Many remember Command & Conquer: Generals fondly--the 2003 RTS rivals Warcraft III for the best three-dimensional strategy game of its time. It took the classic C&C gameplay, with warfare between a mix of foot soldiers and vehicles, and spruced it up with Generals Abilities, godlike powers that could turn the tide of a crucial battle or give your troops an incremental advantage. You can think of Command & Conquer as the spiritual sequel to Generals, infusing that game's best elements with more character and wrapping them all up in a balanced free-to-play package.
The first order of business is picking the General that best suits you. Generals are the larger-than-life military personas that act as your in-game avatar, each with their own combat specialty. Each of the three available factions--EU (European Union), APA (Asian Pacific Alliance), and GLA (Global Liberation Army)--have their own stable of exclusive Generals who enhance your army in a different way. Take Dr. Thrax, for example: a fan-favorite GLA General who's back in action. Thrax brings biochemical weapon expertise to the table, letting you choke out enemy infantry with airborne poison or unleash a full-on Toxin Tank.
C&C is also a far more modern game than its predecessor, particularly in the realm of racial sensitivity. As in, you don't have to worry about feeling uncomfortable when your General feels like a blatant caricature; the Generals in C&C's lineup, while still silly, feel much more like stylized characters than ethnic cartoons. The visuals have also gotten a hefty upgrade, thanks to the power of the Frostbyte engine. It's all looking quite impressive so far, and the closer C&C gets to open beta, the more hyped we are to discover our favorite General.
Check out the following screenshots for additional info and impressions!
Thrax is one of 15 Generals who will be in the game at launch, with plenty more coming later down the line.
Junkyard's more about defense than offense, able to hunker down and fend off armies of opposing vehicles.
The GLA Generals are the masters of mass infantry units, able to launch an offensive before the enemy has the chance to tech up.
The amount of detail in the terrain is absurdly pretty at the highest settings, but low-end computers will still be able to run C&C.
Red Arrow's a feisty APA General with a penchant for rocket launchers, allowing you to equip your soldiers with bazookas or make a tactical missile strike on the battlefield.
Beast's specialty of "Urban Combat" equates to massing footsoldiers, then encroaching on the enemy position by hopping from building to building.
Given how sleek the Frostbite graphics are, it can be easy to forget that C&C is a F2P game. EA isn't talking microtransaction specfics just yet, but assured us that "pay-to-win" is off limits.
The map sizes range from tight 1v1 skirmishes to massive, multi-army battlefields. Post-match, players will be treated to a bevy of stats and info meant to teach newer players what they're doing right or wrong, much like StarCraft II.
Ghost is perfect for those players who want to keep tabs on their opponents at all times.
We don't want to brag or anything, but we totally schooled the AI using masses of Mercury Red's Shock Trooper infantry.
Like many C&C games, resource collecting is fairly straightforward and simple. It's all about the epic firefights here.