|C&C 4: Tiberian Twilight Preview|
|Posted: 26.08.2009 16:26 by Joe Robinson||Comments: 8|
It’s been only a few short weeks since Strategy Informer was invited to take a look at Command & Conquer 4’s single player campaign. Now we’re back, and this time we’re loaded with new impressions not only of single player, but also with a world exclusive look at the game’s multiplayer beta currently in the works.
Holding their first ever ‘CommandCom’ event within the larger GamesCom convention, EA invited a select 100 press and community figures for a two day romp totally devoted to this game. Those of you who followed our LiveBlog coverage will have read our impressions as it all unfolded, but for everyone else, here’s a more coherent report.
In single player, some of these work, some don’t. At CommandCom, we were shown and were able to play an updated version of the code. Like the Guilford preview, the level seemed a bit bland and uninspiring, and didn’t really bring out any of the game’s potential. To further compound this, only one class was playable, offensive, and so we had limited options with how to actually complete the level. Also, since you are only allowed to play as one class, with penalties imposed for switching classes mid level, the game can seem a little light, content wise. Samuel Bass, Campaign Designer for the project assures us that each map is designed around the classes, and can be completed with each class, so no worries there.
In multiplayer however, these changes seem more at home. The class system inspires co-operation and teamwork on a level that only the most dedicated clans can do in another game. Because some players develop an affinity for certain tactics, troop types, etc... And so use them almost exclusively. These players then seek out teammates whose differing preferences compliment their own. C&C 4’s new, yet simple class system is the official embodiment of that ideal. By specialising the factions, it forces players to truly work together to overcome their weaknesses with something other than sheer numbers. Or at least, it tries to.
Everyone knows what it can be like playing online, and unfortunately despite the ‘incentives’ to work together, it’s still probably only going to be those in the more dedicated clans that will actually try and unleash the system’s potential. Therefore the same problems that seem to arise in the single player mode once again come forth – when you only get access to a third of the content, the game seems a little... light.
This mobility can lend itself to very unpredictable and exciting games, thus adding more incentives to work together as a team. During our preview we were able to play as the support class as well as the offense class, so the contrast was easier to gauge. The map type was what the developers were calling ‘Domination’. Think Battlefield 1943 where you have to capture the majority of the flags to wear down the enemies bar, only this time you have to capture ALL of the control nodes before the enemy’s points get depleted.
This means that matches can drag on for a while, because whilst it’s easy to capture a majority of the control nodes, capturing all of them and holding on to them is a nightmare. Again, this is where the class system comes in. The defence class, for example, can build defensive structures to guard an area, and the support class’ air units can send reinforcements rapidly to danger zones. Still, one can’t help but get an uneasy feeling when talking about the class system. Whilst it’s different, and has the potential to be quite innovative, if it’s not done right, it might flop.
Considering it’s still in a pre-alpha stage, there’s a lot of development left before its 2010 release. It is unclear what is already set in stone, and what is subject to change, but you can be sure there will be more in-depth previews as time goes on. It's possible EA may have made a mistake showing off code this early, as with many elements still unfinished, it might give people cold feet about the new format. Still, this IS Command & Conquer, and the developers seem to be on something good here, provided they get it right. All we can do for the moment is watch, and wait.