Our final stop of the day was to EA’s booth to get a look at Command & Conquer Online. Luckily for our group, James is quite fond of the series and immediately spotted the ways the game has reverted back to its glory days while maintaining some of the positive features from recent titles and trashing the less successful options. But for the rest that may just be getting into the series, I offer the novice’s breakdown of the gameplay and features.
For starters there are three selectable factions and five generals being promoted at the current state of the game per faction. You have your western looking allies, your Eurasian alliance, and a band of terrorists rounding out the third faction. Each faction offers unique units and buildings, with the generals further expanding on this uniqueness with a few extra powers, abilities, and units to further differentiate them. And while details were incredibly limited on what exactly we can expect from this, I did get to witness James use the terrorist Dr. Thrax blow up an early tank rush by turning his workers into suicide biological weapon bombers!
The RTS elements are made to be simple but effective. Currently you will only have to deal with land and air units. There’s no real limitation on bases so you can construct buildings anywhere that terrain doesn’t block you, given you feel safe enough to defend it without pushing your troops too thin. Gold and Oil are the two primary resources, though some specialty end-game units may also require a ‘Power’ resource to function, acquired from buildings that convert oil. Oil can only be acquired from wells and there’s finite amount in each so matches won’t be able to go on indefinitely should both sides find themselves in a stalemate.
And while the gameplay initially seemed pretty solid and the sheer number of units (each with a specialized purpose and strength) was a bit overwhelming, it was the introduction of the Battlefield series’ Frostbite Engine that sets this game apart. The shabby terrorist buildings James constructed had about as much detail on them as you’d expect from World of Warships vehicles. You can see the light shimmer from the sun on the metallic roofs as they blow slightly from the force of the desert wind.
Real time physics with DX11 visuals make every unit and building have a unique explosion mechanic that sends parts flying and fire burning in all the right places. And no worry staticians, the after battle screen has enough facts and figures to give you a nerdgasm when rethinking why you lost or won a battle and how you can improve in the future.
As you can tell by now, I could go on indefinitely talking about all the amazing events that happened this week but I need to get out of here asap before I miss my Final Fantasy XIV meeting. Stay tuned tomorrow for further updates, booth girls, and trailers at OnRPG and MMOHuts!