C&C4: A Little Lore Goes A Long Way

By Alec Meer on August 6th, 2009 at 10:20 pm.

Semi-surprise sequel Command & Conquer 4 (its subtitle is still TBC; there’s currently a contest for fans to submit one. I’ve submitted ‘Those little red guys and little blue guys still really don’t like each other’) is starting to drop hints about its mooted formula shake-up all over the shop. Or, at least, people are cheekily scanning and summarising magazine preview features, the distillation of which is already on the game’s Wikipedia page. I’ll be sharing some thoughts on some early code I saw in a few days, but meantime here’s some detail on where the story’s going, in the former of an FMV trailer chattered over by C&C4′s ‘lore-master’ Samuel Bass.

NOD and GDI chumming up? Won’t last long, mark my words. The trailer’s also a taste of a purported tonal shift to something more gritty than the (apparently unintentional, a C&C4 producer told me on Tuesday) campiness of C&C3′s cutscenes. Hmm. Good luck with that.

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49 Comments »

  1. MrBejeebus says:

    I enjoyed C&C3, although I don’t like the utter madness of it all, I’d prefer the same “lore” or whatever but with more CoH or MoW style gameplay, but thats just me.

  2. Kast says:

    I see the table and I think “You can’t fight in here, this is a war room!”

    That is all I have to bring to this conversation.

  3. zakkmiester says:

    ZAKK WANTS.
    NAO
    I’m almost done obsessing over RA3:Uprising soooo I needs me moar RTSs

  4. Railick says:

    C&C4 : The Baldining ?
    The Infinity Goatee ?
    The One Where Kane Gets an Alien Tupee That Takes Over His Mind and Makes Him Eat Tiberium Turning Him Into a Forty Foot Tall Mutant Over Lord That Eats Earth or TOWKGAATTTOHMAMHETTHIA40FTMOLTEE

  5. Xercies says:

    I just love Kane…

    But why would Kane being going to the GDI to help stop the spread of tiberium, his whole goal and that of Nod is the infect the world of Tiberium. Is there something in C&C 3/ Kane Wrath that changes this?

  6. LewieP says:

    Wow, the Tiberium has changed all the architecture in Manchester to make it look like an American city!

  7. Railick says:

    I don’t think Kane realized that the Tiberium is sent by the SCrin to terraform the planet into something they can live on or consume or something like that. There is a huge twist at the end of Kane’s Wrath where the Aliens scan Kane and see that he is already in their computer some how but not as alien or human O.o So who knows, it is probably just a trick of some kind so he can achieve his ultimate goal whatever that is. I’ll probably end up buying this game just to see the FMVs

  8. Wolfox says:

    All I know is that I loved the “kane lives – what a shock” tag. ;)

  9. Heliocentric says:

    C&C3 is in my “to buy” list, but its game flow is far too limited. At least it doesn’t suffer from the horrible ability system that redalert 3 has.

    I hope this (being pc only, and thus designed around the mouse keyboard) is a truely great game to play, as well as to watch. Imagine, ea have real talent, if those guys design the game instead of marketing groups and suits who look at sales metrics we could have a stunning game here… Maybe.

  10. Metal_Circus says:

    the only strategy franchise with precisely zero strategy required to win.

  11. Magnus says:

    @LewieP:

    I actually thought they’d used actual pictures of manchester, I mean, it was dark, dingy, and noone would want to live there…
    (Kidding of course, I’m from Liverpool :P)

    On a more serious note… I was disappointed with C&C3′s gameplay. I felt it was of far lesser quality than the first two, which I like a lot. Couple that with C&C4 needing a constant internet connection (crappy DRM madness) and I don’t think I will be playing C&C4 ever.

    Hopefully the FMV will be on youtube or something, cos I’d like to know what the conclusion is…

  12. Wasabi2k says:

    The main reason I play games in the C & C series was for the videos before and after missions.

    I am god awful at RTS games but stick in there for the sweet reward of story, however badly acted it is.

    Only game where this is even more true: Starcraft/Warcraft III.

  13. Jad says:

    Why does every game need to have a subtitle? Can’t this just be “Command & Conquer 4″?

