This in-game screenshot shows how the devastating B52 can deliver a harsh blow against enemy troops and structures.
As the video fades in from black, a camera swoops over a lush cityscape in real time. "He's on my tail!" a pilot screams, his highly modified F-22 Raptor fighter jet winging its way across the screen with a smoke trail behind it. Soon, the camera pans across the city. In the process, huge office buildings are shown in 3D. Coming to a stop, the camera focuses in on a set of tanks on the outskirts of the town. These tanks are firing on a building, which soon explodes with glass shattering, fire raging, and the camera swirling around the destroyed infrastructure.
But these aren't prism or mammoth tanks. Instead, the tanks are real-life modern military hardware, nicknamed crusader tanks, rolling around on a remarkably realistic and present-day terrain. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Command & Conquer: Generals," Skaggs proclaims. "This is an all-new Command & Conquer, with a modern conflict inspired by events relevant to today."
"Our guys wanted a C&C that has gameplay as polished as Red Alert 2 with a graphics engine that competes with Blizzard and Ensemble." - EA's Bing Gordon
With the action still developing onscreen, the executives in the audience can't believe C&C looks this good. "Our guys wanted a C&C that has gameplay as polished as Red Alert 2 with a graphics engine that competes with Blizzard and Ensemble," explains Bing Gordon, EA's chief creative officer, who was at the meeting and has become a mentor to Skaggs. "Mark's team has delivered just that." The rest of the audience seems to agree, spontaneously breaking into a unanimous round of applause during the video. Hearing the applause, Skaggs looks at Bonin and raises his eyebrows, as if to say, "Hmm, wasn't expecting that!"
As the presentation continues, Skaggs, the executive in charge of production on the game, starts to explain the epic conflict behind this reimagining of the C&C universe. Set 20 years in the future, it's the story of the United States and China fighting against a rogue terrorist-like state, the Global Liberation Army. "This is a different type of war, where it isn't just tanks battling against tanks," he tells the executives. "We are calling it today's world 'plus one'--think of the technology the military is working on today that might not be seen in the field for 20 years."
The actual slide that was shown at the EA executive meeting.
Switching to a PowerPoint presentation, Skaggs calls up a slide of bullet points. The executives look over the list, which includes phrases such as "New units and tactics, building on all the fun from Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge." Skaggs is quick to point out that this isn't a gritty game, but rather a metaphor for the current state of world affairs, with missions ripped from today's headlines. "This isn't Jane's Generals--the world has been through whatever is going to happen in Afghanistan, and this is 20 years in the future, with a bit of creativity on our part," he cautions. With the press of a key, Bonin advances to the next slide, which says in big letters: "Let's see them pixels!"