These are all the reviews I've posted for Generals, with the site name and link, a small quote from the review, and the score in percentage. If you know of a review that isn't here, then please let me know and I'll add it ASAP.
Any time I launch into a Command & Conquer game, there are a number of things I"ôve come to expect "ď frenetic action and balanced (but challenging) opponents, slathered with its own stylish look and highlighted with some of the best cutscenes gaming has ever known. Although Command & Conquer: Generals has many points that has made the franchise so popular over the years, it has been \"vanillafied"Ě "ď it"ôs been molded to play and appear like every other real-time strategy (RTS) game out there.
Command and Conquer: Generals is and old-school real-time strategy game dressed up in a nifty new package. It's beautiful, fast-moving, and has a very high fun factor. Though the single-player game is short and lacks a narrative, the individual missions are clever and interesting. While the new interface is a big improvement, I found controlling my units could still get a little touchy. The game can also be a little unbalanced, though the sheer fun of playing the G.L.A. can make up for a lot of frustration. Overall, I'm very impressed with Command and Conquer: Generals - it's my favorite RTS since Warcraft III, and for gamers up for a fast and sloppy tank rush game with plenty of bells and whistles, they'll be impressed, too.
A very unique addition to Generals is the introduction of experience. As you destroy more units in the game, you gain more experience as a general, and are promoted to several ranks. Each rank has access to different technologies, like the USA pathfinder/sniper or the Chinese E-Bomb. The incorporation of unit experience has improved as well; experience plays a huge part in determining the outcome of a battle. Also, pilots of vehicles may be able to eject from their vehicle before getting destroyed. These pilots then can occupy any friendly novice vehicle, and instantly add to the unit"ôs experience.
Talking about super weapons, as you play through the game you will get promoted and will get points that you can use to bring in more support and obtain advanced upgrades. While playing for the US, you can call in an attack by A-10"ôs or obtain a super weapon like a fuel bomb and drop it over your opponent"ôs base. The Chinese are the only force that has nuclear missiles. When launched they have a big blast radius and cause a lot of devastation. The GLA have access to the SCUD launcher that fires out about 9 missiles. These missiles can also be equipped with anthrax thus causing more damage to the area where they hit.
As mentioned above, Generals was supposed to have a unique take on RTS to refresh the genre. One of the ways it was going to achieve this was with what gave the game its name - you get to select from a range of Generals as your avatar to command your forces, each bringing unique traits that are reflected in the units you build. Maybe if Westwood were still an entity in its own right we would have gotten that feature, but since Electronic Arts (EA) got their hands onto Westwood and turned it into EA Pacific (now defunct) it seems that all creativity has been sucked out of the project in order to rush a product that will earn a quick buck on the multi-player market. This and the lack of many other important single player features have stripped the game to a bare bones state which destroys any chance Generals had of being a classic, or even a 'good' title. Not to say that the gameplay particularly suffers thanks to this omitted Generals feature, but be assured that it certainly isn't enhanced.
I've lost count - Lost count of the number of soldiers I've maimed, tanks I've destroyed and structures I've demolished. These wanton acts of carnage over the past few days have been eating at my psyche like a velociraptor. Why? Because I've relished every second!! If launching SCUD missiles and sending suicide bombers to their doom for my own inevitable benefit is considered so inherently wrong, why do I feel so satisfied after playing Command & Conquer: Generals? The real world setting and gung-ho themes presented herein really are pushing the boundaries of taste in a genre that is normally applauded for it's level of 'intelligent entertainment'. Weapons of mass destruction are a cultural taboo and terrorism is -to put it mildly - frowned upon, yet this latest instalment of the C&C series not only incorporates these aspects, but actually gives you the chance to play the warmongers themselves. Never has a game encouraged so many evil 'muhuhahas' from yours truly, so I feel I have to review this game simply to understand for myself why feeling so damned evil is so utterly addictive.
The multiplayer portion of the game has really improved and grown into one of my favorite games to play online. You can really get some amazingly competitive games, and then you can get some games with cheaters. The pace of the game also increases when online, so you will also be in for some extremely quick matches. Overall this game can be an excellent game for LAN parties as well as for internet uses.
