Overview (4 out of 5)
With superb sci-fi plots, Command and Conquer games strive to be original and unique from other real time strategy games. While the USP of all C&C games is their story, other aspects including good gameplay, graphics and voice works cannot be ignored.
Command and Conquer: Generals strays slightly away from other C&C games. It presents a picture of a futuristic global warfare based on current war-like situations. Three factions in C&C: Generals are fictional and advanced versions of two powerful nations and a terrorist outfit. The game guarantees real time tactics and strategy with a variety of unit and vehicle choices.
Gameplay (5 out of 5)
Three factions in Command and Conquer: Generals (including USA, China and GLA) fight for supremacy and justice. Each side has its own reason to fight against its rival factions, which makes the game even more engaging. To add more interest, there’s a campaign mode with 21 missions, seven for each faction along with head-to-head skirmish battle modes.
Just like other real time strategy games, players have to build a base, collect resources and create defense and assault units in skirmish battles. However, campaign missions provide interesting objectives, such as destroying enemy base camps & chemical factories, retrieving some information and rescuing vehicles or units. You can also build structures, assault and defense units in campaign mode, but some missions set time limits to win a particular objective. This will prompt you to build units quickly to avoid an enemy upper hand.
The assortment of units in C&C: Generals matches the zeal and expertise of each unit. The USA faction has a wide range of futuristic versions of vehicles and aircraft, including Tomahawk launchers, Paladins, Crusaders, Stealth fighters, Aurora Bombers. The GLA vehicles are more resourceful. Vehicles like the Scorpions, Marauders and Technicals scavenge destroyed enemy vehicles to upgrade their firepower. The Chinese rely more on their foot troops and fire power to eliminate rival factions. Unfortunately, there are no sea units involved, which would have added more excitement to the game.
The commendable aspect of Command and Conquer: Generals is its ability to provide different ways to attack enemies. It does not follow the boring trend of a typical real time strategy game, which generally relies on huge armies to defeat opponents. Instead, if you follow the tech tree properly and defend your base strategically, you can inflict damage with handful of units. All you need to do is have the right combination of units to cause maximum damage. You can learn more about unit strategy by referring to this in-depth Command and Conquer: Generals tactics guide.
Collecting resources is limited to gathering cash supplies located in different strategic locations of a map. There’s a great deal of strategy involved in this the supply part as well. You can stop enemy factions from collecting supplies by reaching at that point first. This will certainly reduce their power in researching and building units and vehicles. Another great feature of C&C: Generals PC game is the ability to spend General points after gaining some amount of experience. The more experience you gain, the more points you earn. This gives you the ability to spend and research advanced vehicles and units. Some even allow to research nuclear weapons and fighters while others ensure advance unit upgrades.
Overall, C&C: Generals is a perfect example of a real time strategy game because it really involves strategy and tactics and doesn’t focus completely on huge armies and resource management.
Graphics (5 out of 5)
A good aspect of most Command and Conquer games is the graphics involved. This adds more depth to the play value. Command and Conquer: Generals has full 3D graphics. With its SAGE (Strategy Action Game Engine), Generals lets you zoom in to watch tanks explode and aircrafts smashed to smithereens. You can also rotate the camera to a full 360 degree angle, which makes it easy to search and destroy enemy factions.
The unit models are okay, but the animation is properly executed. The way units run, shoot, die, and wriggle in pain is a treat to watch for the sadist in you. The explosion and pyrotechnics involved are great, but are not suitable for the epileptic patient. The terrain and environment are superbly rendered to the core. It’s great to watch maps with lush green jungles and arid deserts. The cut-scenes look more like an action war movie, particularly when the camera gives a full 360 view. To sum things up, graphics are top-notch and the developers did a swell job in rendering terrain and vehicles and buildings.
Sounds (5 out of 5)
The sound effects in Command and Conquer: Generals plays a very big part in make it an engaging title. The sounds of bullets spurting from rifles and Gatling tanks, as well as rockets launched from missile launchers and tomahawks are excellent. Wear a headphone and you completely get immersed to this real-time strategy game.
Another good aspect of most Command and Conquer games is the dialogue involved. C&C: Generals is no different. You can hear dialogues with accents. The USA forces reply to your commands with militaristic accent, whereas the Chinese troops have a typical nasal sound. Different troops in a faction have different dialogues they use. For example, a USA sniper will reply is a hushed tone when you click on it whereas other infantry types speak with a heavy accent. This difference gives variety to the overall gameplay experience.
Command and Conquer: Generals is the best example of a futuristic real time strategy game. The multiple strategy levels provide endless hours of gameplay. The campaigns are very challenging and the skirmish battles are great way to acquire bonuses and unlockables. The fictional counterparts of USA and China and the fascinating illustration of a stealth-based terrorist outfit are fun to play. With excellent visuals, good sound and enthralling gameplay, C&C: Generals is a must for all Command and Conquer fans