February 14, 2003

And My Future Addiction? Command

And My Future Addiction? Command and Conquer: Generals

The Command and Conquer line of computer games has always stood head and shoulders above all other real-time strategy games, at least that's my opinion. Granted, I didn't care much for Tiberian Sun, but the original C&C, and Red Alert, and Red Alert 2 were all awesome and colossal time-killers. Each game holds special memories for me.

For the original Red Alert, I remember absentmindedly sipping a beer as I tried to pass an impossibly maddening level. A few hours later, finally victorious, I realized I had polished off a 12 pack. Drinking beer and RTS games do NOT mix. Do not try this at home. Actually, go ahead and try it at home if you must, but be sure you don't try it while driving. We'll all feel safer.

The original C&C was my very first introduction to playing somebody else on a networked computer. I wasn't very good, and I got my ass totally kicked, but I knew that the potential to play networked games, and games over the Internet, was something really special.

Red Alert 2 was pretty neat, definitely better than those that came before it, but it was still based on the same theme as the others without to much departure.

But Generals is amazing. You realize during the opening scene that you're about to play something beyond your wildest expectations. It's real-time war simulation with a modern kick. You can be the U.S., or you can be China, or you can be a GLA terrorist organization.

I wasn't sure what to think of the whole glamorization of the terrorists because, really, in this game, they're pretty hyped. This game doesn't quibble with political correctness. The terrorists are Muslim, right down to their bomb belts and turbans. This game is bound to piss a lot of people off, even though they'll be pissed off and unable to stop playing, because this game is digital addiction.

Even the first mission would have peace activists calling for a boycott of the game. Right off the bat, the U.S. is sent to encircle Baghdad. Right away. No waiting. Your tanks are at the gates of the Iraqi capital, dispatching a ragtag bunch of GLA armor shortly before they launch chemical-laden SCUDS right into a bustling bazaar, wiping out 30 civilians you've taken great pains to avoid squashing with your tanks. Sounds about right.

The graphics for Generals are enough to make Picasso drool. This is eye candy of the highest order, right down to the little puffs of dust that are swirled up by a soldier's feet and the way a body is flung 20 feet in the air when the truck he was riding in explodes. There are cut-scenes that are right of the Matrix, with 360 degree panoramas of exploding enemy units. I played the opening tutorial mission twice just to see the cutscenes over again.

I'll be away from my computer all weekend, but rest assured, come Sunday night, I'll be clicking my way through terrorists cells with U.S. heavy armor. If you want to see the next generation of RTS games, give Generals a whirl. But clear your calendar, because you'll be busy for the next couple of weeks.

Or at least I will.

Posted by Ryan at February 14, 2003 03:17 PM

Party Pocker - Poker

Posted by: Party Pocker at October 19, 2004 04:45 AM
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