We've been getting some funny looks in the LA Convention centre today; and it's nothing to do with our boyish good looks. No, it's because we're walking around covered in a puddle of drool, left by the stellar Command & Conquer 3 demonstration we spied this morning.
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars is the first 'proper' C&C game for almost seven years, and in a behind closed doors preview we were shown a number of FMV trailers and gameplay demonstrations showing off the new king of RTS.
The first trailer demoed to us was a compilation of live action cut-scenes explaining the origins of GDI and Nod, the two famous sides from the C&C universe. The first thing we noticed were the impressive production values, which were a whole world above the Channel 5-esque efforts we know and love from C&C games of old. The trailer showed bustling government buildings and sterile labs as the narrator explained the grip the mysterious resource of tiberium now has on the planet.
News reports and instantly recognisable war scenes littered the remainder of the trailer, before finishing on a cliff hanger almost-certainly confirming the identity of the mysterious third side promised for the game. "And then they came..." utters the narrator, as the camera pans toward an earth now gripped by green tiberium. This strongly suggests that the third playable side will be hostile aliens (originally penned to appear in the last Tiberium game, Tiberian Sun) who are, in all inevitability, also the reason that Tiberium started turning up in the first place. Terraforming anyone?
Moving on to the gameplay matters, the chaps at EA booted up an early GDI training mission set in a war-torn desert. The environment was the same as that seen in recently released print screens, with burned-out cars and destroyed buildings littering the dusty roadside. The heavily enhanced Generals engine now touts brand new shading system with next-gen smoke, explosions and dust. What's more veteran C&C fans will be pleased to hear that Tiberium Wars' soundtrack and visuals are a very familiar affair, with EVA chirping out advice, the much-loved money-ticker beeping away in the corner and units delivering a plethora of witty lines.
The presentation continued with the map being scouted by a pair of hovering Orca aircraft, each bump-mapped to visual perfection. The Orcas hovered across the desert landscape swirling dust and casting near-perfect shadows, taking a detour over an off-shore Aircraft carrier before spying some Nod forces barricaded inside a building. The Orcas then assaulted the Nod building, showing off the game's impressive damage simulation as bits or rubble and concrete were realistically flung off.
To finish off the demo two hulking Mammoth tanks where brought in, who with their giant twin barrels blew the living snot out of the barricaded buildings and bellowed some humerous one-liners to boot.
C&C fans should be excited. The units, the cut-scenes, the rock soundtrack: it's all here and looking rather lovely under its next-gen sheen. Tiberium Wars isn't due out until next year, but we hope to see more of the game very soon.
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