The game it"ôs self plays just like the others. The one major flaw though that holds the game back from really being perfect is that the computer AI can be really unresponsive. You can send a group of soldiers to go attack a building and a few minutes later you will find that they didn"ôt obey orders and only went half way. This doesn"ôt happen all the time but there are times throughout the game where this can become an annoyance and can cause many casualties.
On top of improving the franchise, Generals also indicates a good future for the genre. This is a specific game aimed at playing a General (no water vehicles, you"ôd need to be an Admiral for that) It hits its mark squarely. It doesn"ôt try to be anything other than a lesson in being a General. Being so specific helps. Of course, there is a lot more to offer here. The sound is by far the best I have seen in a game like this, with great explosions, voice-overs, and a soundtrack that sounds like it came from a war movie. A good job all around in that department.
Commander and Conquer: Generals puts the series up another notch in quality. It has added an excellent strategic option with the \"Generals Rank"Ě system. The Controls and feel of the game are easy to understand and use. Generals will also intrigue you with its story line. The cut scenes are well done. The addition of advanced sound options would have been nice to see, but, overall doesn"ôt affect the game play. The move of the action bar was one of the things that I like the most. Just feels more natural down at the bottom. The transition to the new 3d engine for the series adds a very pleasant look to the game but in the end, once you get over the eye candy it its still the same old C&C game.
Command and Conquer Generals is a refreshing new game from our friends at EA, and it does extremely well at delivering what it offers. No longer will you be able to mass up a thousand of the same unit to go horde your enemy, but you will, without a doubt, require some brains to succeed and survive. The game has been tweaked to near perfection with the features it contains. Generals invites us RTS fans to look at modern times of warfare. Most strategy games have the futuristic look, like StarCraft, and some have the medieval look, like Age of Empires. Here, we"ôre shoved into what war is like now, with artillery, machine guns, tanks, bombers, etc, and with the war going on in Iraq, this game is similarly close to what the Americans and Iraqis are employing in the Middle East.
Command & Conquer has grown up in the past few years, and Generals shows the series"ô evolution nicely. Instead of cheesy, B-movie cut-scenes, in-game cinematics accompanied by an orchestral soundtrack bring Generals"ô story to life. The game"ôs battle units are based on pre-existing tanks and technologies, giving Generals a plausible feel. Customizable units, garrisoning buildings, and stronger infantry have balanced out one of C&Cs oldest problems: useless foot soldiers. There"ôs even a detailed level-making tool. Overall, Generals is a mature and sophisticated RTS game"Ēand it couldn"ôt be sexier.
Gamers were also introduced to the concept of rival campaigns, viewing both sides of the war over two separate stories, in this case the Global Defence Initiative and the Brotherhood of NOD. Even the mission structure was flexible, at times altering according to the results of the previous mission. Hence, C&C was unarguably one of the defining games in the Real Time Strategy Genre and without doubt a title that has a place in many a gamers heart. Despite this initial success, the C&C series has had a rough ride to date, with C&C: Renegade and C&C: Tiberian Sun doing little justice for the series. Just when the franchise was decidedly MIA around a year ago, those cheeky guys at EA Pacific sprung a surprise upon us all: a secretive project entitled Command & Conquer Generals!
Unlike previous C&C games, Generals uses a new engine called 'SAGE' which allows the user to play the game in a true 3D environment, allowing the user to pivot around buildings and units to see their true beauty. This combined with high-resolution textures and a particle engine which allows explosions and dust clouds, you have yourself one great looking game. Of course there are some added 'sweeteners' such as clouds, water, shadows and more, which can all be toggled on or off depending on the specifications of your machine. Casting that aside, what really makes Generals one of the best looking releases so far in the Command & Conquer series is all the props & miscellaneous items. I'm talking about neutral buildings, trees, washing lines, tiny market stalls etc, they all add to the realism of the world you"ôre fighting to conquer. This eye-candy comes at a price though, which as always, relies upon what you have under your case.
