Alright, let's get this elephant out of the room. Command & Conquer – a very popular real-time strategy series –…
Alright, let’s get this elephant out of the room. Command & Conquer – a very popular real-time strategy series – has been dead for about 8 years now. The final major entry to the franchise was C & C 4, which concluded the saga’s main story line rather poorly, and was universally panned by gamers and critics both on its campaign and its multiplayer. That kind of sealed the series’ fate.
In June of 2018, EA took the stage at E3 to announce a new C & C game … a mobile game, developed exclusively for phones and tablets. This did not put well with long-time fans of the franchise and is a controversial topic to this day. Mobile games are known to be comparatively more shallow than console or PC titles, and usually rely on in-app purchases for their monetization needs. Spending cash for units in a PvP game usually means that the gameplay will always be skewed in favor of those who spend more money, and it’s especially about when this type of game has been developed with in-app purchases at their core.
But look, C & C: Rivals is about to be released on the 4th of December. Like it or not, it’s here and it’s happening. So, is it a good game? EA was child enough to provide us with access to it a few days before the official launch, and here’s what we think about it:
Here’s a quick rundown of how a match in C & C: Rivals works ̵
1; you and din motstander er droppet til motsatte ender eller et lille kort, der kontrollerer en lille base hver. There is a neutral nuclear silo in the middle of said map and there is a number of control pads scattered around it. Whoever has one of their units stepping on a control pad owns it, and whoever controls the most pads owns the nuclear silo. Once the nuke is under somebody’s control, it starts an aiming process, which leads to a missile launch at the enemy’s base. To destroy a base, you need to hit it with two nukes. Or, if you are dominating a match and want to rub some salt in the opponent’s wound – just send your tanks straight to their base and have them tear it down.
Sounds simple and straightforward, right? We thought so, too, but we were pleasantly surprised to see a lot of C & C DNA injected in Rivals.
First of all, you can choose between two factions before each match – these are GDI and NOD. Each side has its own unique set of units, all taken from previous C & C games and repurposed for the fast-paced gameplay mechanics.
This game does have fog of war, meaning you can not see what your opponent is doing unless you scout them out with one of your units. Selv om det ikke er en base bygning per se, trenger du fortsatt å manuelt velge når du skal bygge en add-on, som f.eks. Barracks, en tankfabrik, teknisk laboratorium eller lufthavn, hver letting dig bygge en anden type enhed hidden gives you a strategic edge.
It also has an economy, meaning you will need to build a “harvester” unit and send it off to collect “Tiberium”, otherwise you will not have the cash to hire the really cool troops. This also opens up the possibility for rushes with cheap units, surprise tactics with a mixed army, and dirty tricks just destroying the opponent’s harvester.
Sounds a lot like classic C & C, does not it? Nå, det gjør ikke der. The game heavily relies on the “rock-paper-scissors” system that successful C & C titles of the past were using – riflemen beat infantry, rocketmen beat tanks, buggies beat riflemen, tanks beat anything with armor on it, et cetera. Unit strengths are displayed in the UI to make it easier for new players via an element, which is easy to spot, but is not intrusive otherwise. Then, it gets deeper – some units can shoot while moving, some can not. This intricacy also plays a big role in how matches play out in higher levels of play.
One part that is black or unique to C & C: Rivals is the commander card. Each faction – GDI and NOD – has 4 commanders you can pick from and each commander has a special power.
. This game can be a powerful defense tower that you can place on the map, a healing bot to repair your units, or a super weapon that does instant damage to the opponent’s army. ] The developers of this game have been given a difficult task: to build a mobile game that can be played in quick spurs, but still feels like an actual strategy that carries the C & C spirit. And you know what? They kind of did it!
The small battlefield and the nuke mechanic mean that a match does not last more than 10 minutes. Yet each fight is different thanks to a variety of maps with various forms of debris, layout of control pads, and Tiberium field locations. Strategy fans will be happy to know that micro-managing of units matters, kiting the opponent is possible, and micro does actually win games at higher levels of play. Actually, if you hope to consistently win matches against competent opponents, you need quick fingers and sharp wits at all times, as the tide of a battle can turn very, very fast.
