Command and Conquer Kane’s Wrath

I am a big fan of the Command and Conquer series and was thrilled when the series returned to form with the release of Command and Conquer 3. The previous releases in the series, Generals, did not work for me, as I missed the GDI and Nod conflicts as well as the full motion video that had been a staple of the franchise from the start.
Thankfully the series not only returned to form, but took the series in a bold new direction by combining all of the classic elements of the series with the latest in 3D graphics and an dynamic story told from the point of three factions including the brand new alien Scrin faction.
With the success of Command and Conquer 3, and the pending release of Red Alert 3, E.A. decided to release a new expansion to the game, Kane’s Wrath which provides a brand new story arch for the Nod side as well as a host of improvements for multiplay.
The story spans more than twenty years and places players in the role of Legion, a minion of the enigmatic cult leader Kane who is placed in command of the armies. The missions are introduced by the use of full motion video sequences as well as in game messages that appear in the command bar.
With the story spanning the end of the second Tiberium War as well as the third war and beyond, the game cleverly gives players new missions, as well as expands on the back-story of some of the missions from the last game.
As is typical for the series, players must collect Tiberium and harvest it into currency in order to buy more structures and units to build and defend a base, as well as an army to carry out the assigned missions. With a multitude of units available, players will have many options to choose from ranging from vehicles, planes, ground troops, specialty units and the really big weapons which show up later in the game.
The campaigns are enjoyable and do offer some challenge even when played on some of the lower difficulty settings.
The inclusion of new units is always a selling point of any expansion pack in the series, and Kane’s Wrath is no exception. As well as new ground units, there is a new transport vehicle, as well as a Super Unit called the Redeemer which has to be seen to be believed. This is not overkill, as the forces pitted against you have their own new super units and it will take skill to complete the missions as raw firepower alone will not do it.
One issue I had with the game that was a source of frustration was the fact that several times, despite clearing every enemy on the map, I was tasked with protecting/escorting a unit after reaching a specific point in the mission. Usually this is not a problem, but time and again, enemy units would appear out of nowhere before I could scramble or manufacture units to counter attack or defend. I had to resolve this issue by returning to an earlier saved game, and staging the area with appropriate defenses in anticipation of what was to come. While it does hamper with the flow of the game, I was able to complete the missions, but it was a pain having to prepare for what you know is coming instead of being able to react accordingly as they arose. I attempted this many times, but often there simply was not time to get a nearby unit in place before the object in need of protection was destroyed.
The missions as stated are enjoyable and the final mission was a real challenge though it did not start out that way. It took some careful strategy and a few attempts before I was able to complete the task, but after doing so, I was happy to have my strategy pay off.
I would have liked to have seen more missions with the Scrin as they show up briefly in the game, but I am sure fans of not seen the last of them.
The acting in the game is solid and it was nice to see Natasha Henstridge of the “Species” films as well as Carl Lumbly of Alias join the series as they really added well to the story as does the always good Joe Kucan who plays Kane.
Graphically the game shines as the 3D graphics and the ability to zoom in on a unit is almost as much fun as watching the tracks and damage units create on the landscapes as they travel.
The only real issue I had with the game other than the escort problem I mentioned above was path finding, as units still got jammed up, and a few times I had to remove one of my own buildings so harvesters would not spin in place and would take their precious cargo to my refinery so I could have the ever important funds to press on the fight.
Multiplay also shines in the game as players match up via the online service in the game and as a bonus, can now play some of the rogue factions in the game. Aside from playing Scrin, Nod, or G.D.I. options such as Steel Talons and various rogue factions are playable online.
In all, despite some glitches, the game shines, and continues the great legacy of Command and Conquer in style.
Publisher Electronic Arts
Developer Electronic Arts
Date March 24, 2008
Rating T
PC X-Box 360 version due in June
Creativity 5 Longevity 5
Graphics 4 Fun 5 Final Score 4.5
Sound 4 Na Fi