Command & Conquer 4 First Impressions

Find out how the beginning of the end starts in our first look at C&C4.

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Electronic Arts has promised us an epic conclusion to the current Command & Conquer series, with a grittier, darker tone; no more superfluous monologues; and a more cinematic feel. We got a first look at the recently announced Command & Conquer 4 during a recent visit to EA's UK headquarters.

Command & Conquer 4's campaign kicks off in 2062, over 10 years after the events of Kane's Wrath. The human race is close to extinction from the effects of Tiberium--the mysterious alien substance that the Brotherhood of Nod and Global Defense Initiative have been fighting over for decades. Kane, the enigmatic leader of Nod, has proposed a truce with the GDI in order to save humanity and bring Tiberium under control. Fifteen years later, the Tiberium Control Network (or TCN) has neared completion, and despite extremist unrest on both sides, Nod and the GDI have struck an uneasy peace.

Producer Jim Vessella revealed that the GDI campaign will be titled "The Men That Killed Kane," and Nod's campaign will receive the intriguing title "All Things Must End." EA has promised to reveal everything there is to know about Kane and what his goal is, culminating in a satisfying conclusion for faithful fans. The mission we saw requires you to hold off Nod units while a downed global stratosphere transport (aka dropship) is repowered. One of the biggest changes to the series is the new role-playing-game-like progression system. You level up by earning points through helping allies, killing enemies, activating TCN nodes, and finishing missions. In addition to levelling up as a player, units can level up during missions. Your crawler, for instance, can be upgraded with machine guns and cannons, although this won't persist through future missions.

You can command the mammoth global stratosphere transport around the battlefield.

Outside of the campaign, you'll also be able to earn experience points on skirmish maps and in multiplayer missions. You can unlock new abilities in multiplayer and then use these to complete difficult campaign missions. While were weren't able to see it, C&C4 will feature five-on-five multiplayer, with a greater focus on completing objectives--such as holding control points--beyond merely blowing up an enemy's base. A party system similar to that offered on Xbox Live will also be included, so you can jump from battle to battle with a group of friends.

C&C4 has offensive, defensive, and support class units, and depending on your preference, you might want to head straight to the frontline, hold back and protect your base, or rely on units that can heal and repair. The offensive-class titan mech makes a return with the new MK II. One secondary mission we saw requires you to use a titan to recover a crashed escape pod. We also witnessed the hunter and wolf units, light armoured ground vehicles, and the impressive mastodon. This beast, which bears a striking resemblance to the AT-AT walkers from Star Wars, is a top-tier GDI unit and boasts powerful missile launchers and heavy armour. We discovered one that was ready for the scrapheap, but all it took was an engineer to get it back up and running. Nod has some new units up its sleeve too. The centurion is a defensive soldier, which has a front-facing force field, so you'll need to flank in order to take him down. Meanwhile, the scorpion and stealth tanks make a return and are joined by the new spider tank.

A new set of units, the crawlers, double as both mobile construction yards and war factories, as well as serve to make life more interesting. Each unit class has a specialised crawler with increased weapons, stealth, or flying options to help support your team in that role. The crawler can be redeployed at any time, and if it's destroyed, you can easily call up another from orbit, which results in a massive impact crater and serious trouble for anyone underneath it.

Crawlers take the place of MCVs this time around and can be redeployed and respawned if destroyed.

The world of C&C4 is created in gorgeously crisp detail. Glowing Tiberium contrasts with the bleak wastelands of ash, debris, and scorched earth. Highly detailed units feature some cool glowing parts, as well as procedural damage, and break into multiple sections when destroyed. We're told that a new dynamic lighting system will make night missions particularly impressive, with lasers and explosions reflecting off nearby objects, and we saw plenty of satisfying explosions and fires take place.

Kane's days appear to be numbered, and we may finally see him get his comeuppance once and for all when Command & Conquer 4 launches next year. For more details, you can read our exclusive Q&A here. Keep an eye on GameSpot as the year wears on and we get to see more of the game.

