Ace Of Base: EA Talks Command & Conquer’s Roots

By Nathan Grayson on May 10th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

Command & Conquer‘s march into free-to-play territory has been fraught with confusion. Will it have single-player? Won’t it? Is it even technically Command & Conquer Generals 2 anymore? I guess not, seeing as EA’s taken to shaving off that grizzled, battle-tested moniker in favor of the simple, sprightly Command & Conquer. And that, it would seem, wasn’t some careless “why not?” decision made on a whim. “We need to kind of wash the stain of C&C 4 away,” said lead designer Samuel Bass. The goal? To go back to the series’ roots. By, er, using Generals as a blueprint. I guess Victory’s reasoning kind of makes sense in video form. See the whole thing after the break.

So yeah, it’s all about base-building and factions with multiple, extremely varied play styles. And while Victory said some nice things about fans who’ve been around since 1995, the foundation here is definitely Generals. Don’t get me wrong: that’s a solid place to start, but here’s hoping classic C&Cs are getting equal amounts of attention from Victory’s rather excitable legions.

You can sign up for the newest, freest, hopefully least not-good-est Command & Conquer’s beta right here. There’s still no start date just yet, but you may as well put your name in the hat.

For now, though, what’s the general feeling on this one? Victory’s certainly talking a big game, but do you think it’s actually moving in the right direction?

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45 Comments »

  1. bleeters says:

    I’m trying to think of an EA game with a free to play model that didn’t drive me to frustration at best, and blatantly treat me like a giant cash piñata ripe for the beating at worst. Kind of drawing a blank, there.

    It’s kind of sapping my enthusiasm somewhat, to be honest.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      This. Not only does F2P compleatly shatter you immersion in the game with it’s salesmand popping up every so often so sell me things, but EA’s greed will make the items pretty absurdly priced (I bet).

      I might install and play this for all of 10 minutes, but I wont spend any money on it.

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  2. 1Life0Continues says:

    And here I thought they were resurrecting Westwood Studios.

    Then I realised this is EA.
    And then I read the article and found out “roots” means 2003 to the morons at EA.

    And then I cried.

    • P.Funk says:

      Most consumers for EA products these days probably weren’t born in 1995. You tell them about the 90s and its like an older someone listening to their parents talk about playing Pong on their first date.

    • space_ghost says:

      Why all the hate for Generals? I thought it was ok. In-fact it’s probably the truest incarnation of the C&C (Not Red Alert) theme since the original.

  3. Lord_Mordja says:

    I’ve been a long time fan of the series, but C&C Generals: Zero Hour is still my favourite. Of course a large part of that is all the mods, and there’s not gonna be any for this game so eh, I’ll wait and see.

    But yeah, EA F2P (my bad, I mean P4F!) is usually pretty dire.

    • Dominare says:

      I build for China.

      • Runty McTall says:

        “Can I have some shoes?”

        That one always cracked me up and then, if I recall, they added shoes as a tech upgrade in the expansion.

        CCG / ZH were the best. Had some epic games at uni but alas we have to eventually retire it as our lan fest RTS of choice because, even 5 or 6 years after release, the mid game would still slow everyone’s machines to a crawl.

        CCG still holds a place in my heart though – it was the first game I ever modded (the bringer of light mod – 15,000 downloads FTW!).

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      MajorManiac says:

      I can see it now. “Black Market completed, you can now buy DLC”. Sigh.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Generals Zero Hour is my the absolutely favouritest RTS ever. Full of amazing ideas that allowed nearly defeated player with 2 special units to destroy opponent who had gigantic empire of tank legions.

      And that’s why what scares me most are these statements from the video:
      “cherry picking ideas”

      “When we find out that one of the generals is imbalanced…” come on !! Balance is overrated! Good generals game should be a bit unbalanced, because some generals should be harder to play, some easier. So please don’t listen to the dictate of whiner minority.

      • Lord_Mordja says:

        It’s me. I was the China player with all of those tanks and none of the talent.
        I agree though, I loved how quickly the tide of battle could turn with some well placed specials and suddenly, there goes an army. Of course, ability to build an infinite resource infrastructure meant another was always on the way.

