Are You Or Have You Ever Been A Communist?

By Alec Meer on March 17th, 2008 at 4:52 pm.

In just 11 days we all get to find out the secrets of Kane’s brain-hat, in the very goofy-lookin’ but presumably super-fun C&C3: Kane’s Wrath. Do we care? Well, we’d care a lot more if we weren’t thinking about C&C: Red Alert 3 instead. Armoured bears! New screenshots beneath the cut – sadly bearless, however.

Things wot I have noticed:
- nice water effects. Like, really nice in some cases – even down to sunken junk on the ocean floor.
- a gloriously gratuitous Stalin statue towering atop one of the buildings
- monster-faced giant blimps return
- It’s really playing up the toy-town look, as opposed to C&C3′s pseudo-grim art style. In fact, it’s visually quite similar to Empire Earth 3 (in its later historical eras, at least), which sadly was about as humdrum as RTSes get. I’m quite sure, though, that when it’s all moving around and exploding all over the place and aqua-shimmering and bears are parachuting in this will feel dramatically peppier.

I remain annoyed not to get a look at the new Japanese faction faction yet. Tanks is tanks, frankly. I wanna see cyber-samuari, or whatever they’re supposed to be.

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37 Comments »

  1. Lu-Tze says:

    I like the tiley tiley building. I’m tired of this “free placement” meaning I end up with messed up access for my own units in my bases.

  2. Butler` says:

    Could tide me over until StarCraft 2.

    That is, as long as its multiplayer component doesn’t suck beyond belief like C&C3′s, which is unfortunately likely.

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    Starcraft 2 is bear-free, which makes me quite sad.

  4. Optimaximal says:

    I adore this idea of taking advantage of water. It opens up massive new strategies now that most land vehicles can now take a swim whenever they want too.

    re: Japan.

    Expect loads of transforming hi-tech units and at least one hugely disproportionate mecha unit with a beam sabre. Gundam RTS here we come!
    I’m thinking they’ll play the role of the Ordos from the Dune games – high tech, highly mobile and lightly armoured.

  5. Alex Hopkinson says:

    Imagine your horror when, early on in the game, a 15 year old boy steals your best unit!

  6. Flint says:

    I want to see the Japan army use a Godzilla-wannabe.

  7. Lucky says:

    “I adore this idea of taking advantage of water. It opens up massive new strategies now that most land vehicles can now take a swim whenever they want too.”

    Water has and never will be implemented in a pleasant way in any RTS.

    But that’s not to say that I wasn’t excellently giddy over RA3.

  8. Ging says:

    Lucky: Why do you believe that water will never be implemented in a pleasant way in any RTS?

    What do you mean by “pleasant”?

  9. Steve says:

    Water definitely seems to be an AI bugbear in lots of RTS games.

    One of the biggest flaws with SupCom, most definitely. The AI can’t operate a working navy for toffee.

  10. Cigol says:

    I’d wager that’s merely because of the lack of effort spent providing suitable AI routines for something that makes up a relatively small portion of the game. I could be wrong of course?

  11. KBKarma says:

    Very very nice. I’m shit at RTSs, but I love them so much. And this looks like another “must-have”.

  12. Steve says:

    @Cigol

    At least in the case of SupCom, that would be illogical laziness, since water maps probably make up half the maps in the game, and navies are in every other way as fully realised as anything else. Sure, it probably is partially lack of effort, but WHY? : (

  13. Optimaximal says:

    Water has and never will be implemented in a pleasant way in any RTS.

    One of the biggest flaws with SupCom, most definitely. The AI can’t operate a working navy for toffee.

    I’d wager that’s merely because of the lack of effort spent providing suitable AI routines for something that makes up a relatively small portion of the game. I could be wrong of course?

    Which is why treating it as just another form of ‘land’ is a really good idea. :)

  14. Chris R says:

    WOOO! It really does look nice. It’s about time water in RTS’s looked as good as the water in FPS’s (Crysis for example).

  15. Lucky says:

    “Lucky: Why do you believe that water will never be implemented in a pleasant way in any RTS?”

    That I’m a pessimist.

    “What do you mean by “pleasant”?”

    Implemented in a way that didn’t make me weep each time a mission with lots of water comes up. Sea warfare has always been so bloody dull and/or underdeveloped. Here’s a big ship, it can destroy a small ship easily but is weak against submarine which in turn is weak against small ship. All different ships are also realistically slow and clumsy, further rendering their usage irritating.
    In your typical RTS, water is an obstacle between your and your enemy’s base. Thereby controlling it is practically just one extra mission objective that can repeat in just about every mission. I swear that the lack of water units is one of the main reasons I love Starcraft so much.

    RA1′s battleship was a fun beast though.

  16. Noc says:

    This water is NOTHING against Empires: Total War!

    [Edit: Nothing!]

  17. poullos says:

    Water units did fine IMO in AOE:2. Nice balance of units for different tasks although the differences between races were not in what kind of units they could make but at how far they could update each one.

    C&C:3 had a brief “Yeah!” for me. Hopefully, Red Alert 3 lives to my expectations. I missed a good RTS from 99-2000

  18. The_B says:

    I’m still trying to get hold of EA to ask if the UK copies of Kane’s Wrath will all have Red Alert 3 beta keys contained within as the US ones will.

    So far, they’re still fobbing me off with “thank you for your query, we cannot comment on games that are not yet released” in regards to RA3 – before they even get to the bloody bit about me mentioning Kane’s Wrath. And this was after the US site suggested I contact EA in my own territory to find out more.

    Grrr.

