Command and Conquer 3 AND Anne Hathaway? Oh my!
March 16, 2007
Not too long ago, I gave a fairly critical review of the recent strategy title Supreme Commander, remarking that it was fun to play overall, but that it was far from revolutionizing the genre, and still had a meager storyline. This might have seemed unfair to some readers, while most other readers were probably upset to find a column about computer games in place of their daily dose of erudition (I apologize if I made you spill your latte in disgust or frustration). So, in a rare bit of counter-misanthropy, I hereby admit that I was a little harsh on SC; I suppose I was criticizing the tremendous hype surrounding the game, rather than evaluating the game on its merits alone.
Not so with Command and Conquer 3 (trailer below). Command and Conquer 3 will be everything that one could ever hope it to be… and more. If you think that computer games are for ridiculous man-children who refuse to grow up, it will not change your mind. If you think that this game will revolutionize strategy games, you will be sorely mistaken. But if you think that it will be a ridiculous amount of fun, with explosions and campy acting galore, then this will be as good as the second coming to you.
From the trailer alone, you can already see the over-the-top cast has been assembled nicely, with Michael Ironside (sound angel chorus) and Billy Dee Williams (double angel chorus!) as the leaders of the NATO-esque Global Defense Initiative (GDI). Let that sink in for a second. BILLY DEE WILLIAMS. The cast also features the Cylon women from Battlestar Galactica (Grace Park and Tricia Helfer), and the irrepressible Joe Kucan reprising his role as megalomaniac/prophet Kane, who leads the terrorist organization known as the Brotherhood of Nod.
The old myth about the invention of the space pen, wherein the US spent millions developing a zero-gravity pen, while the Soviets used a pencil, sums up how the interface in C&C3 compares to that of Supreme Commander. C&C3 doesn’t have all of the hyped innovations found in Supreme Commander, instead providing simple solutions that manage to reduce micromanagement and increase the emphasis on tactics and lightning-fast game play. For instance, in SC, players can order a transport to continuously ferry troops, saving the player from having to individually order each unit into the transport, move the transport, unload it, and repeat the entire process as is standard in other games. Instead, C&C3 offers each GDI unit the ability to call for air transportation (one button click), and after indicating a destination (button click number two), the transport delivers its cargo and leaves the battlefield. Thus, C&C3’s system is not only more streamlined, it doesn’t force the player to build up and maintain a fleet of cargo vehicles in addition to their front-line troops. It might seem like a small difference (especially to the non-devotee), but I enjoy pretty much any feature that makes my video games more like games, and less like public transportation simulators (unless that’s the point of the game).
So, where does Anne Hathaway fit into all of this?
As it happens, a Salad-Corp. operative who happens to have inside knowledge of Electronic Arts, the company behind C&C3, has relayed to us a rumor that the executives responsible for marketing the game were worried that they hadn’t played the campiness angle enough. So as a result, it seems that the Brotherhood of Nod just might be making a pit-stop in the tiny kingdom of Genovia on their path to world domination. Whether this means that Princess Renaldi will accept the overtures of the Global Defense Initiative over the impassioned cries of the quasi-Marxist/millennialist Brotherhood is less clear.