        • Ultra Superior says:

          Yes, China was exceptionally imbalanced :D especially on large maps, where GLA had the teleport-like mobility via tunnels, while china had to sluggishly march miles away from base.

          The balance mistake was that Chinese buildings weren’t stronger (or lacked a rebuild option like the one GLA had). Had they been sturdier, china’s lack of mobility wouldn’t be that much of a problem.

          When Chinese general paired with GLA however : Overlords unstealthing inside the enemy base were a glorious sight to behold.

    • SpectralThundr says:

      Generals and ZH were probably the best in the series to be honest. It’s a shame it’s not getting a proper full blown live action cinematics sequel that the franchise rightfully deserves. It’s funny with EA, if they just went back and recreated their massive catalog of IP instead of trying to turn everything into a pay to win shit storm they’d might be profitable again.

    • Chubzdoomer says:

      As many oldschool C&C fans hate the Generals games, they really were special. Zero Hour took Generals to a whole new level. My God, what a game. The sheer amount of strategies and the creativity shown with the units, etc. was incredible. I would kill to have a worthy successor to Generals and I fear that this upcoming title just isn’t going to do it. Going F2P was one of the worst mistakes they ever could have made.

  4. philbot says:

    Well, from what I saw in that trailer, it’s looking pretty slick so far. The base building looks excellent. I rather enjoyed Generals myself and I still revisit it sometimes. Lets just be optimistic, yeah?

    Can’t the people that want to complain about EA being bad just… not comment? I am getting a bit sick of it to be honest.

    • Dariune says:

      But their comments are relevant to the article.

      EA is making a game. People are sick of EA’s business practices. RPS Asked what we think of the game. People remark that however it looks, chances are it will not be to their liking due to past experience with the publisher.

      I don’t really see your problem.

    • Supahewok says:

      “Can’t the people that want to complain about EA being bad just… not comment? I am getting a bit sick of it to be honest.”

      Yeah, we’re getting a bit sick of EA screwing with it’s customers too. And it’s relevant; if a certain publisher has established a pattern for how it treats the development of its games, along with fans of said games, then we totally have the right to shove their record in their face. They have nobody but themselves to blames for that.

      Edit: I’m not even a guy who really gets mad or up in arms when publishers are stupid. But I am completely with the people who do so at this point. EA’s made it’s own bed.

    • sockdemon says:

      How dare people have a relevant opinion to this article!

    • Shooop says:

      No one who is complaining is saying anything relevant to the game they’re making – specifically their past experiences with EA’s F2P models!

      Except… Just about everyone.

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        Vandelay says:

        Quite. These aren’t people complaining about a single player game unnecessarily needing a net connection or “Origin is a bit buggy,” or that they treat developers badly. People are saying that a central part of the game (DLC) will break the gameplay.

        If that is considered irrelevant to your enjoyment of the game, I’m not really sure what we are allowed to discuss.

        And it is a real shame. I would love to relive the glory days of RA2 multiplayer (sadly missed out on Generals.)

    • Snort says:

      How about…… go fuck yourself?

      Don’t tell us what we can and can’t have an opinion on. Fucking idiot.

  5. Premium User Badge

    DrScuttles says:

    By “back to the series’ roots” would I be correct in assuming that means state-of-the-art, professionally acted FMV sequences with an intelligent script and top-notch CGI to give a sense of place its contemporaries can only dream of?

    • Premium User Badge

      Cross says:

      The FMV was always fun, but craptastic. To assume it was anything more than cheesy FMV, is playing the nostalgia fiddle a little too hard, i think.

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        DrScuttles says:

        Oh, don’t get me wrong; the FMVs were awful and I loved them. Especially Red Alert 2′s, it had Ray Wise off of that there Twin Peaks and Kari Wuhrer star of… um. Eight Legged Freaks? I know she was the lead in Hellraiser 7. I know that because someone made me watch all 9 of them.

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        strangeloup says:

        I think the entire point of it was that it was crap. It even made C&C4 worth playing (BECAUSE KANE) despite it otherwise being pretty janky.