Discussion

224 comments
morronga1977
morronga1977

I think that the campaign is really short, they make a lot of units but too many with poor specialization, and I hate being with no base at all... that really sucks I'm very disappointed

hellrazor308
hellrazor308

removeing the base building aspect of C&C will be this games downfall and also the units are becomeing slowly more un reaslistic like they did in red alert 3 were the units were "cartoony" and things are going the same way in C&C 4. in C&C 3 all the units were entirly beliveable but i belive the EA have been slowly destroying the C&C series since they took over for westwood the new games dispite the far greater graphics will never live up to the origanals i say bring back the base building and management of the game byr removeing it they have ripped the heart out of the game. although i will still buy this i would like to see how the story ends.

klitfelt
klitfelt

This is so stupid. Im really chocked and upset!!! How on earth can they come up with the idea of changing the gameplay? I mean... I played every cnc game since the first one and that is because of the easy to learn and addictive strategy gameplay which they profited on the last 15 years. And thrilled millions of fans. I have looked forward to this game since Kanes Wrath(cnc3 is imo the best ever in the series) and when I see what they have done with cnc4 I really share a tear and thinking this cant be true. They ruined it....

petay_pan123
petay_pan123

im saddened to hear there wont be any bases :( was part of the experience of playing the C&C games to build ur base defend it and destroy the enemies. Cant beleive there calling this a command and conquer game doesnt look anything like one >.>

znegao
znegao

Man, how old is Kane? From good old URSS to 2062?!!!! Anyway it's good to see him again.

Emperorism
Emperorism

whats new with this game?dow had 9 races with 8 ways of bulding baises except ig and sob.i played whole rts games for all c&c games even collecting resources didnt change!!maybe in ra the name was gold and other was tiberium but just name.even prices didnt change in some cases.they make 9 races and the only thing diffrent is some units.if dow wanted to do this every difault color of races could be a race.(look warhammer40,000 for information).and atlast u see whole thing even collecting resource or caps or gameplay changes in dow2 and some other game do that to look a little new thanks to ideas in relic!!!!!!!!!

Crazy_M_Tz
Crazy_M_Tz

It actually hurts me that some new fans of C&C4 have never touched any C&C game prior to C&C Generals. Why does it make me sad? It's because they're missing huge chunks of Kane's plot from 1995' TD and 1999's TS. Does anyone else get fans like this coming up you? Lol. I mean, they come up to you, they rant about it claiming that they're hardcore fants, call you a noob because you're not hyping - And when I ask them about how Kane fought back in the days and talk about older units from previous games, the only response I get is "wtf are you on about?". Gah! Get that onion away from my face!

bananasahar
bananasahar

this game is going to be awesome, but maybe they re-release C&C 1 in HD thet will be realy awesome! (but they'll neve do it >.>)

sas_Skorpion
sas_Skorpion

@ jhonel83 can't say you're wrong about what you're saying but look at this "...actually there are a ton of fiction rts out there, most of them clones of C&C..." my point is that the c&c idea was unique and back in the day it was awesome.Its not the games fault if the makers are starting to make it look boring,I myself think the expansion for c&c 3 was crappy due to those über vehicles because they took away the joy of playing but you cant say that generals was more original than the c&c series :/

thatmy
thatmy

NOD has india Indians and dogs. good good good....never peace with NOD haha haha haha......u all buy first, good then i buy....cos 2 many disappointment lately with EA's games. lol.

siarhei
siarhei

Peace with NOD? Never! :) Seriously, though, I thik this game is gonna be great.

auto_fan
auto_fan

Best Game of World!!!!!!!!

jhonel83
jhonel83

sas_Skorpion, actually there are a ton of fiction rts out there, most of them clones of C&C. This genre is and always has been in plenty of supply, that's why the new EA releases get so much criticism. There isn't enough flavour to make them "special". That goes for c&c4 as well -"Earth Assault" has also massive "crawlers" wich double both as versatile fighting behemots and creation buildings, "Warhammer 40k", buildings are also summoned from orbit and leave a huge crater behind. See my point? nothing new..

Salman_The_Jam
Salman_The_Jam

H3Y guys yes I should, cant wait for this game, this will be the best ever!

dexter_safe
dexter_safe

i'd like to see them do a c&c (or a rts) game just for the console.im not saying it would be better on console, rts are much better on pc but it would be nice.

jimbob_1977
jimbob_1977

should i be impressed that EA are releasing ANOTHER sequel rather than concentrating on exciting new ip's? yes, yes I should, cant wait for this game, this will be the best ever!

sas_Skorpion
sas_Skorpion

lol Joseph_2_0_0_5 look it from this point of view if ppl wanted games like generals, c&c tiberium seires woulnd't last long (95-2009/10) unlike generals (1 year ~ + exp) xD think about it :D there are so many games featuring realistic armyes but not so many like c&c (maybe none :P)

gangZtad
gangZtad

This is one of the most exciting strategy games to come out.

boronha
boronha

@ NaughtyRag PC version didn't have any unit cap.

