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Command and Conquer Generals Released 385

A reader writes:"Febuary 11th marks the day that the future of the Command and Conquer universe will be determined. Electronic Arts has taken over the franchise and has even shut down Westwood Studios. Many of us will remember Westwood for such games as Dune II. They basically invented the RTS market which makes this a sad time. Electronic Arts today launches what they are hoping will be the WarCraft 3 killa. This game along with SimCity 4 is what EA is counting on. Here is an amazing 430 screenshot pictorial of the Generals single player missions. "
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Command and Conquer Generals Released

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  • Eye of the beholders (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @07:52AM (#5286603)
    Sniff...Westwood also did the two Eye of the Beholders in the beginning of the '90s.
    • weren't there 3 EotB's? Either way, those were some AWESOME games, and it's really too bad they're gone. I remember how amazing those graphics seemed... Some things actually looked shiny, and everything that was supposed to be smooth looked smooth... it was astounding to me!!

      ~Jon~
  • by zapod4 ( 592860 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @07:54AM (#5286608)
    I used to be a big fan of C&C. Problem is, Red Alert was just like the original, Tiberian Sun was just like Red Alert, Red Alert II was just like the original Red Alert. Each game has new graphics and different names for the same things.
    • by Niadh ( 468443 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:31AM (#5286700) Homepage
      I used to be a big fan of C&C. Problem is, Red Alert was just like the original, Tiberian Sun was just like Red Alert, Red Alert II was just like the original Red Alert. Each game has new graphics and different names for the same things.


      Isn't that the POINT of a sequel game? Keep the basic game play, which people like, intacted but also add as many new features as you can. Each game had new units with differant special abilities changing the game play just enough to keep it fun and fresh. Yet they kept most of the basic units in some form or another so the learning curve would be small for an old vet.

      Game sequels are the game programers remaking the same game to push the latest hardware and add new things that at the time of the orignal game where not possible.

      Don't dog on a C&C game for being a C&C game.
      • Game sequels are the game programers remaking the same game to push the latest hardware and add new things that at the time of the orignal game where not possible.

        Actually, typical game sequels are the publishers/developer shops trying to make some "easy" money. A lot of the work is already done: name recognition, game design, internal toolsets. Some of the actual game code might be "reusable" as well, with some tweaking (or none, depending on the game).

        I've worked in the game industry in the past, and this has been my experience... YMMV.
      • I don't want to pay another $50 to play the same game I already have in my library. Sequels should keep the style of gameplay the same, with similar (if not identical) hotkeys but a completely different storyline/graphics/units. Blizzard has done a pretty good job of this with their WC/SC series...you can almost consider SC a sequel to WC...same style, similar hotkeys but completely different storyline with different characters and a different means to an end.

        I want something that changes my strategies from the original game. Now, I haven't played the newest C&C game, but I'm guessing you're going to be tank rushing a lot.

        --trb
      • Isn't that the POINT of a sequel game? Keep the basic game play, which people like, intacted but also add as many new features as you can.

        No! No! I disagree and I hate when they do that!

        I would agree is that the basic game play should be the same, but the thing should be SIMPLIFIED!

        Make the user interface CLEANER! (Example: I am so glad that in Civ III I no longer have to move the fucking camels around)

        Emphasize the things that people LIKED about the game, and remove the fiddly bits that people did NOT like. (Example: allowing you to let an AI "advisor" do things that you don't want to control manually)

        Simplified doesn't mean "not improved" though. Things that are good can be HEIGHTENED and enriched, without just "lookit all the new features. To use Civ III again as an example, they didn't just add more "features" to diplomacy as much as enriched it. Yes, it is more complex from one point of view, but I would say it is simpler in that the types of things you can do seem more natural. An "alliance" feels more like what I would expect an alliance to be like, for example.

        And... of course... I think part of the point of a sequel is to make the AI SMARTER.

        (and yes, I like it when the whole thing is purtier too)
    • I agree completely. I was a big Red Alert player (never did C&C. I didn't play for a few years till a friend got Tiberian Sun and challenged me a to a LAN match (after he'd been playing it for a few days). I beat him in the first game I played - never touched Tiberian Sun before. It was so similar to Red Alert, all my old strategies came flooding back to me, and I picked up the few subtle differences between the two as I went along.

      Complete waste of time releasing subsequent versions that are so similar.
    • Yeah, well they tried something a little different with Dune: Emperor and it pretty much failed. 3d engine, original structures and unit types. Same with C&C Renegade. Completely new concept on a crappy 3D engine. Didn't sell well off the mark so support and patches have been miserable. Add that to the one of the flakiest online systems around and you can see Westwood has been losing some diehard fans for years now.

      Most of the generals beta-testers I know won't be buying the game. They've done a poor job integrating user suggestions and nobody is expecting them to fix much after release.

      I know they need to focus on the successful products, but they can only burn their fans so many times. Maybe will bring some changes, but I doubt it.
      • Yeah, well they tried something a little different with Dune: Emperor and it pretty much failed.