        I contend that the Red Alert 2 cutscenes are the pinnacle of C&C’s terribrilliant FMV.

        • ShanDaMan says:

          “I guess the future ain’t what it used to be.”
          - General Carville, Red Alert 2 Yuri’s Revenge

  6. Gwyddelig says:

    Allllllllllllllll that she wants/is another base raid.

  7. newguy2012 says:

    Back to the roots means Generals? As far as I can remember that was the “different” C&C game. Good but still a different universe, a new interface and new factions. No tiberium or ore here, just “supply” dumps. No Kane telling me about his crazy plans, just a “general”.

    Also this beeing EA there will be some sort of broken pay 2 win system in it, I wish they would just make a new C&C 4 as a full game. Give Kane a time machine and it will sort itself out.

    • Trithne says:

      Back to roots means Generals because Generals was the first C&C that was popular with the competitive scene, because it was trying to be Starcraft. Not that there wasn’t competitive play of the games prior to that, but since Generals EA’s been chasing that e-sports idea.

      • newguy2012 says:

        I see. Too bad really, I always enjoyed the singleplayer in C&C up to Red Alert 3. That game just got too silly. The next game is unmentionable, its very existence a blight brought to us by EAs neverending thirst for credits.

        Hope theres something in here for an oldie…

    • Jonfon says:

      In many ways Generals itself went back to the roots of Dune 2 more than the other C&C titles (the 3 sides and they way they played mirrors it closely, the fact you produce per building etc). Supply dumps were a new thing alright as oppose to harvesting (and occasionally being eaten by a Sandworm).

      All this is strongly tempting me to buy the 17-in-1 C&C pack on Origin in order to have Generals back on my PC actually.

      As for the F2P browser game I remain skeptical.

  8. BobbyDylan says:

    I hate F2P. Tthe selling mechanics usually completly destroy my enjoyment of the title. It’s like going to watch a movie (for free) within which they stop the film, turn on the lights, and ask me if I want to buy some popcorn. Just fuck off and let me watch the film. I’ll pay you for the ticket if you’ll just leave me alone!

    *sobbs*

  9. Shadowcat says:

    Dear big publishers: Please stop naming games with the titles of previous games. Seriously, it’s fucking annoying. Imagine if authors started writing new books with different stories but the exact same titles from their previous books? People would say they were idiots; and they’d be right. If you can’t bring yourselves to give it a number, at least give it a damned sub-title.

    • Rollin says:

      tbf movie makers do it a lot

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        That’s not much of an excuse, though.

        I also don’t really see why Generals is their starting point. It doesn’t even seem to exist in the same version of our world as Tiberium Dawn nor resemble it like Red Alert.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Samuel Bass says:

    God, the sound of my voice makes me cringe. We need to hire someone to play me on tv.

  11. Zorn says:

    Command & Conquer Generals was the first game in the series that made me ask myself,
    what this has to do with Command & Conquer any more. I got to play some years later and
    I was even surprised that I kinda liked it. But Command & Conquer? I guess that has been
    gone for me with Westwood.

    • hangphyr says:

      CnC died when EA killed Westwood. I enjoyed Generals, but it really had absolutely nothing to do with Command and Conquer. Thats kind of similar to every Command and Conquer game beyond Red Alert 2. Nothing to do with Command and Conquer.

  12. Shandrakor says:

    Or, and this is the way I’m leaning, I could never again play anything EA does that’s online-only. They got me with CnC4; never again.

  13. DrollRemark says:

    “In the old days we couldn’t get feedback straight away”

    Picture of Generals in a box.

    Command and Conquer Generals, made in the year 2003.

    2003.

  14. Monkeh says:

    I actually felt C&C already went to hell with Generals. I loved Red Alert 2 (:Yuri’s Revenge) to death, but could never get into Generals and haven’t really tried any C&C game after that (apart from the RA3 demo, which I also thought sucked :P).

  15. PearlChoco says:

    If you’re talking about “consumers” instead of “players”, I don’t think you’re making a game I’ll want to play…