The GLA is the most interesting side, partly for Electronic Arts' blunt disregard for how this might be inappropriate subject matter. There are elements of the GLA that clearly reflect recent events. You have Arab terrorists with car bombs and truck bombs (the nightclub bombing in Bali and the embassy attack in Kenya), Arab suicide bombers with explosives strapped to their bodies (the Palestinian attacks in Israel), Arabs researching anthrax and biotoxin delivery systems (Iraqi attempts to develop weapons of mass destruction), Arabs avoiding destruction by using tunnels and hiding in caves (al-Qaeda troops in Afghanistan), and angry ululating mobs of Arabs wielding AK-47s (the events in Mogadishu recounted in Blackhawk Down). Even if you can write it off as being "just a game," it's hard to believe all this is from the same company who felt the need to change the artwork on their Red Alert 2 boxes in the aftermath of 9/11.
SCUDS, ANTHRAX, TERRORISTS, AND Suicide Bombers. Although this sounds very much like tonight's news, it is in fact part of the new units and features found in the latest game in the Command & Conquer series - Command & Conquer: Generals.
For some months we have been giving the multiplayer beta version of the game a good thrashing and we have been very keen to get our hands on the full version of the game. With a market chock fill of real time strategy games we were very interested to see if this sequel would lift the genre to another level.
The sound department is a mixed bag here. On one end, the effects are very well done. Explosions, planes, helicopters, gunfire, it is all really well done. Death screams are also very good. On the other hand, the voices are terrible, and in many cases, so clich√© that they are comical. The GSN units are so heavy in the "in defense of freedom" line that it would make even the most red-blooded American embarrassed to listen to it. The Chinese have these really bad accents, most notable from the mission introduction screens. The GLA voices overact the whole "evil terrorist" thing that they are comical, "DEATH TO THE IMPERIAL DOGS!" So funny.
Command and Conquer took a "higher-level" view to the game mechanics, by being able to select an unlimited amount of units on the screen at once, group all unit production into a taskbar, incur no set limit to the amount of units per player, and by giving each unit only one function to perform. This design gave players the ability to focus on the big picture of the battles and not worry so much about the minute details. Warcraft, on the other hand, implemented a micro-design, by capping the total amount of units per player, making players click on buildings to produce units, and giving some units multiple abilities.
Command & Conquer (C&C to the initiates) is the kind of game that will turn you into an insomniac, hand clamped to mouse, facing a screen full of little pawns that are sent to their death for the glory of the side chosen by the game-player. The latest episode in the saga, which the developers have named "Generals," sticks to the same rule. Seven years after publication of the first game, the formula still works! This time, youll be able to fight your enemies completely in 3D. C&C Generals have relinquished the hitherto compulsory and isometric 3D, to provide a really convincing and appealing graphic rendering. The playing map can be moved, and you can zoom in and out. Everything can move everywhere, all over the screen; cities and towns are populated with civilians and vehicles; you can enter any of the buildings, steal cars, knock over trees with tanks, etc.; everything seems to be living on the screen. All the elements are beautifully designed, but the scenery is the best. Houses, buildings, vegetation, rivers and hilly and mountainous ground are just amazing. The whole thing is beautifully lit. The explosion of a nuclear missile and the blast effect it causes, are classics of the genre!
Graphics are outstanding. One thing I was hoping was that the graphics would be nice. On this GeForce 2 MX 400, the graphics look just as good as any FPS game I've played, and much better in some cases. The die-hard C&C fan should be proud, as well as those who love beautiful RTS games. I'm amazed that the graphics actually shine in the low detail setting, and at the 800x600 screen resolution. Props to EA for making it shine even in the low conditions.
Depending on how you like to fight, Command & Conquer: Generals has you happy, ground attacking, air attack or even distance attacking. Lets cover a bit about each of them, ground attack is your infanty, jeeps, tanks and so on, your infantry can get in jeeps to move quicker, tanks and jeeps can be upgraded to have their own repaid unit or a `drone` so they can see further. Air attacking types are planes, stealth jets, helichopters, jets carry 2-4 rockets and after they use them, they report back to air field to stock up. Upgrading your helichopters pod is really neat, get a group of around 5 choppers, and use the pods to shot a huge amount of rockets at a selected building, convoy or even a tree. Your missile launchers (such as skud strike and particle cannon) are what I call distance attacks as they can be shot from anywhere in the map and can not be fort off by the enemy. So depending on how you like to take out your enemy, Command & Conquer: Generals has you covered with your style.