NaughtyRag
NaughtyRag

Man i have played every command and conquer game, i just hope this is better then red alert 3 (gameplay wise, although i played on the ps3 instead of the pc, not sure if they were the same.. unit cap saddened me!).. Do love the series, mainly for skirmish..

Freshmaker666
Freshmaker666

Joseph_2_0_0_5: Do you know what MADE C&C what it is? TIBERUM! Generals doesn't deserve to even WEAR the label of Command and Conquer! People don't want real tanks, (even though none of the tanks IN that game are REAL), real airplanes, or real soldiers. They want to know what the hell is going on with GDI and NOD! If EA is smart, they won't make another Generals game EVER. Besides, it's not EA, it's Westwood (They got bought by EA). Just how old are you? Go buy Decades, and play through C&C: Tiberium Dawn and C&C: Tiberian Sun, then you can come back and talk with the big boys.

lennex
lennex

I love the franchise, but this whole moving away from base building and going RP is a bad move for them in my opinion.... RA3 was a mistake getting rid of the ore fields... didn't they learn?

Joseph_2_0_0_5
Joseph_2_0_0_5

very bad . very bad . EA repeat his error again . in general review Command & Conquer games are bad games for EA games .I think the best Command & Conquer is Command & Conquer GENERALS. I wish EA continue Command & Conquer GENERALS series. people want play real games whith real airplains,real soldiers, real tanks .

bastian97
bastian97

i didnt like dawn of war 2i liked the other one and back to command i like there games they are really good cant wait for 4

Emperorism
Emperorism

(command & dawn of war 2 4)this game more like dawn of war2 and its ideas that combined with c&c3 elements.but no game can have a fun and great and strategic multiplayer like dow2.

AH95
AH95

i like this game and the play way good game

SonOfSparda018
SonOfSparda018

really looking forward to this. c&c games have always been fab.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Cant believe its coming to an end... GDI vs Nod. I was born playing C&C, especially the Tiberium world. I dont even have a PC capable enough to run! I am so sad!

anthonettex
anthonettex

Since C&C started with base building, I say focus on that aspect of the game. Hate roleplaying elements! RA2 was easily the most fun out of all of them, plus the atmosphere first captured in C&C2 tiberium sun was great. I say bring those elements back in full force.

IncipitOmega
IncipitOmega

Kane's days numbered ?!?! No way..I ain't buying this game if I'll see the end of Kane !!!!

Oom_Gert
Oom_Gert

This game is going through the same bastardization that Dawn of War did. I for one play RTS games because I CAN build bases and have to do so in a specific manner. RTS's have always been about better planning, buildqeus and fund management. What idiot decided to take base building away from a game and series that is the granddaddy of that genre?

kyphe
kyphe

@yifes lol and that monster takes 3 weeks to move 22 km at full speed, tracked systems are at the peak of their development and can hardly be expected to get any better at handling weight, Dragline excavators use a simple walking mechanism, its also slow but it is primitive technology which has much room for advancement in the future. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragline

OshadowO
OshadowO

ummm so does this mean they will actually finish the game's story and not make us buy an expansion pack to get the real ending? I have my doubts. I'll buy this if they don't have copy protection on it, or at least nothing as bad as C&C3. Otherwise I'll be fine reading up the plot line on the web like I did with C&C 3.

impost3r
impost3r

I would rather play this than Starcraft 2 .... ehhhh ... errrr .... yeah! lol

spitfireMK3
spitfireMK3

What scares me is that this game is sounding more and more like battleforge

TheReaper180
TheReaper180

I loved Red Alert and the original Command and Conquer. This whole Kane (or is it Kain?) thing is being brought too far. Is he ever going to just DIE?

CheezD
CheezD

hope it is as good as Tiberian Wars

bananasahar
bananasahar

i bet thet will be another race and i hope thet kane win's (world pice is bad :D )

Soilworker1234
Soilworker1234

I really dont like the way they are starting to use real actors for the cinematic videos, it makes the game look really cheesy.

Gamespot_Crew
Gamespot_Crew

2062? doesn't look so good it's great if it's 2100+

Sardonacus
Sardonacus

EA is purposely ruining PC games so they can concentrate on the consoles. They've been doing it for years so why buy games from them. C&C3 is a great example and they dont even make Tiger Woods for the PC anymore. Boycott em and hopefully the customer will have a say once more.