Review

Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath Review (Xbox360)

If thereís one genre that is still struggling to make the transition to consoles, it has to be the real-time strategy genre. With so many commands to input and units to control, itís no wonder why many companies are having a hard time delivering an all around excellent RTS title. Though, that isnít stopping Electronic Arts from delivering a stand-alone expansion pack for last yearís Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. The all new C&C 3: Kaneís Wrath improves on the controls of Tiberium Wars and adds a lot of new content.

As far as the controls go, they are more accessible than ever. Being introduced for the first time is a command wheel that is called upon through the right trigger. The command wheel allows for access to special abilities, controlling specific groups on the map, and buildings. Whatís still lacking in Kaneís Wrath is the click-and-drag ability of selecting your units. This is where having a mouse and keyboard comes in handy as opposed to a console controller. Even with that said the controls are tight and should never confuse the gamer on how to move about on the battlefield.


The non-stop action is impressive
The future of mankind looks grim

The simple storyline within Kaneís Wrath is full of high-definition video sequences with the usual actors hamming it up through the course of the game. If you are new to the Command and Conquer series, the franchise employs real actors who act out scenes rather than animated CGI scenes with voice-actors. The storyline fills in the gaps of the Command & Conquer narrative with 13 missions that span Tiberian Sun: Firestorm to Command & Conquer 3. Even better than that is the cliff-hanger ending which shows where the series will be heading to after Command & Conquer 3.

Itís not as corny on the battlefield as it is with the campaign storyline. The gameplay still revolves around non-stop action that will get fans of the genre excited. Playing as the Brother of Nod faction the gameplay remains almost exactly the same as it was in Tiberium Wars. Concentrating on fact-paced and action heavy gameplay, you have to be thinking on your feet to succeed in Kaneís Wrath.

A returning aspect from Command & Conquer: Red Alert Ė among other C&C titles Ė is the addition of subfactions. The addition of subfactions takes the total number of playable armies from three to nine. While many of the subfactions retain traits from their counterparts, some provide unique differences worth checking out. For example, the Traveler-59 subfaction of the Scrin focus on speed and teleportation over the Reaper-17ís favoring of heavy vehicles that rely on power. Itís these types of differentiations that allow gamers to play Kaneís Wrath in a variety of ways.


Just a flick away, the new controls help ease the confusion
Looks like the Eye of Sauron has spotted the troops

While there are a number of new units being introduced for each faction, the most important unit seeing its debut is the ďepic unit.Ē The epic unit effectively is a hero-type unit that is able to unleash a devastating amount of damage and take a lot in turn. The GDI gain a tank called the MARV (Mammoth Armed Reclamation Vehicle), the Nod have their Redeemer, and the Scrin have the Eradicator Hexapod. Personally, of the three, Iíd recommend using the Scrin as their unit is eerily similar to the Scarab from the Halo franchise. Plus, who wouldnít want to control a giant mechanized version of a spider?

Exclusive to the Xbox 360 version of Kaneís Wrath is a mode called Kaneís Challenge. Offering players a chance to test their skill before they head online, Kaneís Challenge provides over 90 stand-alone skirmishes to battle through. For those who are PC gamers, Kaneís Challenge replaces the Global Conquest mode of the PC version. Having played the two game modes, Kaneís Challenge is the better of the two.

The online portion of Kaneís Wrath is done superbly well. The online supports leaderboards and the Xbox Live Vision Camera to show off your face to the opposition you are giving a whopping to. Supporting up to four players on a map, players can play two versus two or any other combination for four players. Over 50 multiplayer maps are included, so it should take awhile for players to play through them all and tire of them. On top of that, Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Capture and Hold, and Siege gametypes return to help mix it up. Players afraid of lag should have no worries as the majority of games online run smoothly.


The trees had no chance of making it out alive
Epic units doing what they do best, demolishing everything in their path


Never having a trouble in the past, itís easy to see that the difficulty of Kaneís Wrath may prove to be a problem for novice gamers who havenít ventured through many RTS titles. Even on the easy setting, the computer A.I. will rush you and present a full on assault of enemies. The best advice is for new players to have as much practice as they can before jumping online to play with those who are wily veterans. The best form of practice will come from playing through Kaneís Challenges as they present a variety of scenarios that youíll run into online with real-life counterparts.


If you happened to have adored Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, then Kaneís Wrath should fit nicely within your collection. EA Los Angeles has fine tuned the expansion pack to cater to the masses that wanted better controls for their RTS titles on the consoles. The gameplay performs so well that itís easy to recommend to Command and Conquer fans. The only downside with Kaneís Wrath is that it isnít as welcoming to new players as it could have been due to the high difficulty.

Top Game Moment: Having my epic unit, the Scrin Eradicator Hexapod, run rampant on my enemies.


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Comments

By nickgipe (SI Newbie) on Mar 04, 2009
nickgipe
Overall this is a good game with decent graphics and great gameplay
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Mar 05, 2009
Wowerine
I still didn't stop playing Tiberium Wars. And guess what, I didn't tried the expansion, meaning Kane's Wrath. I guess there aren't many gameplay changes. Maybe some new maps, a couple of units and buildings. That's it.

The real jewel is Red Alert 3. :)