        I'd say they did the same bloody thing _over_ and _over_ and _over_ again in Dune:Emperor. Missions were not unique, rehashing the same maps got old, and it was real flacky on my laptop until one of the later patches fixed the graphics issues. Anything 'new' with units retreating was lost on me... What a waste of time/money.
  • by DarkDust ( 239124 ) <marc@darkdust.net> on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @07:55AM (#5286609) Homepage

    Well, EA has made some good games but for me it's more and more a game-studio killer, buying other game makers and shutting them down (more or less)...

    The interview with Lord British [gamespy.com] that was posted recently on /. gives some insight into EA's thinking: make money fast, even at the cost of quality, it seems.

    Very sad...

    • by Dalroth ( 85450 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @12:45PM (#5288229) Homepage Journal
      You are very right. EA has a history of only support it's internal sports division. Except for that division, the rest of their history has been a joke: Buy a company, bleed it dry, close it down and let all the innovative product ideas and franchises rot.

      This includes:
      Bullfrog and their Magic Carpet Series
      Origin and their Ultima and Wing Commander series
      Janes and their entire line of simulators
      Westwood and their C&C and Dune series

      Notice, those four companies (amongst others) have released some of the most important and critically acclaimed titles in the history of Computing. Their all dead now, and you have Electronic Arts to thank.

      The only good thing about all this is EA are morons and let most of the key talent leave to start new game companies. The good people are still out there making games, it's just sad that they no longer have access to the properties that made them successfull (and us quite happy gamers).
  • Deleted my Win98 partition a while ago; I'm hoping this doesn't rely too much on DirectX 8.1...

    I always enjoyed Red Alert. From the previews I've seen, Generals looks like it might be even more fun. We'll see.
  • by Brian Boitano ( 514508 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @07:57AM (#5286612) Journal
    hardly worth playing the game now...
  • Movies Too (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:01AM (#5286624)
    Bunch of movies here [renegadegenerals.com].
  • and as a sidenote (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:02AM (#5286626)
    the warez peeps played it and came up with some additional information not contained in this slashvertisement...

    10 hours playtime for all 3 campaigns
    uncounted number of bugs
    AI is.. Not So Good(tm)
    there are no movies furthering the storyline
    then again there is no real storyline
    its built on chinas/arab terroristi stereotypes, us are great peeps though
    worst c&c ever.

    so im off playing dune2.. the dos one you know :p

  • by kahei ( 466208 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:03AM (#5286629) Homepage

    I thought they intended to reduce the entire game market to Sims and Sports. But I forgot that there is one other category just as boring as Sims and Sports -- the C&C Clone category!

    This increases the diversity of EA's offerings by 50%!

  • by wetson ( 27135 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:04AM (#5286631) Homepage
    ...don't ask me how, but I live in SouthEast Asia(if that'll give you a clue).

    My initial comments, based on playing Skirmish mode:

    - Effects are okay (nice explosions) but I think some of the animations esp. for the personnel suck. I think the 3D engine is solid, but not really ground breaking. Not sure if the terrain is deformable (haven't played around with the superweapons as much), but I don't it's a big loss that it isn't. Most, if not all structures are certainly destroy-able.

    - Tech tree isn't that deep, although the Experience Points system is something different. I've been able to beat opponents using the plain old tank rush, but it's not as bad (or good, depending on how you look at it) as in previous versions.

    - Lack of previous version's cut scenes (no more Kari Wuhrer --- damn!!!)
  • by Bowie J. Poag ( 16898 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:11AM (#5286646) Homepage


    they are hoping will be the WarCraft 3 killa.

    Yeah, ok...Word up, homey.

    Sheesh.

  • *sniff* (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Hack ( 637833 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:12AM (#5286649)

    Oh Battletech, The Crescent Hawk's Inception (and Revenge) were my first ever Westwood games, and in fact my first ever PC games back in 1988 on a CGA monitor and an XT i believe! The Crescent Hawk's Inception was one of the best RPGs i've played, but of course playing it now only takes a few hours to win. I'd love to see a huge, modern version of that game instead of today's run-around-and-kill-stuff-in-a-huge-robot Battletech games. Here's to more science fiction RPGs!

    Don't forget Westwood also did a whole bunch of the early AD&D games (whether that's a good thing or not is perhaps debateable). They did California Games - those wacky surfer dudes with their hacky sacks :-) Kyrandia, Eye of the Beholder II, Lands of Lore (featuring our beloved Jean-Luc Picard).

    I have a feeling Westwood were even around in the 8-bit days, though going under a different name, perhaps. Were they Ocean? Does anyone remember?

    • For the record, if Westwood had any involvement in Crescent Hawk's Inception, it was publishing only. That game was developed fully by Infocom, the same company that gave you Zork.

      Here's the boxart [csd.uwo.ca]. Notice it says "Westwood Associates" on it, not "Westwood Studios". They may not have even been the same company.
    • it is a huge rpg game at sea, somehow like privateer though. i played sea dogs and i loved that game.

      sea dogs 2 should be released soon.

      http://seadogs2.bethsoft.com/
  • In the campaigns described on the site, you can:

    1) Destroy a nuclear warhead storage facility in China ("The dragon awakes...")
    2) Destroy a damn in Shymkent, Kazakhstan.
    3) Destroy all enemy forces in Iraq ("Operation: Final Justice")

    Can't they just use make-believe places and situations? I find this kind of stuff offensive.

