, you get a new one!

Posted by caseylakes

I do not like the sound of the crawler.

Posted by babblinmule
@Ertard said:
" Well, it doesn't seem you've played every C&C, ever, like me. This series needs a goddamn reboot, and I'm glad they did it. RA3 is great and awesome but it does feel a bit old really, even though they did alot of new stuff there too. C&C3 was just Generals in a new costume, which was fine but didn't exactly entice the mind. "
I think this man has hit the nail squarely on the head. Honestly, the series has been doing the same thing for the last 14 years, and despite how much I love the series, it needs a bit of a shake up.
Posted by SunKing
@JoeH said:
" Worst thing about this is that the base RESPAWNS. One of the main tactics of CnC and RA is to destroy their MCV, then cranes, then war factories. But this time it's ok because EA is here to cater to the casual gamers! YAY! Don't worry if your base blows up, you get a new one! "
It can't be how it appears. I have a hard time believing that blowing up an enemy's MCV won't effectively end the game.
Posted by drik
@Ineedaname said:
" Every game is an RPG these days. "
I say that every day, I`m sick and tired of this trend.
Posted by JoeH
@SunKing: I really do hope that it isn't like it sounds... Otherwise this game is gonna suck.
Edited by SunKing
@babblinmule: I just think they need to give the series a break. It will be twelve years after the original Starcraft when its sequel comes out. EA could learn a thing or two from Blizzard in this sense.
Edited by Sharpshooter

I like the idea of the "Mobile base" , for lack of a better term. It seems like a natural evolution of the universe. SInce Tiberium is taking over the world people won't want to set up expensive military bases in areas where the "green death" is growing. So now instead of just the MCV moving out when Tiberium gets too close the whole base just walks out of the area. Maybe I'm reading too much into this but I like the way this sounds.

Posted by Waffles13
@dagas said:
" Another game for the 'modern generation' read people that all have attention defecit disorder. What happened to RTS games being about building a base and making strategic decisions? These days you need the reflexes of an FPS guy and the multi-tasking of an air traffic controller. Each unit has to have a billion different skills you need to micro. Soon you'll need to manually wipe their butt before a battle and babysit them so they don't kill themselves because you didn't touch them for 5 seconds. It used to be you could sit back and enjoy a nice little mind battle with a friend. Now it's rushing after 1min of gameplay and constant adrenaline pumping and everything is over after 5min as if you were playing Quake 3.  I blame the Zerg! "
Wholeheartedly agree. I loved Tiberian Sun and RA2, the C&C games I grew up with. Hell, I loved supreme commander because even though to be good you needed to micro the hell out of it, I just liked building a giant goddamn army and then nuking the shit out of an enemy. It was FUN, dammit, not some giant test of skill like every game needs to be these days. I want a game that I can play in a laid back manner against computers or friends, none of this anonymous tournament scene bullshit that C&C has been about since 3.
Posted by Xiemos2

Mehhhhhhhhhhh.

Posted by lemon360
@dagas said:
" Another game for the 'modern generation' read people that all have attention defecit disorder. What happened to RTS games being about building a base and making strategic decisions? These days you need the reflexes of an FPS guy and the multi-tasking of an air traffic controller. Each unit has to have a billion different skills you need to micro. Soon you'll need to manually wipe their butt before a battle and babysit them so they don't kill themselves because you didn't touch them for 5 seconds. It used to be you could sit back and enjoy a nice little mind battle with a friend. Now it's rushing after 1min of gameplay and constant adrenaline pumping and everything is over after 5min as if you were playing Quake 3.  I blame the Zerg! "
don't even try to blame zerg
Posted by RJMacReady

EA RTS spam, no thanks.

Posted by Bucketdeth

No thanks, I'm waiting for Starcraft 2.
Posted by ryanwho

So I can't tell, are the bitches bitching because 'omg they tried something new' or 'omg same old thing' or 'omg never played one but Starcraft 2 is around the corner so fuck this'? Just wondering.

Posted by Reverseface

You don't build a base?? Ok i'm out.. DoW 2 tried to do that and it was utter shite.
Posted by ryanwho

Turtling for ten minutes then taking your bulked out swarm to the enemy home base. That doesn't even sound like a game. Are people bitching because they can't turn C&C into a none game anymore?

Posted by lasafrog

EA < R-TARDS 
 
 
Kasavin get out while you can. You're too good to belong to that bozo operation.
Posted by tekmojo

Called it, EA backing down from RTS, doesn't surprise me, even though these new details sound horrible, it's better than what C&C has been in the past. Still, that isn't the greatest compliment.

Posted by Turambar
@SunKing: Oh give it up.  Any changes to the game's formula does not automatically mean "lol, god damn casuals."
Edited by OldManLight

seems like they're missing the point.  people like c&c because they like playing that type of game.  If they want to build a dawn of war 2 using the C&C name, it should at least be treated as a spinoff.  not this abomination of a sequel.  i personally have always liked the base building aspect of C&C ever since i played the 1st one in DOS way back when,  sucks to see a series like love do stuff like this.  To be honest, I barely had enough time to get tired of C&C3 before red alert 3 came along so this is a definite non-buy for me.

Posted by Peredur

Hey, I just want to see what Joe Kucan's going to do. That man knows spectacle.

Posted by Pibo47

I am soooooooooo pumped for this game!

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Sounds cool. Despite what many people say, the RTS genre certainly needs a breath of fresh air (since every single RTS since 1998 has used the StarCraft model)

Posted by JoeH
@ArbitraryWater: Fresh air? You do realise that the class system is sounding extremely similar to world in conflict and that just about every RTS released over that past 5 years has taken giant leaps away from the classic model? Which is why CnC3 and SupCom were such good games. If you want your "fresh air" go look at DoW2, CoH or WiC. Just don't try to erode away CnC with "fresh air"
Posted by SunKing
@Turambar: Maybe you were replying to someone else, but I didn't say that.
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