This is where this RTS stands out. The Strategic element of this game is right on target. For instance, a group of fast moving vehicles can take out a tank provided the vehicles are moving. However the vehicles can not stand toe to toe with a tank. That is a losing battle. C&C Generals has also introduced Air units which move, fly and do damage like air units. For example if you have fast movers flying in for a bombing raid, a fast mover is an Aurora Bomber; these units can not be stopped while on a raid. Since the unit travels at supersonic speed no defense system can stop it.
C&C Generals is a great game plain and simple. The single player missions are not really satisfying, but you can tell that they were meant to simply be a tune up for the awesome online game. Graphically the game is gorgeous and the balance is perfect. The only real problems come from the multiplayer interface as they should have taken a page out of Blizzards playbook there. All in all any fan of RTS would be foolish if they did not run to the local game store and pick up a copy of Generals immediately.
The title of the game was especially chosen because the main character is the player which is now considered a general. It is a very wise decision the producers took because this is how you really feel a bond between you and your units and it all leads to a more profound immersion in the C&C universe. Until now most RTS games treated the player as a god whose will was law but who couldn't take directly part to the action. To confer the player this feeling he is considered now a general whose experience can advance and who can get some new abilities or even units.
The RTS formula needs a solid kick in the pants, in my opinion, and C&C: Generals does not provide it. That does not make it a bad game, though. It manages to provide enjoyable, solid gameplay. If you play single player for the most part, you'll miss little by giving it a pass, as it'll only give you 12-15 hours of fun. However, if you're willing to skirmish or play multiplayer then you can extend the life of the game enough to make it more worth your money. Now, if value is not a concern of yours, then grab the game by all means. It's a good romp, just too short for my tastes.
All in all, Generals is a great game, an example of real-time strategy done right. The single player campaigns are fairly short, with only 7 missions per side for a total of 21. Short campaigns mean a steep learning curve, with the missions going from very easy to quite hard very quickly. In many ways the single player campaigns simply act as an extended tutorial, teaching you unit vs. unit tactics and overall strategy. The developers have gone for a cinematic feel, using the in-game engine to create some very cinematic cut-scenes (that's right, no more FMV sequences using B-grade Hollywood actors). Some of these work very well, but some come off rather poorly due to the low polygon counts of the units making them look rather blocky up close.
The traditional values of the game remain intact, with a typical game commencing the usual rush to gather resources (each side now has different resources to collect), and build structures to create units with varying capabilities. The first thing to note is that whilst the sides may vary hugely in their strengths and weaknesses, they are very well balanced overall, making for some interesting conflicts. Whilst battles can once again rely too heavily on tank-rushes and the like, it"ôs pleasing to note the variety and pace of battles, which places far more emphasis on frenetic fun than tactical realism. This does mean the game may prove a tad simplistic for some, but the variety of units available, especially the really evil ones, is interesting regardless.
Moving onto the actual missions - the structure of them are quite varied having at times very different objectives which is a welcome change from the normal - destroy their base to win scenario. An important note to make is that if you have played any of the C&C series before you will definitely find playing the game on normal difficulty way too easy - and to be honest even on the medium difficulty it only tends to draw out the completion of the mission a bit longer. "ėBrutal"ô difficulty is a must for C&C veterans.
The tone of the game however is a little shaky. I think that the developers had a certain sense of humor when designing the armies characters (by which I mean the characterization of the different forces). The GLA"ôs troops sound evil at all times, usually talking about slaughtering civilians and hating the west. The USA however, sound like heroes, even claiming to be \"Doing what"ôs right"Ě when told to cluster-bomb the GLA peasants that act as resource gatherers. The Chinese all sport Fu Manchu accents and laughable patriotism. However, this could easily be taken too literally and seen as racist. I do not think that this is what the designers had in mind however.