    If a company in China or Russian or wherever released a game about invading and destroying things in the USA, I'm sure many people in the USA - and especially elements of the press - would be outraged. Imagine if an Arabic country released a game like this - many people would see it as inciting hatred towards the USA.

    Plea to game makers - please make the baddies aliens and dragons or robots.
    • by getch(); ( 164701 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:30AM (#5286697)
      Psst, don't tell anybody, but somebody already made a game about invading the USA. It was Westwood and the game was called Red Alert 2. Personally, I thought running through the streets of DC and garrisoning inside the Smithsonian was fun. But what do I know? My sense of being offended at fiction isn't very well developed.
    • That was my initial thought, Kazakstan, Iraq, China, Turkey.

      CNC Axis of Evil addition may have been a better name, still I'm sute the US is a big enough market that TROTW doesn't matter too much.
      (see earlier post about Lord British and EA's marketing stratergy)
    • Top 10 Game (Cut scenes etc) Stereotypes

      10. Gorgeous female british agent saves the day
      9. Female agent is Russian but defects
      8. Lone US Marine saves the world
      7. Arabs are evil
      6. Arabs are stupid and evil
      5. Aliens have Eastern European Accents
      4. Aliens have German accents
      3. Bad guys are from wherever the US hates right now
      2. Bad guys are British
      1. Bad guys are German

      I think there could be a trend but I can't see it right now.

      However my half-British, half-German, Communist Palestinian (who happens to own a Chinese weapons factory) leader says we will board our spaceships and attack at dawn.

      Troc
    • by buzzcutbuddha ( 113929 ) <maurice-slashdot.mauricereeves@com> on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:48AM (#5286743) Homepage
      Plea to game makers - please make the baddies aliens and dragons or robots.

      This is political correctness gone too far. You've started down a path I don't think you intended to take. If we turn it to face another way, being half-German I know that many Germans, most Germans in fact are ashamed that their history includes Nazism and Hitler. And they certainly don't like being reminded that the whole affair happened, but you're not campaigning for Medal of Honor and Castle Wolfenstein to change their games? Why not? If aliens landed tomorrow and started complaining that they're being maligned by our entertainment industry would you suddenly want to remove them from the list of acceptable villans? No, you probably wouldn't.

      If a company in China or Russian or wherever released a game about invading and destroying things in the USA, I'm sure many people in the USA - and especially elements of the press - would be outraged.

      And I agree with you, people in the states would be outraged, but that's not my metric for why I should or shouldn't do something. While I may not agree with the missions, or what they portray (though I think they accurately reflect active military plans the US already has drawn up), I have enough wherewithall to distinguish between a game and reality. The path you're taking leads to the same place 'concerned parents' and activists are taking us by wanting to ban violent video games altogether because of what they portray, and how they will affect us. If a game offends me, I don't buy it. You should do the same, and vote with your dollars, instead of trying to take choices from me.
    • by TGK ( 262438 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:50AM (#5286747) Homepage Journal
      I will never forget a trip to Japan I took just after I graduated from college. There was a large arcade next to my hotel, and geek that I am, I couldn't resist the idea of checking out the latest and greatest from our friends across the Pacific.

      Imagine how supprised I was to find that this arcade contained not only the cutting edge of both American and Japanese gameing companies, but also the old classics as well.

      I kept a croud of 15 kids enraptured with my exploits on "Battle of Midway" (or whatever it's called) for about 20 mins before I realized that the plane I was -=flying=- was a Zero and the planes I was shooting down were Mustangs and B29s.

      Yeoch.

    • Ok, while it's just a game and probably not trying to be realistic . . .

      I didn't realize that it's offensive to say these nations are our military competitors. Are you going to say all those warplane simulators are offensive? And it's not like they've been confined to just American craft, they've simulated Soviet aircraft too.

      You're saying I shouldn't buy "SU-27 Flanker 2.0" because it's offensive to Americans. Yeah. Whatever.

    • by NeoSkandranon ( 515696 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @09:05AM (#5286807)
      If a company in China or Russian or wherever released a game about invading and destroying things in the USA,

      You realize in ALL the Command and Conquer games, you can play the badguys? Which means, ~gasp~ you're invading and destroying things in the US and its allies (esp in RA2)

      You're offended? Where do you want hte missions to be, in canada and chile?
      • How about a C&C game where you play Canadian troops trying to avoid being bombed by USAF pilots?
      • a) Canada Rising: 500 years from now the Canadians are all that is left from humanity. The English tribe must destroy the French tribe. Both parties have psychological weapons in the form of squads bad female teenager singers capable of destroying the enemy troops morale.

        b) Maori Revenge: The secret Maori army, developed for centuries disguised as a rugby team, has taken New Zealand and now are on the way to Australia. As the Maori leader your mission is to free Australia from all white people.

        c) Antarctica: The war for clean water reachs its finnal stage: The joint Israeli-Saudi Arabia army face the South American forces for the last untapped water resources.

        d) The Fourth World War, Einstein version: armed with sticks and stones, Americans, Chinese and Russians fight for World domination.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Hmm, well guess what? There's at least 2 games available in the mid-east in which you play the role of a palestinian during the infantada. They are first-person shooters where you kill isralies and US soldiers. And this was even highlighted in one of the US major gaming magazines. No uproar heard though? Maybe freedom of speech means something?
    • Can you people PLEASE turn down the political correctness? Some of us like real-life scenarios, because it provides a kind of voyeuristic pleasure to simulate, however unrealistically, the killing of America's enemies.

