Yes, yes, I know we were just here with this. But due to circumstances completely somewhat out of my control, I wasn’t able to fully review Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun in the last Breakdown. So I’m gonna finish what I started, right here, right now.
For those that would like to look back at what I have already written in regards to Tiberian Sun, simply click somewhere in relation to this very long, and probably very grammatically incorrect sentence, that I just refuse to stop extending into oblivion, until now.
Okay, so I only really touched on the Skirmish mode, and it’s really annoying habit of teaming up against you. And sure, there are those who would like that, but there are others that would prefer it a little more balanced. Not necessarily easier, just balance. Or even a random system, where which ever enemy is spotted first is the one they focus on the the offensive. A system like that would allow those who want the extra challenge to seek out the AI players.
Not to spend too much more time with the Skirmish mode, but their seems to be a bug or just bad programming between “AI Difficulty” and “Tech Level”. A tech level of 10 will have a very aggressive AI, where 9 is a much noticeably less aggressive. It seems like the AI Difficulty setting is more a AI Intelligence setting. Dropping this value leads to enemy units that forget to deploy or aircraft the land inside your base after attacking you. The worst part of all this? If you’re looking for a more casual time you’ll need to at least drop the Tech to 9. Which means that some of the best toys are left out, unless you want to play an opponent that might almost make you feel bad for defeating
Lets talk story next. As in lets talk excellence. Because that’s what the story is, from the first mission to the last, for GDI and Nod. Plus there is an all star cast of actors in the mission briefing videos. Because as with the first two Command & Conquer games, you get full motion videos in between each mission. You get the live action green screened mission briefings before missions and CGI pass/fail videos after missions. Now
a lot some of these are reused, which isn’t really that bad. As they are pretty generic, and sometimes what you see as a GDI fail you’ll see again as a Nod pass, which I think is kinda cool.
This format is is used in both Tiberian Sun and Firestorm, except that there are no pass/fail clips in Firestorm and I did notice that in the Firestorm missions, less of your actual objectives were given in the videos, and I always had to bring up the “Briefing” from the Options menu to make sure I was doing the right thing. I can’t remember having this happen too often in the Tiberian Sun missions. However this could also be due to how TibSun was. The video would give you your mission, and then it would go to a world map, showing where you are globally and regional control. Often giving you more than one option for mission, also here EVA/Cabal would give you the mission objective for either mission option. This would mostly be a case where one mission is the primary mission you were given by the actors in the live action video, and the others are smaller missions that will effect the large one. Stuff like if you destroy this base here, they wont be able to bring in reinforcements over there. Simplifying you primary objective in a way.
Where Firestorm lacks this style of mission control it does add a little to its depth of story. Because if you play Nod or GDI the story is, basically, the same. The events that transpire in Firestorm effect both Nod and GDI, and while the GDI story starts a little before the Nod story, they mesh and blend well, and end together in one epic glorious mission. In fact, its the same mission, on practicably the same map.
Graphics and play style time! Honestly, in my
professional opinion, this is the visual perfection that all RTS games are searching for. Sure, the soldier units at times look cartoony and stand taller than the APC’s they climb into. Really though, it’s that or make everything else in the game twice its size, which would be detrimental to the rest of the game, and make it look much worse in the long run. Not to mention effect framerates when massive amounts of units engage in all out war. I like to think that if this game was made today, in a universe where Westwood Studios is still alive, it would look just like it does. Perhaps a few cosmetic changes, or some improvements granted by newer/better technology. But ultimately the exact same, but maybe that’s my own pipe dream.
The only major flaw I found from the graphics has a real tie-in with the AI, which we already know has some issues, as seen in Skirmish mode. In many other RTS games, like Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, the map is diamond shaped. Whereas in the Command & Conquer games they are square/rectangular. Big issue? No, not really. The only real issue is that while the map is a rectangle, everything else is diamond shaped. An example is all the paved roads run on forty-five degree angles, any wall that you build is on forty-five degree angles. In fact all the buildings are placed skewed forty-five degrees. If you use the available level editor you’ll see that every piece of every map is designed for a diamond shaped map. Again, this isn’t a big deal on the game itself, seems kinda odd that they would be practically meshing these two different map/game layouts, but more power to them.
The problem lies with the AI, and many times units will want to travel in these forty-five degree angles. Sometimes if you order a selected group of units to move east/west they will first move in a north/south forty-five degree then switch to a south/north angle to end up where you told them. Most times this isn’t that big a a deal, only when you want them to avoid something that is positioned north/south of their location, or want to pass by something with out engaging in conflict. But often enough its not an issue.
There was one major compatibility issue, in the form of many random crashes. This happen on both Vista and Windows 8, so I don’t blame either OS. But I did notice that when I wasn’t using the screen capture software FRAPS I didn’t have any crashes, so I feel that it was the issue. And without running FRAPS, Tiberian Sun ran perfectly. One more reason why I tend to stick with Steam games.
This brings us to the thrilling conclusion, after everything mentioned above. And sure there are more things I could point out, but its all nit-picking at this point and not score effecting. Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm collectively and separately are excellent games, with excellent stories, from an excellent, but lost, studio. They are a gold standard for all RTS games to follow, and many have.
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm recieves a score of 3
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm was not played on Steam