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Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Electronic Arts for the Windows, Mac OS X and Xbox 360 platforms, and released internationally in March 2007. The direct sequel to 1999's Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun by Westwood Studios, a now defunct company that was taken over and liquidated by EA in 2003, Tiberium Wars returns the Command & Conquer series to its roots in the Tiberium story arc of the franchise, once again featuring the factions of the Global Defense Initiative and the Brotherhood of Nod, and also introducing a new extraterrestrial faction known as the Scrin. An expansion pack to Tiberium Wars, titled Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath, was released on March 24, 2008.

Tiberium Wars takes place in the year 2047, at the advent of and during the "Third Tiberium War" when the Brotherhood of Nod launches a worldwide offensive against the Global Defense Initiative, abruptly ending 17 years of silence and temporarily crippling GDI. With the odds tipped in the Brotherhood's favor this time, GDI field commanders rally their troops and begin to combat Nod's second re-emergence, trying to restore lost hope. In the middle of it all, a new playable faction appears: the alien Scrin.

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars Plot

After driving the invading Brotherhood of Nod forces out of a number of the world's Blue Zones, GDI's General Granger, acting on intelligence gathered from Nod POWs, begins to fear that the Brotherhood may be preparing to use WMDs and orders a pre-emptive strike on a Nod chemical weapons facility near Cairo, Egypt. Once there, GDI discovers that Nod was not only preparing to deploy their full nuclear arsenal on them, but that they are also in the process of manufacturing a liquid Tiberium bomb of unprecedented destructive power. The swiftness of GDI's response prevents a pending nuclear strike from Nod, but Kane continues the construction of the liquid Tiberium device unabated within his newly erected "Temple Prime" in Sarajevo.

Temple Prime subsequently comes under siege by GDI forces. General Granger plans to lay siege to the site until Kane and his Inner Circle would surrender, but Director Redmond Boyle orders the use of the ion cannon upon Temple Prime to eliminate Kane's threat "once and for all". When the ion cannon is fired over Granger's strenuous objections, it detonates the liquid Tiberium bomb inside the temple, creating a cataclysmic explosion that reaches out into space and kills millions of people in Eastern Europe's Yellow Zones. Kane and his Inner Circle are believed to be among the casualties.

Shortly after these disastrous events, GDI's deep space surveillance network suddenly begins to detect multiple large unidentified objects rapidly closing in on Earth. Director Boyle orders the ion cannon network to be turned against the vessels, but the craft are unfazed by the attack and alien forces, known only as the Scrin, land on Earth and begin to swarm throughout the world's Red Zones, soon after launching massive assaults on all major cities across the globe. GDI realizes these attacks are meant to divert their attention away from the construction of massive tower structures in the world's Red Zones.

Kane, who somehow escaped alive, reveals to the Nod player commander that he deliberately started the war with GDI to provoke the ion cannon attack on Temple Prime. It was the only thing that could detonate his liquid Tiberium bomb with sufficient power to lure the Scrin to Earth. It was the Scrin who seeded the Tiberium on Earth, and they took the Tiberium explosion as a sign the planet was ripe for harvesting. Kane hopes to seize one of the Threshold towers the Scrin are building, which are interstellar teleportation devices they use to ship Tiberium offworld. The Scrin, for their part, realize they were tricked into coming too early, since the overwhelming majority of the planet's Tiberium deposits are immature. They also did not anticipate such heavy resistance from the humans, whom they thought were driven to extinction by the Tiberium. Curiously, they recognize Kane from their databanks, and seek to learn more about him. However, the organized attacks on the towers endangers the Scrin player commander's safety, forcing them to focus on protecting and completing at least one tower to allow their escape.

GDI succeeds in destroying all but one of the towers, which is protected by elite Nod forces, and the Scrin are able to finish the tower's construction just before GDI destroys their central control node in Italy. With the tower completed, it becomes invulnerable to all known forms of human weaponry and GDI is left with no option but to leave it standing under close observation, as it is completely inert following the destruction of the control node entity. Kane prepares to enter the tower using key codes stolen from the Scrin forces. At the end of the Nod campaign, Kane welcomes the Nod Commander to his Inner Circle. The GDI campaign has two endings, depending on whether the GDI Commander uses a GDI-built liquid Tiberium bomb in the final mission. If the bomb is used, the Scrin are defeated at the cost of massive collateral damage. Boyle becomes a hero and Granger resigns from the GDI in disgust. However, if the bomb is not used, Boyle flees and goes into hiding to avoid being tried as a war criminal. The Scrin, meanwhile, plan to invade Earth with a larger force.