      Why do you think Return to Castle Wolfenstein is so popular? Yeah, the engine and the gameplay are good; but honestly, it's just so morally and emotionally satisfying to shoot Nazis in the brain. Killing a computer representation of Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden or that wacko Kim Jong Il would be just as fulfilling, I'd imagine.
    • by tmark ( 230091 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @09:21AM (#5286876)
      Can't they just use make-believe places and situations? I find this kind of stuff offensive.

      No kidding. Imagine the hell that would be raised if someone came out with a mod pack that lets you run squads of Israeli stormtroopers to squash Palestinian uprisings, conversely if you could play small squads of Palestinians to take out key Israeli civilian targets, or if you could deploy Arab sappers/bombers/engineers to take out key city buildings.

    • 1) Destroy a nuclear warhead storage facility in China ("The dragon awakes...")

      China vs Terrorists -- Chinese destroyed facility to avoid terrorists gaining control of it.
      2) Destroy a damn in Shymkent, Kazakhstan.

      China vs Terrorists -- Chinese destroy dam to destroy terrorists.
      3) Destroy all enemy forces in Iraq ("Operation: Final Justice")

      Probably USA vs Terrorists. Not got that far yet ;)
      If a company in China or Russian or wherever released a game about invading and destroying things in the USA, I'm sure many people in the USA - and especially elements of the press - would be outraged.

      Um, you realise, of course, in this game, the USA and China are portrayed as co-operating in the fight against the GLA (terrorists).
    • by Ame-Tsuchi ( 649765 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @09:43AM (#5286977) Homepage
      In the first mission you mention, the nuclear warhead storage facility is being run by terrorists, and the player, as China, must destroy it. There are 3 single player campaigns available, where you play the role of China, America, or the "Global Liberation Army" (terrorists). It's actually quite interesting to see the game designers' predictions towards a future war. America's forces focus on technology, mobility and air superiority; China uses masses of units and nuclear technology; while the GLA uses junkyard vehicles, anthrax, and even suicide bombers. But, remember, one can play any side and thus use any strategy. It's not some "America conquers the world" game (at least, so far that I've played... you begin the game in the Chinese campaign, and end it with the GLA, and I of course haven't completed the first campaign yet). When I sit and play any of the sides, I don't sit there and think, "Oh, hey, it would be cool if I was doing this in real life; launching nukes and scuds." It is a setting for a game of strategy, and the setting, a future which may not be so implausible, poses some interesting questions. All of the sides can unleash terrible devestation. All of them believe in their cause. Which one is necessarily "right", if any? Destroy all enemy forces in Iraq? Isn't that what a certain nation is planning on doing? Many books are written about real life events, from the perspectives of all people involved. Just because this is a game doesn't mean that it must be void of any sort of valuable philosophical content. While in a book one must simply accept the perspective given to them, here the player has a choice. I'll admit that diplomacy isn't an option -- but the genre of this game is the strategy of warfare, not the strategy of negotiations. As I stated before, I haven't played through the whole game yet, simply because of time. I could see your point if the game only allowed a person to play as America; however, the fact is that you can play any of the sides, along with their appropriate predicted ideologies and goals.
    • In the previous version of the game, there was a single player version where, as russians, you had to capture or destroy the "Pathetic Capitalist Shrine, the World Trade Center."

      I bet they felt bad about that one after 9/11/2001.

      The point is, these games are based on an alternative history in which Albert Enistien invents a time machine and assassinates Hitler while he was still a child. It shouldn't be seen as happening today.
  • Warcraft 3 Killa? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StormyWeather ( 543593 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:16AM (#5286667) Homepage

    Electronic Arts today launches what they are hoping will be the WarCraft 3 killa.

    Umm.. I thought Warcraft 3 already killed itself. Maybe I'm just getting too old now, but EVERYONE played the original it seems, but everyone I've talked to that I know hated 3. That's the nice thing about piracy. Everyone I knew back in the day pirated Warcraft, then went out and bought it because it rocked, but if people pirate a game they don't like they won't buy it.

    Now, if they wanted to try and kill something I would suggest going after MOO, but then again this is EA(Electronic Assoles) we are talking about, so it may be good that they set their expectations low ;).

    • Re:Warcraft 3 Killa? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Hack ( 637833 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:47AM (#5286738)

      I really think more and more games are getting too clever for their own good. Warcraft 3 being a perfect example. Certainly hardcore gamers will go in there and memorize 25 different hotkeys and be able to follow games running at turbo speeds... but when we look back at Dune II and Warcraft I they played fairly slowly, you only had about 4 hotkeys (Move, Attack, Guard and Harvest/Mine/etc is all i remember)... you didn't have to remember a whole bunch of stuff before you could even play a game. The same thing is happening in first-person-shooters.