    My favorite take on this phenomenon was a parody ad in PC Accelerator magazine (anyone remember that mag? yeah, it was stupid, but I thought it was fun) for something along the lines of called “Darkstone: Darkest Dark of The Shadow Night: Darkly Shadowed Blackness Shadow: The Darkening”.

    So anyway, my vote is for “C&C4: The Tiberiumining”.

  14. bitkari says:

    One of the things that EA like to do, is to come up with batshit-insane ideas, then try them out on a game that they don’t mind sacrificing.

    C&C4 is one of those games.

    I am willing to ingest my chapeau if the online-tied nature of this game doesn’t immediately see it fall flat on its face.

    I’ve been buying C&C/RA games since the days of yore, but I doubt I’ll bother with this one. DO NOT WANT.

  15. amishmonster says:

    I like how the developer cops to how un-suspenseful the reveal of the cloaked figure is.

    C&C are my ultimate guilty pleasure game – I know they’re not that good, but they’re pretty fun at the time and damned if FMV doesn’t still have its hooks in me. Also, Joe Kucan has aged remarkably well.

  16. damnyou says:

    It says on the wikipedia entry that Tiberium will no longer be functional, and will merely be “eye candy”

    No havesters, no exploding blue tiberium, no tiberium radiation killing troops

    BOO HISS.

    why remove one of the more interesting elements of the game?

    without the tiberium mythos the C&C world is just another bland techno terririrsits versus robo good guys RTS

    C&C was going downhill since Generals IMO. Stepping back from the 3 way asymetrical battles you got with China, GLA and USA was a real step back.

  17. unclebulgaria says:

    C&C4: TIBERIAN MANLY SUBTITLE (assuming of course I win).

  18. Railick says:

    C&C Generals was awesome, my brother JUST got it and told me about it like I’d never played it before O.o He’s slightly retarded so I forgive him lol.

    The thing about Tiberium being just eye candy probably just means you won’t be able to harvest it, I’m sure it will still kill people or at least they’ll give a good explation as to why it doesn’t ? (Maybe they’ve finally found a way to protect soliders against it?)

  19. Railick says:

    There’s going to be a population cap, WTF mate

  20. Über Nerd says:

    C&C4 : Ditched Scrin Please Buy

  21. Railick says:

    Scrin are still there actaully and the GDI is randomly using Walkers again after not using them in C&C3

  22. Spoon says:

    @Railick: They used them in Kane’s Wrath.

  23. David Drahos says:

    Stupid unit cap and bottom bar UI? Thats the point of C&C. After being playing Blizzard’s games and being pissed about how I can’t build more Battlecruisers, C&C gives the joy of having hundreds of units, rather then being limited by a unit cap you were limited by your income!

  24. Paradukes says:

    I submitted “C&C4: Tiberian Twilight”. I seriously doubt I’ll be the only person to submit that. I’m making a prediction now that the game will be called Tiberian Twilight, Tiberian Dusk, Tiberian Sunset, Tiberian Eve, or something in that vein.

    Oh, and to anyone who knocks the FMV sequences, it doesn’t get any better than this:

  25. LionsPhil says:

    Bollocks to that; there is a stand-out mission FMV that beats all others:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPjEdRSt0AA

    Back from the days when C&C actually had some thinky rather than some frantic clicky, and the cutscenes weren’t made entirely out of gigantic hams.

  26. Rich_P says:

    RA1 had some badass cutscenes, too. The Allied general leaving Stalin to die at the end…Stalin strangling a dude to death!

    I’m replaying RA2 right now. Very fun, somewhat sense, game that still hasn’t totally gone off the deep end of absurdity and camp.

  27. amishmonster says:

    Strictly speaking, I think they only used them in the flashback segments. As to why they ever stopped using walkers, I think it was a momentary lapse in awesome.

  28. Kingy says:

    “Why Manchester?” – Apparently acid-house is the only effective tiberium repellent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM669jEWoLc

  29. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Haven’t been that interested in C&C since it became an unoriginal cash-cow. Still, maybe C&C4 will offer something new and interesting.

  30. zakkmiester says:

    Dammit paradukes
    those were ALL of the ones I came up with…

  31. dalig varg says:

    c&c 4: children of nod prepare for fail

  32. CakeAddict says:

    I never liked C&C 3, I find it to unbalanced to actually enjoy it with anybody.
    I think the same with C&C General but for some reason me and my buddy’s still like to play it once in a while.

