Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath Multiplayer Q&A

Six new factions, 50 maps, and 100 tools of destruction. Feel the wrath.

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Like Tiberium Wars before it, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath is making its way from the PC to the Xbox 360--and thankfully with its classic full-motion video scenes intact. The fast-paced, fluid multiplayer modes of C&C are of course included, and we sat down with lead producer Jim Vessella to learn more about the transition from PC servers to Xbox Live. Although the match broadcast system didn't make the jump from PCs, Vessella did fill us in on new content exclusive to Kane's Wrath on the Xbox 360. Here's what he had to say.

GameSpot: Give us an overview of the multiplayer in Kane's Wrath for the 360. What was the goal in designing the multiplayer for consoles?

Jim Vessella: One of the development team's goals was to make multiplayer in Kane's Wrath the best multiplayer RTS experience on consoles. Kane's Wrath multiplayer features five game modes, including classics like versus and capture the flag, and more beginner-friendly modes like siege. The combination of these modes allows players of all skill levels to have an awesome online experience.

Now Xbox 360 owners can join the Brotherhood of Nod this summer. Do you believe?
Now Xbox 360 owners can join the Brotherhood of Nod this summer. Do you believe?

Kane's Wrath really opens up the multiplayer landscape with the addition our six new factions, so players can now choose from nine armies in their multiplayer battles. Each of these armies is designed for a different play style, so gamers will be able to find the army that best suits them. In addition, because you can play with all the units, structures, and superweapons from C&C3: Tiberium Wars, players will have 100 tools of destruction at their command. We also have over 50 multiplayer maps, so the number of different game options has skyrocketed in Kane's Wrath. We can't wait for gamers to jump online and experiment with all the new content.

GS: We understand that the console version of the game features all-new content, such as new multiplayer maps that had previously been released for the PC version. Tell us about this content. How much are console players getting?

JV: We have over two dozen new maps in Kane's Wrath, along with additional maps that were released with PC patches. Combined with the content with Tiberium Wars, this gives us over 50 multiplayer maps and potentially more to come with downloadable map packs.

GS: Otherwise, single-player campaigns and missions often pave the way for multiplayer. How does the single-player game in Kane's Wrath prep beginners to compete online?

JV: The single-player campaign will introduce players to all the new units, powers, and abilities for our Nod factions, including the two new subfactions. You will also get an opportunity to analyze the weaknesses of the other six factions, as you lay waste to both GDI and the Scrin throughout the campaign. However, most importantly the campaign will give players an introduction to the new CommandStick radial interface, which really takes RTS controls on console to the next level in terms of speed, multitasking, and accessibility to gamers of all levels. Once learned, the new interface will really allow players to wreck havoc and wage war online.

GS: How does the game's new interface and radial menu play into competitive matches? How does it empower players to put up a better fight?

JV: With the addition of the CommandStick interface, players will finally get to focus more on the action and less on babysitting their base and scrolling around the map. Players can now manage unlimited build queues from anywhere on the map, so their focus is on the battles and making the best strategic and ruthless decisions. The increased speed from the interface is really a sight to behold, and we're excited to get it in the hands of eager online competitors.

We've also added some advanced unit commands into the game like Reverse Move and true Force Fire. By learning to utilize these abilities in the right situation, players will gain an edge over their opponent.

GS: Tell us about how the new subfactions play into multiplayer on console. How well do the new units lend themselves to console play?

JV: The new subfactions are going to be a big hit in multiplayer. The subfactions really add a new dimension to the game and there are now exponentially more strategies to unleash online. Team-based games are going to get a huge boost as players begin to mix and match the unique subfaction units and strengths and weaknesses. We have several Epic Units that are great for console play, like the Nod Redeemer or GDI MARV, and also some awesome new units for the more advanced players like the Cultists and Mechapede. We are looking forward to jumping online with our fans and trying out some new strategies with the new subfactions.

GS: We remember that the original Command & Conquer 3 for the PC had several multiplayer options that encouraged players to step up their competitive game within the community, such as match replays and commentary. How much of this sort of thing made the cut to the console version of the game?

JV: The match broadcast system unfortunately didn't make it onto the Xbox 360 version, but this is why we wanted to give console players some exclusives like the new game modes and Vision Cam and voice chat support. Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars was a huge hit on Xbox Live, and we're expecting the same for Kane's Wrath.

GS: Does the console version of Kane's Wrath add any interesting new features that take advantage of Xbox Live? How does the game incorporate rankings and leaderboards, for instance?

JV: We have both leaderboards and stats in Kane's Wrath, which are great for tracking your progress online and comparing with your friends. We also have several achievements tied to online play, so be sure to play with the different subfactions and boost your gamerscore!

The CommandStick is the main interface mechanic on the console version of Kane's Wrath.
The CommandStick is the main interface mechanic on the console version of Kane's Wrath.

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about the multiplayer in Kane's Wrath?

JV: With the addition of six subfactions and an arsenal of new content, Kane's Wrath is aiming to take the multiplayer experience to the next level. Combined with the new CommandStick radial interface and Xbox 360-exclusive Kane's Challenge, Kane's Wrath is going to become the definitive RTS on Xbox 360. You don't need C&C3: Tiberium Wars to play it, and we can't wait to see everyone online when it ships on June 23 for $39.99!

GS: Thank you.

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