      I was talking to a friend the other day who said he thinks things started getting out of hand when Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat came out because there were all these combos of up-down-left-right-high-punch-low-punch-jump-back. .. I think he's probably right. Certainly i've memorized my share of secret moves and fatalities, and i even played TIE Fighter and various flight sims... but games like real-time strategy and first-person-shooters i always considered the Space Invaders of today... games where you can just kick back and click around and shoot and that's it. Who knows? Maybe we'll see a back-to-basics movement in the future when they start simplifying all this stuff again. Either that or a more intuitive input system (like thought-controlled-movement :-)

  • EA is counting on? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Galvatron ( 115029 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:21AM (#5286681)
    The linked article says the exact opposite, that EA is enormous, the Microsoft or Disney of the videogame world. I'm sure C&C Generals doing poorly would disappoint EA, but the article doesn't say it's dependant on those two titles doing well at all.

    Also in the article, they talk a bit about sports games, saying it's the perfect franchise because fans will repurchase essentially the same game year after year to get updated player rosters. Is this actually true? I can understand buying the same game every couple years, as they add new features, and you migrate from one generation of consoles to the next. But are there really people who buy Madden 2000, Madden 2001, Madden 2002 and so forth all for the same system?

    • Yes, there are people who buy every single season of a game just to get the updated rosters. There really is little more than that different from one season to the next, too. A tweak in gameplay here, a minor update to graphics there, but nothing major. Essentially the same game recycled with different players.

      What's worse than that, however, is that many of these people will also buy several different brands of the same game. At EB we have folks come in who have been playing Madden 2003 for months and are bored with it...so they grab Sega NFL 2k3 or NFL Fever for a little variety!

      yrs,
      Ephemeriis
  • by Tyreth ( 523822 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:24AM (#5286686)
    Does the game come with a free P4 cpu? Otherwise I might need an upgrade...
  • and I have to say I'm not impressed.

    With my p4 1.5 and radeon 8500, the game ran VERY choppy at the minimum of 800x600 with low detail (although I didn't see any difference in detail between high and low).

    Secondly, theres basically no story line behind the game, and seemingly, no single player campaigns at all. Sure you can play the single player stuffs, but don't expect to get blown away by great sounds and storyline like in starcraft or warcraft. Nope, here you get all generic characters, and wouldn't you know - when you play the chinese people you get all the racial slurs in there ("Toys "L" Us" anyone?)

    I would seriously recommend waiting for the demo on this one, as there are bound to be people who perfer C&C over blizzard's unbeatable line of games, BUT there are probably some aspects of the game I've missed.

    There is carpet bombing, saturation bombing, and all this other stuff, but its just sooooo freakin cutsy putsy... i'm not sure how else to put it.

  • Strange (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:40AM (#5286724)
    Choice of combatants in the game. Why choose actual nations?, especially since the weaponry looks pretty accurate from a technical point of view. Do you really want to hear your kids discuss how they fuel bombed Chinese infantry units and wiped then out?

    I know using GDI, NOD does not have the same jingoistic appeal for many as deploying battalions of Rangers, Raptors and Stealth bombers to sort out the bad guys. However for the sake of argument suppose someone wrote a game where you play a terrorist cell and have to attack civilian targets in a realistic process gaining experience and improved intelligence, more committed terrorists and the ability to commit greater atrocities as you 'advance'. I don't think people would find that an acceptable outlet for their kid's energies.

    I know its only a game, but in the current climate I think a little more sensitivity could have been used.

    • Choice of combatants in the game. Why choose actual nations?

      Several reasons come to mind: lack of imagination, laziness, or the fact that we are currently not on good terms with these particular countries? Ever hear the phrase "art imitates life"? We are currently in a tense situation with both of these countries, and the game reflects that.

      However for the sake of argument suppose someone wrote a game where you play a terrorist cell and have to attack civilian targets in a realistic process gaining experience and improved intelligence, more committed terrorists and the ability to commit greater atrocities as you 'advance'.

      A game that is not another standard cookie-cutter FPS/RPG/RTS/MMORPG would kick ass. I think that would be a great idea and I would buy it in an instant. Want to know why? Because it's a GAME! It doesn't indicate that I will eventually snap and gun down people in the streets, it indicates I have a twisted sense of fun. Besides, after games like GTA III and Vice City, we haven't exactly seen an upsurge of carjackings and joykillings, have we?

      I know its only a game, but in the current climate I think a little more sensitivity could have been used.

      Why? So bleeding heart liberals like you can feel all warm and fuzzy and pretend that all is right with the world? Wake up. Besides, who are we being sensitive to? Ourselves? Screw that. The nations depicted in the game? Again, screw that. If they were to make a game where the US were attacked and major cities were nuked, and civilian lives lost, I really wouldn't care because....wait for it....IT'S A GAME! It's meant to be fun! Heck, I wouldn't mind playing a game where I could take a couple pot shots at the good ol' USA, given the way it's being run now...
    • Re:Strange (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ephemeriis ( 315124 )
      Actually... One of the nations/sides/factions to play in Generals is the Global Liberation Army - a terrorist organisation. You get all kinds of nasty biological weapons to play with.

