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EA Games Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath
- A great follow-up to an amazing RTS title; global meta-campaign is interesting and fun
- The main campaign focuses solely on one faction
Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath exhibits the same sense of polish and depth that made the original Tiberium Wars such a classic. RTS fans who can't get enough of the Command & Conquer universe should definitely check this one out.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars was, without a doubt, one of the best "old school" real-time strategy games to be released in years. It helped re-establish the franchise as an RTS power-house and sold well to boot, so it's no surprise that we're now being treated to an expansion pack. Entitled Kane's Wrath, this NOD-themed expansion is the best add-on we've so far seen for a C&C game yet.
Say Good Night To The Bad Guy
Kane's Wrath centres squarely on the terroristic Brotherhood of NOD faction and their enigmatic leader, Kane. Rather than picking up after the conclusion of Tiberium Wars, the main campaign jumps back in time a bit and fills in some holes in NOD's rather tumultuous history. The narrative is just a part of the overall equation but it has a sense of depth to it, thanks mostly to the campy yet well-crafted full-motion video sequences sprinkled throughout the game.
Gameplay-wise, Kane's Wrath doesn't deviate from the basic C&C formula. You still harvest tiberium, build up your base, commission units and head out to punish your enemy. The sad news is that NOD is the only faction that has a full campaign: fans of the other two factions will be left out in the cold aside from two new sub-factions each and a few new units. But the missions offer a lot of thrills, with objectives it will also prove familiar for series vets – doing the bidding of your charismatic leader Kane, mostly with a far more deft touch than the two other factions. This mostly involves butting heads against the Global Defense Initiative and the Scrin, though you'll also find yourself going against wayward elements of the Brotherhood who have forgotten just how powerful Kane is.
But don't think that Kane's Wrath is just a rehash of Tiberium Wars – the game features a new global conquest mode that really helps set it apart. Reminiscent of the classic boardgame Risk, this new mode sets all three factions loose on a tiberium-stained planet and gives them a handful of starting bases. Players can then upgrade these bases in order to improve their defensive capabilities and gain access to super weapons such as the Ion Cannon. These bases can also recruit strike forces, which are your means of constructing new bases and attacking the enemy's.
Victory is attained either by eliminating the two other factions completely off the map or by fulfilling a variety of side objectives – the GDI, for example, has to control a certain amount of the map and its cities while the Scrin need to construct a set number of threshold towers. It's not a perfect system, but in contrast to some other recent games to attempt a global meta-campaign, Kane's Wrath does a good job, especially for an expansion pack.
At Ease, Soldier
There's no doubt that Kane's Wrath has some flaws and unless you're a fan of the NOD, you'll probably feel a little cheated by the lack of a GDI or Scrin campaign. Still, Kane's Wrath is quite impressive nonetheless. It does exactly what a good expansion should – it follows closely in the footsteps of its parent title while also bringing something new to the table. It exhibits the same sense of polish and depth that made the original Tiberium Wars such a classic. RTS fans who can't get enough of the Command & Conquer universe should definitely check this one out.
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