Command and Conquer Tiberian Sun
By Al Giovetti
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Command and Conquer Tiberian Sun
Command & Conquer is the most successful computer strategy game franchise in history with better than 10 million units sold worldwide.
Command and Conquer was first developed in 1992. In 1996, Westwood brought out Command and Conquer: Red Alert which was a game that introduced the potential conflict of a future where Russia and the West continue an active expansion of hot war.
Eric Yeo, the lead designer, left the game in mid design due to artistic differences with the management team who decided to stay with tried and true command and conquer game mechanics instead of attempting to do something truely innovative with the game. Eric is now pursuing other career goals. We certainly hope that these new ideas that Eric has will not go untapped by the game design world.
Tiberian Sun promises to push the boundaries of the real-time strategy genre by giving players a more realistic, more dangerous battlefield, new high-tech weapons with unique abilities, troops that gain experience and learn new skills, new tactics (long range bombardment, sabotage, and espionage) and unlimited multiplay experiences thanks to a battle map generator.
Set in the early 21st century, the real-time strategy game pits the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) against the Brotherhood of NOD in a struggle for control of the planet. With an epic storyline that unfolds as play progresses, players will learn the reasons behind the worldwide outbreak of Tiberium and what happened to the notorious NOD leader Kane, who was presumed dead at the end of the first Command & Conquer.
Tiberian Sun once again pits the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) against the Brotherhood of NOD in an epic struggle for control of the planet. With an engaging storyline that unfolds as play progresses, players will learn the reason for the outbreak of Tiberium that has poisoned the Earth, and what happened to the notorious NOD leader Kane, who was presumed dead at the end of Command & Conquer.
Tiberian Sun features an all-new game engine and improved controls that will allow players to command their forces with even greater ease. Westwood has created a more exciting and dangerous battlefield with dynamic 3D terrain, realistic physics and a fully reactive environment. Explosions leave craters. Lakes and rivers freeze. Ion storms cripple high-tech weapons. Forest fires rage out of control, and winds carry poison gas clouds.
Multiple levels of warfare allow players to cripple opponents from afar or get up close and personal in an all-out ground war. GDI and NOD have distinct styles, units and abilities, providing unlimited tactical and strategic choices in the struggle for global domination. Players can travel under, over, or on the terrain as they employ devastating new weapons, including the Devil's Tongue, Hunter-Seeker Drones, Jump-Jet Infantry, Disruptors, Stealth Generators, genetically engineered cyborgs, the Firestorm Defense and many more. Dynamic colored lighting brings the mood and atmosphere alive. Stealth missions are set in the deep blue of early night. Bases on full alert come alive with sirens and spotlights in search of intruders.
New toys lead to new kinds of game play. One of the most significant changes is the GDI Jump Jet Infantry that can eliminate ground units without the capacity for surface to air capability. A surprising bonus is that you can also jump the infantry to your goal land them and take out ground based sams, or surface to air missles, without any threat to these versitile units.
A new feature is the slowing effect terrain has on moving units. Units become more vulnerable when they move slowly. These areas are referred to as "choke points" where the enemy moving through them are more likely to be vulnerable to enemy fire.
Another new feature is that tanks are not as powerful in previous games. Tanks can be more easily destroyed by enemy units. Certain NOD tanks now can dig in and get a bonus to destroying other tanks in range and power. With the reduction in the power of tanks, you must learn to rely on a variety of units to destroy the enemy.
Each side NOD, the bad guys, and GDI, the good guys, have 20 missions each. The twenty missions are divided into twelve required missions and eight optional ones. When playing GDI or NOD you will be given the option of taking the slower route to the target by playing the optional missions or running right in and taking the target which will bypass the optional missions.
The new NOD base cloaking building will make it more difficult to do reconaissance and capture of NOD bases. Also other NOD units like the attack trike and the attack buggy are faster than GDI units and are harder to kill. So while the NOD units are less powerful than the GDI, they are harder to find and kill then before. The game odds are more even this time out.
The plot is that GDI, the good guys, and NOD, the bad guys, are at loggerheads again. Kane makes a late appearance returning from the dead. GDI has attempted to put a despot on the throne of NOD to weaken them which fails and NOD counter attacks. Kanes goal is to transform the earth to a place where only the mysterious Tiberium life forms can live. Kane develops a rocket to seed the earth with tiberium making it unlivable for all but these new life forms.
A new race of human mutants has evolved who are healed by Tiberium. These mutants can side with either the GDI or the NOD forces depending upon the outcome of the game. The mutants look on themselves as the forgotten, similar to the fremen on Dune. Some should remember that Westwood designed Dune 2, credited by many as the first real-time strategy adventure game.
The 3D graphics are better than those seen before. Characters blend in better with the background which may pose a problem with some players who are visually challenged.
AnimationThe tiny little units and players are animated with amazing life like movements.
Voice ActorsThe EVA computer voice is returning to the applause of old and new fans. James Earl Jones and Michael Biehn star on the GDI side. Joseph D. Kucan returns as Kane, assisted by Frank Zagarino and Christine Steele. The cut scenes could not be used in a movie version of the game since they are so combat and not story oriented, but they stand up quite well and the actors have done a good job on them.
Music ScoreFrank Klepacki and Jarrid Mendelson have composed a strikingly appropriate and dramatic music score for the game and cinematic sequences.
Sound EffectsThe sound effects Westwood uses are some of the best in the industry.
FutureWESTWOOD PLANS "FIRESTORM" EXPANSION PACK FOR TIBERIAN SUN By the first of the year, Westwood anticipates some 2 million people will have Tiberian Sun & about a third of them will eagerly buy its first expansion pack. Coming early next year, probably around February, "Firestorm" takes players to the next chapter in the story & gives both sides 3 new initiatives, including new maps, new plots & lots of ways to keep the play fresh.
Tiberian Sun features enhanced Local Area Network and Internet play. Up to 8 players can engage in fierce combat over a LAN and players can go head-to-head via the Internet and Westwood Online. Find and challenge opponents from all over the world with just the click of a button without ever leaving the Tiberian Sun environment. A built-in worldwide ranking system allows players to track their victories and defeats against other Internet gamers. Expanded multiplayer options also include random Battle Map(tm) generation, Battle Clan(tm) support, and four new handicapping controls.
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