      I know its just a game, and I certainly had fun blowing up recognizeable US landmarks in RA2, but it just seems like bad timing. A year or two ago I wouldn't have even blinked at this...but today, with all the noise about war with Iraq, it just seems to strike a little too close to home.

      Call me stupid if you will, or a bleeding-heart, or whatever else.... I just wonder how this game will actually fare. I thought Collateral Damage [imdb.com] was actually an entertaining movie....but coming out so close to 9/11 just killed it in the theatres.

      yrs,
      Ephemeriis
  • personal summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by KillerLoop ( 202131 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @08:51AM (#5286751) Homepage
    I'm an avid fan of westwood games and spent many an our on the Red Alert II - Yuris Revenge, and have been eagerly waiting for this game to come out.

    Well, first of all a PIII 800 with a GeForce2 MX 440 and 640MB RAM doesn't cut the cheese. And yes, I'm not a professional gamer, and it sucks to upgrade your box to be able to play an RTS.

    Next thing is, I believe that 3D doesn't add value to an RTS game. Isometric is perfectly fine for strategy games, and doesn't look so cluttered. But thats personal preferences I guess...

    What I liked about it:

    * the Chinese Flame Tank
    * nuke animations

    What imho sucks:

    * hardware requirements
    * the absolute *braindead* idea that you see your buildjobs only when the building is active. man...
    * the rather shallow tech tree
    * unimaginative units (at least compared to Yuris Revenge)
    * the missing storyline and videos
    * the background story. like china is likely to just blow up one of their major dams to catch a few terrorists. jeez.
    * the gameplay is _slow_, no real action (compared to red alert...)

    Oh, and I've just seen the first 5 or so missions of the Chinese, and sincerely hope it's getting better. America was always the most fun to play with Westwood games.
  • by hansreiser ( 6963 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @09:08AM (#5286822) Homepage
    When you spend most of the game struggling with not having enough time to make use of your resources, it reveals a deep flaw in the game. The one area where this is an asset rather than a flaw is with bomb trucks and car bombs.

    I really, really, like the bomb trucks. You get to load them up with anthrax and explosives, and send them charging at the enemy troop formations. The bomb trucks can disguise themselves as enemy vehicles, and the other player has to compel his units to shoot at them.

    Another nice touch is the rebel ambushes. You can make your rebels appear behind enemy lines near a power station or something else that needs to be defended by the enemy, wait for the enemy to send a whole bunch of troops to kill them, and now that you know where a whole bunch of the enemy is you can dust the rebels and the enemy both with anthrax. Fun.;-)

    The GLA scuds, chinese nukes, and american particle cannons are too powerful, and should perhaps be removed from the game I think. Maybe I am wrong....

    The static defenses are too strong, or maybe I need more practice in taking them out using longer ranged weapons, I don't know yet. It seems that the scuds, nukes, and particle cannons are what you need to break through the static defenses.

    It is a really good idea to keep a few bomb trucks
    in reserve so that if a mass of enemy units rampages through your defenses, you can smash them a bit.

    The car bombs are cute, but the timescale does not really allow you to spend time loading terrorists into cars and then getting just a small explosion out of the use of all that time. This is a pity.

    I should probably try multiplayer at a reduced speed.
  • I am getting very tired of the EA suits pushing out games which are full of holes, require enormous hardware, need plenty of patches and add-ons, and do not come with a manual.
    They seem to be done entirely with an eye to maximizing profit, and have little to do with The Joy Of Gaming.

    Case in point: SimCity 4.
    I eagerly rushed into the shop as soon as I heard that SC4 is now available (been playing that game ever since the original SimCity).
    Turns out that - despite the lowish recommended specs - my AMD 2100 with 512MB RAM and the GeForce 4 4600i is not powerful to fluidly run a city of more than about 8000 people.
    A lot of functionality from previous versions is missing, and even the gorgeous graphics do not make up for this.
    The handbook was the worst I ever saw in any game, and that certainly includes the tape covers back in the early 80s. It did not even explain the most basic concepts of the game, forcing you to buy the strategy guide (which, of course, I didn't).
    Oh, and the price was about $50 (+$20 for the strategy guide, of course).

    My bet is that C&CG is going to be much like this. No thanks, not interested. I am also not interested in the use of 3D in my strategy games, but that's personal preference, I guess.

    Another poster complained about using real-life story lines (e.g. "Kill every civilian in Iraq"), which also bothers me slightly. I am certainly far from Politically Correct, and much prefere shooting humans to shooting robots and aliens, but the environment could at least take place in some fictional Evil State.

    Bah. In the last couple of years, EA has only disappointed me. I'm taking my money elsewhere.
    For example, to Uplink. Fun game, interesting idea, cheap, runs on both Eeevil Windoze and Good Linux. Have a look at http://www.introversion.co.uk.
    (Just a happy player, no relation to Introversion).

    Ciao,
    Klaus
    • Even worse is the fact that guys like Hemos neglect to post good information about advances in multi-platform gaming, but can post crap about the usual EA shit. Final Fantasy, Sims, and now this. They all come to mind.

      I's great that nobody gave a shit when great games Like "Mutant Storm" come from guys that have a passion for making games, and make them *multi-platform*. Still, they can't make a buck because everyone is proccupied with Final Fantasy and Command and Conquer news.

