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» June Announcements

Ah yes, this is an article. You may all have thought I've forgotten how to type and with Jim's departure that articles would no longer be a collocation when an utterance of was mustered, but that's just what the voices told you. The idea for this particular penning of my thoughts came to me whilst listening to the ‘Screaming Trees' playing ‘All I know'. This is quite apt, as all we know about the upcoming RTS titles from EA to be announced in June, is that well, err they're RTS titles and they're coming up!

Now, on a more serious note, there has been much unrest in the community as of late, many people (including yours truly) are deeply unhappy with the way in which a very promising game such as Generals has been wasted and literally cast to the dogs. The game has a great engine, decentish game play and a large potential fan base, so it has been much to my disappointment that during the demise of Westwood and the current ‘minor problems' at EA:LA, that Generals has been largely neglected and its fans merely passed off with excuses explaining why patches to solve major problems have been delayed. The community deserves better than this and this is all without mentioning the farce that has encompassed the ladder kit, which was originally due for release with the game and seems to have been put on the back burner (or accidentally deleted from some employee's hard disk) for over three months now.

Paul's Media Player. Yes, we are at a loss for suitable images nowadays...
Anyway, I now bring order to this mindless rant, in wake of more optimistic prose. I'm going to stick my neck out, predicting that the two announcements will consist of an expansion pack to Generals and the fabled Tiberian Twilight. My reasons for making these foolhardy guesses - well, Generals is an unfinished product. There are major gaps in the storylines which many people have singled out for criticism and the game itself is just not what it could have been and hence needs revisions and additions. A popular choice on the official forums is to introduce the Russians into the Generals mist, which would support a few people's (unlikely) theories of the three current timelines eventually merging. I personally think that having the same side in two ‘current' games won't be endorses by the corporate bigwigs, but who knows?

As you will have gathered, there are two upcoming announcements and I believe that Tiberian Twilight is being readied for the public's gaze. My reasoning for this - Well, the last two ‘C&C' games (Renegade and Generals) have been under-par to say the least and any executive with half a brain cell will have realised this. Thus, when in business and you have tried new formulae which don't work, you go back to your winning one. The original Tiberian Dawn was what started the generation-spanning wet dream for would be bedroom commanders and I believe it is time to complete the trilogy. If I remember correctly, we were hinted at some time ago to believe that future C&C's would use the SAGE engine and I think this will be the case for Twilight. It has the ability to render the original and most creative C&C universe in the most stunning way and really engulf the player into the game.

“You're talking absolute rubbish, where's Red Alert 3?!?” – Well, I don't have a strong argument here, lest the fact that the Tiberian universe is the original one and hence deserves to be honoured first (and the fact Tiberian Sun was release before Red Alert 2). But generally, the consensus amongst community veterans is that Tiberian Twilight is much more eagerly awaited, to answer all those niggling questions which you were left with at the end of Tiberian Sun. Companies obviously have to think in terms of the dollar as well though, and I can't really see any justification to the argument that Red Alert 3 would generate more income than Tiberian Twilight, so I don't think there'll be any 3D tesla coils appearing on our local shelves any time soon.

“I don't care which game it is, when is it coming out?!?” – Of course, I don't know the answer to this question, but everyone knows the Christmas market is extremely lucrative for entertainment companies and gaming ones in particular. In all honesty though, I do think that unless it has been in the works for longer than we know about (which it probably has, but I'm talking a LOT longer), then we could hope to see Tiberian Twilight appear in Autumn 2004. However, that Christmas window is certainly open to the other title (providing it is an expansion pack for Generals) as the product is obviously not being built from the ground up. This will be in line with what EA does best – lining their pockets. However, a serious improvement on delivery of promises is required from all concerned, if this is to have anything like a positive impact on the C&C franchise as a whole. RUN DMC were very correct in their proclamation of “it's tricky” and this is certainly true for satisfying the sky high expectations of fans when it comes to releasing a game under the C&C franchise. I leave this article whilst listening to their inspired lyrical workings and the clever ones amongst you will have noticed that this entire article is one enormous clause. For those of you can't add two and two: “All I know – it's tricky.”

Hopefully the upcoming announcements won't quite be as weak as that terrible pun I just made, or we're all in trouble. See you on the other side!

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