The animations are smooth, the sound effects are impactful and satisfying. Unit control is fluid and responsive, but needs some getting used to. See, the map is divided into small hexagonal tiles, and each unit can occupy a single tile at a time. Friendly units can pass through each other, opposing units can not – this plays a part in controlling zones and blocking off an opponent while securing that sweet, sweet nuke. Men det kan også bli irriterende hvis dine enheter sliter med å finne deres rette vei eller tilfeldigvis “glemme” de skulle angribe et bestemt mål. Attentiveness at all times is needed.
And yes, as weird as it might sound, EA wants this to be a competitive game. This is evident by the fact that you can view pro replays straight from the in-game menus, by navigating to the C & C TV section. Players are placed in leagues, depending on their performance. These are Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Tiberium League.
In other words, we find Rivals to be a great strategy game for mobile first and foremost. It happens to be a Command & Conquer title second. But, of course … there are the concerns:
We all knew it was coming – this game is monetized through in-app purchases. You’ve got your plethora of confusing in-game currencies like credits and gas – which you get by winning matches and leveling up -, and “crystals”, which are obtained by draining your real life credit card.
You use said Valuta til at samle enhedskort og oppgradere de du allerede eier. Ja, dette er et konkurrerende spill hvor du kan opgradere dine basenheder til at håndtere mere skade. Men, ikke alt er doom, gloom, og pay to win. See, your units’ maximum level is capped by how well you are actually doing in-game. For eksempel kan noen som fortsatt er i Iron League ikke gå i kamp med enheter over nivå 6. De kan bruke alle pengene i verden og maksimere deres hær godt enn det, men hvis de er matchet mot en annen Iron League-spiller, their units will be downgraded to level 6 for that match. This system has been proactively developed specifically to combat “pay to win” and make skill a factor in the game.
Before the start of each battle, you need to select an “army” – choose only 6 cards of the ones you have to go in battle with. In tegenstelling tot de grote C & C games of the past, je hebt niet jouw volledige leger en techboom op je beschikking. Du må nøye analysere dine favorit units’ styrke og weeknesses og komponere en 6-kortspakke som vil gi deg en kampanj uansett hva motstanderen kaster på deg. It’s sort of like Heartstone or other collectible card games in that regard.
As per the development team, the game drops are being tweaked and balanced in such a way that you can always have a set of Common, Rare, and Epic Cards upgraded and on par with the competition, even if you do not spend money on the game. Buying crystals will allow you to upgrade more cards faster and add variety to your choice in the pre-game stage, however, the dev team’s goal is to make victory possible even if you do not spend a dime on the game.
So, is this game good? Vel, det er sikkert bedre enn Command & Conquer 4. I all seriøsitet, men vi har en blast med Command & Conquer: Rivals. The game runs well and has a great variety of units and strategy types to choose from. De wedstrijden zijn steeds tijdig als een progressie, met een heleboel van haar splitsende finale momenten, waar we seconden van nederlaag zijn en we kunnen doortrekken, of waar we onze overwinning hebben gestolen van ons door een cunning tegenstander. As of right now, the developers are actively communicating with the community via the official forums and the in-game message board, which is always great and reassuring to see.
As for the future, we are being cautiously optimistic. EA heeft iets tegenover gamers om atoneren en het is begrijpelijk waarom de gemeenschap een hard tijd vertrouwt op het bedrijf. The promises to balance the game for all players sound great on paper, and it seems to be working so far – we played the game without buying crates and we are currently in the Gold League. Vi vet ikke om at vi kommer til å være tilbake så godt som nå, og å se hvor mange timer av spilletid og faktisk moro vi har fått så langt, vi tror det er rett og slett å skille ut for en kassepakke på dette punkt. We’ve yet to see how it will play out once the game gets populated with all sorts of players, of course.
That said, we do believe that C & C: Rivals deserves a chance. Give it a go and you will notice the passion for C & C’s legacy that went into developing it, even as a mobile game.
Is it a proper replacement for a new C & C game? No. Is it a good time when you want to play on your phone? Absolutely!