      Or how about news about the latest LGP titles that are popping up. Disciples 2 is on the way. LGP just picked up two games from a company called GRIN. Maybe nobody cared that Icculus is porting MOH:AA to Linux along with Serious Sam and a few other games (Yes. I know that this did kinda make it to Slashdot a month ago.)
    • I think there's something wrong with your PC then. My system specs are:

      Athlon 2200+ XP (1.8GHz)
      1 gig of PC2100 RAM
      GeForce Ti500

      I can run the game at 1024x768 with absolutely zero slow downs or stutters. I even tried 1600x1200 and it did pretty decent as well.

      Maybe try upgrading your RAM? I dunno. SimCity4 appears to be quite a RAM hog.
  • I've never really gotten into the RTS thing and every RTS seems to be generally the same. The only one I remember enjoying was the grandaddy of them all - Herzog Zwei - but that was more than half arcade game.

    Anyways if I might make a humble request to the /. editors - could we also get an article when Masters of Orion 3 *finally* comes out in about two weeks??
  • Electronic Arts today launches what they are hoping will be the WarCraft 3 killa.

    It won't have to be much better than the C&C:Red Alert to be the WC3 Killer. WC3 was one of the biggest gaming disappointments I've ever had (although Diablo II was pretty close).
  • It's not very good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Echnin ( 607099 ) <p3s46f102&sneakemail,com> on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @09:20AM (#5286871) Homepage
    I downloaded it a few days ago, and I don't like it, so I'm not going to buy it. They lost the unique construction system with the bars on the side of the screen, and instead adopted the old Warcraft style system, where you have to press every individual bulding to build something, and have a construction vehicle or person going around making and repairing buildings. Really disappointing. Although Starcraft also uses this system, I think that is a far better game, even though it's pretty old. Red Alert 2 also beats Generals. I'm very disappointed, as I played through Red Alert 2 again to get hyped about it.
  • This most interesting thing on their website was the status bar text. The metatag keywords are a bit OTT too - all 128 of them.

    Some web developers have too much time on their hands. :)

    The status bar text:
    The Generals Multiplayer Test Preview Is The Ownage......
    But I've Been Clicking On Pop Ups For 18 Hours....
    And still haven't found the download link!
    Sigh...
    Shoutouts to the Webprincess who can be reached at sweetlil@renegadegenerals.com
    She doesn't really like the webmaster playing games....
    But she tolerates me... and she is damn sexy
    In fact she is actually a princess
    I wanna play Generals now damn it :(
    I've pre-ordered and I better get the China box
    If I get the dumb USA box I'll be upset
    I'll take my Ranger crew and combat drop in to Amer's office
    Do you think the military would authorize action against EAP?
    Somehow I'm doubting it....
    And what about the map editor.....
    My girlfriend thought I was bad at being late.....
    At least I show up within the same week
    We've asked you nicely, now give it to us
    Or we'll have to nicely ask again
    I bet Amer is enjoying our e-mails and not returning them
    More likely Harvard's dog is enjoying them
    You think he prints every one off to feed the dog?
    Maybe we should offer a prize for anyone who can tell us Amer's location
    Perhaps all the n00bs scared him off
    Yep, thats it. damn n00bs

  • Westwood did not basdicaly invent the RTS. They devoloped some of the first RTS's but so did Blizzard. No one company invented RTS, a variety of sources led to its creation.
  • Even at high resolutons (>1280x1024), the zoom is horrible. When fully zoomed out, you are limited to such a small portion of the map. I like the 3d but let us zoom out just a little bit more. Also the maps are SMALL! You end up taking over 1/2 the map when you play the game. If you try to play with 6 players you realize the 8person maps are still too small. Overall a good game, I think they did an OK job.
  • They used to be one of the best....used to be pretty much any game I bought was Origin, Bullfrog, Sierra(et al), or Blizzard...well we all know whats happened...
    I really miss Origin...Lucas Arts has me placated for a while with the X-wing and Tie games, but they seem to have abandoned the space shooter...I am just itching for a good space Shooter like wing commander again, but alas....
  • Generals Reviews (Score:3, Informative)

    by instinctdesign ( 534196 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @09:44AM (#5286982) Homepage
    There are a couple of reviews of Generals out. This review [gamespot.com] from Gamespot [gamespot.com] gave it a 8.9 of 10. Not too bad.
  • by Marton ( 24416 )
    Just like many recently released over-hyped nth sequel crap.

    I saw it while peering over the shoulder of somebody I don't know but they say he's a warez guy.

    It plays sort of like the original, true - but it has numerous faults.

    System requirements are insane, and it does not look it. I mean, do you really need 2x the horsepower to reproduce Warcraft 3 & AoM's visuals?

    The "story" (or since there's no story to speak of, the "setting") looks like a certain Texan's wet dream.

    Units and sides are stereotypical and completely lack imagination. I mean, the arabs have a suicide bomber unit! Wow, who came up with THAT idea? Give him a medal.

    Is it supposed to be fun to drive my shiny US tanks into a desert town after having the game take out all their defenses automatically with a number of combat helicopters and send the civilians flee in terror (oops there's that word in a weird context) while taking no casualties - not even shot at?

