Remembering the mechanical man

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry…Command and Conquer was the first CD-ROM computer game that I truly enjoyed. You could control an entire army, from securing resources to devising stratagems. The background story was incredibly complex, for a game: two sides, the noble GDI and the charismatic Brotherhood of Nod, waged a war on the ground and through Police2 copy.jpgpropaganda in a bid to be the first to control and understand an organism known as Tiberium that is slowly taking over the world. I used to play it so long, my contact lenses fell out of my head.

You could tell there was love put into this game. Playing as Nod, if you uncovered three crates spread over several campaign levels, you obtained a nuclear warhead in the final mission. As GDI, you received a different ending movie depending on how you destroyed the Nod Temple – if you used the orbital Ion Cannon, you would see the charismatic Nod leader, Kane, spread his arms like a cross-like figure as the beam pulverized him and his stronghold.

Red Alert and Red Alert 2 continued the tradition of background rock music, fancy install sequences, over the top FMVs and crazy weapons that were a hoot to use, but still remained firmly entrenched in a modern combat setting. Despite being prequels and spinoffs, they too offered teasing glimpses into the alternate universe that C&C created.

The true C&C storyline still yearned for its rightful sequels. Westwood planned it to be a trilogy: Tiberian Dawn, Tiberian Sun, and Tiberian Twilight.

However, Command & Conquer 2: Tiberian Sun, hyped for over four years, turned the C&C story into a sci-fi cliche with UFOs and mutants, and was a commercial flop. By then, Westwood was dead and assimilated into the EA monolith. Generals, while very pretty, was devoid of storyline or artistry. It was C&C in name only. The golden goose from Las Vegas was officially poached.

It’s hard to get excited by the possibility of Command and Conquer 3: Tiberian Twilight. Will it bring the old excitement back, or will it be the final insult?