I was interested in C&C4: Tiberian Twilight, despite all the rumours of its horror. The core concept — trading standard base building and assault for a mobile super-vehicle — seemed quite interesting to me. For a man that favours the ultra-versatile solo operatives of RPGs and FPSes, the conceit had legs.
The game did not deliver anything of what I imagined; it is exactly as bad as everyone says. So instead of delving into that den of iniquity, let’s indulge instead in what it could have been, had somebody with dreams more like mine been at the helm…
All right then. If Tiberian Sun is the unassailable classic of the Command & Conquer franchise, what of the sequel that emerged seven years later? Built merely by “EA” rather than Westwood Studios, is C&C3: Tiberium Wars a dead husk wearing the skin of C&C or a genuine continuation?
Ho ho ho.
Real-world associate Chris McPhail and I might have been going through Star Wars in our Close, But No Biscuit podcast of late, but there’s another piece of cultural media that deeply affected my robot designs — Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. The goody-goody Global Defence Initiatve forces had several grungy, industrial, brutalist, utilitarian hulks that evoked power and strength and resilience so much that I took my first faltering steps into 3D modelling trying desperately to ape them. If Star Wars set the robot wheels in motion for me, then Tiberian Sun gave them life.
Look at it this way — if I’d known the Final Sun level editor existed at the time, I’d have cut my modding teeth on Tiberian Sun over Age of Empires II. Oh yes.
Ah yes, the middle-tier title. Mechs & Mercs: Black Talons‘ name alone caused me to pick it out from the crowd as a potential crimbo target — I mean, everybody loves mechs and mercs are suitably sci-fi… As for Black Talons, well, that is the ridiculous tacticool part I can’t deny that I do enjoy now and again.
When I went into Game, they didn’t have any copies of Legacy of the Void on display. It seems like everyone was so caught up in Fallout 4 and its midnight launch parties that poor old SC2 got lost in the noise. When the assistant had to go and rummage in the back room for five minutes, I did wonder if I’d have to go home and — horror of horrors — purchase a digital only copy.
Luckily they did have physical boxes, not that it made a difference since I had to download the game anyway. One day, I swear Blizzard will fix their stupid installer… But until then, it’s PROTOSS TIME!
Despite its questionable surroundings, and indeed its questionable plot, Starcraft II‘s campaign as a whole is a very strong thing. While the rest of the game is mired in eSports the campaign is almost entirely divorced from the outside world — which means it has the freedom to paint the town red.
I’ve maintained for a while now that I don’t actually like strategy games. I’m rubbish at them, I’m terrible at thinking beyond the short-term. My undying love belongs to the relentless, reflexive action of the shooter and the obsessive-compulsive inventory tetris of the RPG and the romance sub-plots shoehorned into both.
But I played Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance recently and… I enjoyed it. I was not good at it, but I muddled through on Normal difficulty. I like building bases. I like telling the units to mine resources and then build structures and build units. I don’t know why.
Here then, is another foray into the annals of RTS games that once piqued my interest. Can I find some answers in Earth 2150: Lost Souls?
Ah yes, now we’re bringing out the big guns. I fell in love with Divinity II a couple years ago now; all the wit and charm of the earlier Divinity titles packed into a properly sumptuous 3D hack ‘n’ slash RPG adventure.
It was, then, with some disappointment that I realised Dragon Commander was to be too demanding for poor old Daedalus. That old “minimum 4GB RAM” chestnut again.
Now, though… My body is ready.