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Tiberium - first look

Tiberium. In the Command & Conquer Tiberium universe it’s both a boon to mankind and an immediate threat to its very existence. Although the mysterious alien crystal helped advance technology and can provide enough energy to fuel an empire, it also infects everything it touches and threatens to engulf the entire planet in a layer of sickly green shards. But it’s difficult to really appreciate the irony of humanity’s dependence on the very thing that could destroy it when you’re poking a tiny Harvester unit to make it mine more so you can build more tanks in the C&C real-time strategy.

Zooming in from the distant bird’s eye view of the C&C RTS, Tiberium looks like it’ll try to flesh out the franchise’s universe by placing you at ground zero in control of an individual soldier on the frontlines. Down there, you can score some perspective on the haunting atmosphere of a world ravaged by war over this deadly resource and enjoy blasting things to bits in this squad-based first-person shooter.



Above: After capturing a command point rich in Tiberium, gigantic airships will cover the sky as they swoop down to drop off reinforcement squads of your choice

Tiberium will place you in the role of Ricardo Vega, a field commander for the GDI (Global Defense Initiative). Through his eyes, you will lead R.A.I.D. (Rapid Assault and Intercept Deployment) squads against the Scrin. It all has to do with how science fiction thrives on acronyms and that the Scrin are hostile biomechanical bugs.

Vega comes packed with some slick gear. Besides a jump jet and grenades, he’s only armed with one gun. But the trick is that it can transform itself into a variety of weapons. If you find yourself taking heavy fire from air units for example, you could transform your sniper rifle into a rocket launcher to bring them down with heat seeking missiles.

It’s really just a gimmick to make switching between weapons seem fresh. But we like it better than seeing huge guns materialize in our hands out of the ether in just about every other FPS. The grenade launcher also looks like a blast. You can control the grenade’s movement after launching one and steer it around corners to reach enemies hiding in cover.

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