  19. PleasingFungus says:

    The most spectacular failure of water AI I’ve seen would be in AoEIII. At least in original, playing skirmish on a water map against an AI – the AI could not cross the water. Period. They could build ships. Even transport ships! They could build land units. But they could not transport units. Extremely pathetic.

    That AI had lots of problems, though. It also had a tendency to, after about half an hour to an hour, suddenly stall out and stop attacking, allowing you to build your forces and crush it at leisure.

    …not sure that I agree about SC’s water AI, though. I never noticed problems with it, really, except for the tendency for Salems to cut across land and triple their travel time. That’s a pathfinding issue, though – not the same thing.

  20. ezequiel says:

    the water combat and units in total annihilation were very well done. using those giant battleships was loads of fun.

  21. Butler` says:

    I might even consider buying Kane’s Wrath if there’s an RA3 beta key.

    I do stress might, however.

  22. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Alex:

    That’s how it always ends up. Damn punks.

  23. Jachap says:

    I was watching the original FMV from Red Alert the other day (some guy has uploaded them all to Youtube) and it gave me nostalgic pangs for the slightly more serious edge of the older game: Tanya Adams before she became Kari Wuhrer being tortured (I still remember the infiltrate the spy mission that led up to her release), the internal squabbling of the Soviet high command, the Stalin sex scene, the happy Stalin jig, the poisoned tea, the frozen guy in the dugout when you failed a mission.

    Sure, it was all pretty silly – the Eurotrash German General’s melodrama, for example, “Go!” – but re-watching it all, you can’t help but feel that internally its taking itself a little seriously.

    It also has a very different feel to the Tiberium titles and it was that sort of texture I always preferred.

    I know that Westwood had already started erring towards The Silly before EA’s take over but it sort of saddens me that now both series are going to continue the plunge towards towards brain hats, Lando Clarissian and giant Communist squids and probably some day unite big style in some glorious Soviet bears/Allied dinosaurs/NOD aliens Saturday serial World War.

    Its all very well and good but… I don’t know. The games were fun (and funny) before they decided to nuke us all with wackiness.

  24. Zygoratot says:

    well the original Command & Conquer did have that mission where Kane instructs you to go to some island and kill dinosaurs.

  25. RichPowers says:

    Thanks for the link The_B. Really glad EA put up the videos for all to see.

    And I agree with Jacchap: the original Red Alert had the perfect B-movie quality about it: not deliberately hokey like its successors, but not totally serious. It was trying to be a bit edgy but, in true B-movie fashion, was constrained by its budget and actors’ talents.

  26. Rafe says:

    Absolutely not. Communism is the greatest con man has ever created.

  27. James T says:

    Hey, it’s got nothing on the Invisible Hand. Thanks heaps Adam Smith, if that is your real name!

  28. LongFred says:

    That’s blasphemy, James! But no worries! Pray three “perfect markets” and one “narrow oligopol” and you will be forgiven!

  29. James T says:

    “I chose not to choose life. I chose… RRRRRAPTURE!”

  30. phuzz says:

    I’m hoping that the crystal clear water will show the defeated wrecks of my enemies :)

    Also Kirovs (the big blimp things) == best rts unit evar

  31. megamaj says:

    Kirovs are awesome. One of the best missions in RAII had you put on the corner of a coast, and enemies coming straight at you while you try to hold your stance. After a couple of minutes the Kirov’s would start coming in in a steady line and you had nothing but to hope they wouldn’t make it through your line of air defense, while all the time trying to keep lines tight against the ground assault.
    I loved RAII.

  32. Corion says:

    “the poisoned tea” Et tu, Kane?

    Maybe RA3 will actually decide to make sense in terms of the storyline. Few people (including, unfortunately, the developers) seem to realize that Red Alert 1 was a prequel for C&C1. Red Alert 2 completely derailed the storyline of the series and turned it into a bizarre world full of psychics and mind-controlled animals, which doesn’t really fit with C&C1.

    Don’t get me wrong, the game was fun, but I was hoping it would make sense. I guess the storyline splits from the RA1-> C&C1 continuity the way C&C splits from real history.

    I don’t know why they didn’t name it something else like they did with Generals.

    Regardless, I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue boycotting EA with titles like C&C3 and RA3 out.

  33. Optimaximal says:

    One of the ex-Westwood guys still working on the series stated in PCZone’s C&C Feature last month that placing Kane in Red Alert was both a nod to the fans of the original and a mistake as they never intended to link the two universes – it was the equivalent of an in-joke/easter egg, nothing more.

    The fact that he wasn’t in RA2 was them trying to differentiate the franchises.

  34. sc ra says:

    yes…ra3 an epic faillllll,just like sc 2 will be….ra1 and ra2 as sc1 were more real not this things that dont even have to be called games,really,this unis have no common sence,there just a buch of stupid things with transformig and light and look at all the pretty colours….they are like made by the imagination of a 0.3 years old baby,they have no clue of for the hell are they realy for,i mean why do day have those silly forms?and all the silly guns and weapons not to mention the irational armouring on all of them that make no sence…but then again nothing makes sence in ra3.the game is lame,they like broth in the al the game features ever existed from gta graphic,transformers crap,warcraft 3 engine….man its like the whole game industry there but they forgot the man who made all others look and feel real,the man that says ,,dude,wats the explenation for this shape,wats the funcionality of the unit,the armour is it functionaly placed…,, stuff like that …big pille of crap

  35. sc ra says:

    and excuse my lame tiping but i bearly know to wright in english :) ..anyways,in my opinion from all ra games the afthermath is the best so far.its a well thought game.ra 2 is also a good release but i prefer the afthermath,it has better feel in the gameplay(but in this case is just my own taste) ;)