Can it be true? Is this the last ever Command & Conquer? Has Kane finally met his match? Respectively: Apparently, ditto, and it would appear so. We’ll believe it when we see it, but according to assistant producer Matt Ott, “We’re really going to wrap it up this time.”
It’s mildly terrifying to consider that the first C&C game came out in 1995 but it’s one of those rare games that can genuinely claim to have pioneered a genre. Real-time strategy may not be the poster boy for the PC it once was, but the development team at EA are refusing to rest on their sizeable laurels, and are indeed introducing fundamental gameplay changes for this fourth and, allegedly, final fling.
As any fools knows, one of the key concepts of C&C is fortifying your base, hunkering down and clinging on for dear life, repelling all that the enemy throws your way. Not anymore. Step forward the crawler mobile base, which as the name suggests, can stagger to a point on the map and unpack into a fully working base. Furthermore, should your base be destroyed, you can simply redeploy the crawler, even switching to a different class. Yes, there are three classes, namely offence, defence and support. Bluff traditionalists needn’t panic however: “There’s a lot of classic elements in there,” says Ott.
“If you choose to play a defensive class you’ll be able to fortify, hold down an area, build up around it. You’ll still have access to classic buildings like super weapons: the Temple Of Nod, the GDI Ion Cannon. So that kind of bunker down and build up your base gameplay still exists in the game; we’ve just added the offensive and support classes for people who work together as a team.
“Offence class is more tank-oriented - you also have the commander unit, and the support class has access to the airport - they’re very mobile, quick, and they also have player powers that can be used anywhere on the battlefield.