  33. Rosti says:

    I liked Seth – he was fun :’(

    My shout for subtitlage – C&C4: Tiberium Fisticuffs

  34. Rinox says:

    @Lionsphil: thanks for that link, one of the finest mission briefings ever in an RTS. Love it.

    I should probably get around to buying and playing C&C3+expansion though…I was a rabid C&C fan after the original but then got soured big time on Tiberian Sun. I mean, it wasn’t THAT bad but it was so sluggish and bloated that I had to drag myself to the end of the game and its expansion. Hence my reluctance to get on the C&C3 train while faithfully following the RA series (which has been nothing short but awesome). But seeing these vids has me feeling all nostalgic. Time to get back into Kane’s fold.

  35. Kommissar Nicko says:

    @LionsPhil: OH SHIT I REMEMBER BEING SO EXCITED TO ATTACK AMERICA AND BEING WAY LET DOWN BY KANE HIMSELF!

    So, subtitlage for this one: From God, to Kane, to Seth.

  36. Xercies says:

    @LionsPhill

    That is one of my favourite ones as well, I was so shocked when it happened. I think I was 8 at the time as well…

  37. Count Zero says:

    Unintentional campiness is the best kind of campiness there is…

  38. 2ds says:

    Many years ago now there was a plan to only make 3 C&C games, they were supposed to be dawn, sun and twilight.

    I’m really supprised they haven’t just called it twilight and I’m not sure why…

  39. Comment system, what comment system? says:

    Command and Conquer 4: Wings of Liberty

  40. Freudian Trip says:

    Somebody asked why games always come with a subtitle. It’s a marketing thing. Both movies and games sell better with a subtitle or something. I know it sounds like bollocks but it’s the same thing in design where some douche will tell you that ‘This years colour is yellow’. From the outside it seems totally arbitrary. Maybe once I’ve been inside the design machine for a while I can report back on it’s arbitraryness.

  41. Chemix says:

    Nicko, was that a reference to real genius?

    “It goes from God, to Jerry, to Me”
    “Take my shirts to the cleaners, and never call me Jerry, ever”
    “I guess it goes from God, to Jerry, to you, to the cleaners” *smirk*

  42. Cooper says:

    Less camp?

    Monkey balls. I’m not a fan of RTS games, but have bought every C&C game so far, precisely for that reason. I loved the original’s camp cutscenes. For a game that was so good to take itself with so little seriousness really felt great. Shame that they now think they have to be ‘darker and edgier’ for we all know what that means when sequels go in that direction…

  43. Lucas says:

    C&C Generals and Zero Hour are some of the most fun I’ve ever had RTS gaming with friends. The Boss Generals mod easily takes the cake as the best play design improvements in a mod I’ve ever seen.

    What ruined Generals for me was the mysterious, undiagnosable, unpredictable, unavoidable “mismatch error” that would eventually turn up in multiplayer. Once a box started to get the mismatches, it was pretty much screwed for life, and only a fresh windows install could bring relief, if you were very lucky, and maybe also switched OS’s and sacrificed some small animals.

    When the subsequent games came out with the same engine, and some of the same networking issues, I decided to never purchase any. The mismatch error was pure soul sucking evil, and I spent far far far too much time fighting this demon.

    I am cured of my interest in C&C. R.I.P. Westwood.

  44. Fenchurch says:

    Spoiler: Seth is the Emperor of the Scrin!

    Spoiler #2: The Scrin infect Earth with Tiberium so they can harvest it for mood crystals for their New Age shops.

  45. Rei Onryou says:

    C&C4: I am nothing compared to Starcraft 2!
    NOTHING!

    Alternatively

    C&C4: Conquerer, Commander

  46. Fenchurch says:

    Alternatively:

    C&C4: Tiberium vs. Tiberian, Scrabble Edition

  47. Pod says:

    C&C’s story line is hilarious.

  48. Thomas Lawrence says:

    Wait, the campiness is unintentional?

    Surely not. No-one in history can have done something so consistently while still doing it unintentionally.

  49. Monkeybreadman says:

    C+C 4 : Like Boobyless Porn

    And so many out of work actors after this series is done. Maybe, Kane : The Young Years