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars Gameplay

Command & Conquer 3 features returning aspects of gameplay from the previous series. The player oversees the action, ordering multiple units to move and attack targets. The construction yard, a moveable base, is the central platform from which the player constructs other structures. Certain structures can then produce units and resources are needed in order to fund the continuous building of structures and units. Typically the player's primary goal is to defeat an enemy by assaulting and destroying their base, while defending their own.

A supporting structure, a crane, can be constructed which can also construct structures. Thus, when multiple production structures of the same type, such as cranes and barracks, are built, the player is given more queues from which to train and produce units and structures. Though these simultaneously save time, funds are deducted for the extra cost as well; careful management of production, training units and funds are key to strategy. When a structure is built, the player can select anywhere near an existing structure to place it, gaining more territorial control.

Tiberium is the sole resource and is usually gathered from fields of Tiberium crystals scattered around the map. The crystals are gathered by harvester vehicles which unload their cargo into refineries, supplying the player with credits which are then automatically used when training units and building structures. Certain maps also feature Tiberium spikes, which, when captured by the faction's engineer unit, allocate a certain number of funds per second. Other neutral structures, such as an EMP weapon, are also present on maps to be captured. Base defense is provided by specialized defensive towers which are placed within a structure's territory.

All three factions have structures and units with similar functions at their disposal. However, they are adjusted to fit each faction's theme and have somewhat varying properties. Units can be classified into infantry, vehicles and aircraft, each with their own specialities. Unit effectiveness against opponents follows the rock-paper-scissors principle found in most real-time strategy games. Virtually every type of structure in the game acts as a tech tree and additional units, structures and faction-specific abilities will become available to research and create as new structures are built. Production and construction may become temporarily blocked if the required structures are destroyed, or if they are not provided with adequate power by the supporting "power plant" structures. A highly destructive superweapon for each faction can also be constructed and used after a certain timer expires. Once used, the timer must expire again before the superweapon can be activated for an additional time.

There are three factions playable in the game. The Global Defense Initiative fights with conventional modern weapons and tactics, utilizing both technologically advanced armor and firepower, making them typically more destructive in open confrontations, but more cumbersome. GDI's special weapon is the quintenssential Ion Cannon, an orbital laser guided energy strike. The Brotherhood of Nod features flexible guerrilla warfare forces, using stealth and Tiberium-based weaponry, though they are typically weaker. Like in the original Command & Conquer, their superweapon is a Nuclear Missile. The third faction, the alien Scrin, features units and structures that are Tiberium based, including the ability to promote the growth of the substance and to store infinite amounts of it. The Scrin are immune to the radioactive effects of Tiberium but vulnerable to anti-Tiberium weapons. Their superweapon is the "Rift Generator", which creates a wormhole that pulls in nearby units.

Reception
PC Gamer U.S. gave the game its "Editor's Choice" rating at 90%, stating that "One of the greatest RTS franchises of all time returns to glory", PC Gamer Sweden gave it 81%, while PC Gamer UK gave it a more reserved rating of 82%, stating that it was "A welcome, but limited, return". GameSpot gave the game a 9.0 out of 10 and the "Editor's Choice", referring to Tiberium Wars as "one of the finest real-time strategy games in years." IGN labelled the game as "great", rating it at 8.5/10. GamePro gave Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars its "Editor's Choice" rating at 4.5 out of 5, designating it as "Game of the Month" in its June 2007 issue. UK magazine PCFormat gave the game an 81% rating and praised the "greased eel-slick presentation and explosive, ripping action" which makes Command and Conquer the "distillation of what RTS is all about", however it also criticised the lack of innovation present. Finnish game magazines Pelit and MikroBitti gave it 89/100 and 4/5, respectively. MikroBitti applauded the game's appearance and sounds, but criticised it for lack of loyalty to the early Command & Conquer game mechanics. UK magazine Edge gave the game a rating of 7. Due to the intentionally faithful recreation of the original Command and Conquer experience, the magazine felt that the game's strategic formula was too dated in comparison to more strategic titles currently available in the real-time strategy market.


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