    If this dud makes or breaks the C&C franchise, well, I have bad news.
  • by Obiwan Kenobi ( 32807 ) <evan&misterorange,com> on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @10:23AM (#5287196) Homepage
    I've had the full game since last Friday (I'd rather not reveal my sources, yadda yadda). I've played through the China campaign, and would've played more online but since the full game wasn't released until yesterday (and I can't pick up my copy until today incidentally), there was no one on there :P

    So, here are my thoughts:

    * I love the idea that cutscenes are gone.

    They are cheesy, and it would take Spielberg to make them even resemble TV Mini-Series status. I mean, did anyone actually care about those overracted scenes and goofy costumes? Tiberian Sun wasn't the worst (Red Alert 1 + 2 takes that honor), but they certainly make the game more serious, and the beautiful engine makes the most of showing what's going on and what you need to do.

    * I'm so glad they broke the formula but didn't break the game.

    This refers to the fact that they took the command bar from the right to the bottom of the screen, and now you have the ability to minimize it (why isn't this in Warcraft 3?). Also, they quit that "Primary" crap that haunted old C&C's forever, and now you can have 5 different barracks on seperate hotkeys. This was not previously available in past versions of C&C.

    * The game is SO BALANCED. It is unbelievably balanced. I was so impressed how the rocket launchers now have much more effect on tanks, yet the infantry can take out rocket launcher units in no time flat. Defenses and offensive units strike an excellent balance, and this is probably because the game was delayed, and the online beta test was a rousing success. This just goes to show you that if you keep the game in beta long enough to try it out on many different systems, and people find the weaknesses and strenghts of all the different factions, you'll strike a perfect balance that never upsets the gameplay or the fun. This is huge, and what might make C&C Generals a classic (I can't wait for the Expansion Pack/Sequel).

    * The engine is glorious.

    It's not Jaw Dropping, it's no Doom 3, but its damn good and better than Warcraft 3's in my opinion. Again, thanks to in-game cutscenes utilizing what they've already got, you cut down on the cheese and can really showcase what's truly great about the game. The environmental effects are truly staggering. I just cannot explain how cool it is to be attacking a garrisoned tower, blowing it up, and then watching it fall on the rest of the enemy forces, crushing them instantly. Geek greatness is found here!

    Anyway, to sum up, the more I play it the more I like it. They've finally put some of the most balanced gameplay into an RTS (even War3 can't touch this one), and the engine is a delight. Truly a notable game, and I'm so glad they delayed it to add functionality, gameplay and a graphics polish that the difference between the God Awful Beta Test (if you've played it, rest assured the final game is Much Much Better) and the Final Game is truly Night and Day.
  • Requirements (Score:2, Informative)

    by Grieveq ( 589084 )
    This game suffers from the same thing SimCity 4 does - Rediculous end use requirements. I have what I think is a pretty damn decent system w/ a 1.6 Ghz processor and geforce 4. To have it stutter constantly is rediculous. What the hell is wrong with EA lately?
  • by Rahga ( 13479 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @11:00AM (#5287426) Homepage Journal
    And I see a ton of criticism about what this game does "wrong", especially when compared to other games. So, this post is a little bit different....

    First of all, I've only played the multiplayer game, and I would not be surprised if it far outpaced any parts of the single player campaign. There's a ton of people complaining about the lack of story, but I really see no need for one. It's not as if the games of Tic-Tac-Toe or Chess needed them. The focus is square on strategy, not extras.

    As far as using "real" countries and events, this game succeeds in using a Holywood style of presentation. Yes, the Chinese talk with an accrent and the GLA (Terrorists) have carbombers that say "I love a crowd", but the USA are far more gung-ho than their real counterparts. It's blatantly over-the-top... Heck, to make money after normal supplies are depleted or destroyed, the Chinese rely on hackers to steal a little bit of money from the internet. The GLA salvage destroyed bits of enemy units to upgrade their own.

    It is a great multiplayer game... The various factions seem to me to be much more distinct than other RTS games, yet still balanced. Playing locally with friends (at a gaming center with 5 copies), we've had tons of fun with this thing, especially on the unique team-game dynamic. When USA and GLA team up, you've got the biggest anthrax-spreading superweapon on one side, and radar on the other side. Hard to beat, but I send my Chineese overlord tanks anyway while occupying the city with a ton of tank hunter troops and hackers.

    Anyway, I love this game, and I'm seeing far more negative criticism of this game than it deserves, and there's no clear reason why, at least from where I sit. This is one of the few games lately that's been worth my money..... even if it is going to EA :/ ....
  • by gesualdo ( 149094 )
    Please, please, stop beating it! (the horse, that is).

    While I loved playing the first few games in this franchise, I personally think it's time for the madness to stop. Buying this game will only encourage EA to come out with more $50 retooled clones of old games.
    __
  • by unicron ( 20286 ) <unicronNO@SPAMthcnet.net> on Wednesday February 12, 2003 @01:19PM (#5288566) Homepage
    The original C&C will always be the king in my book. It was easily the best test of true RTS know-how and has yet to be touched. The problem with most RTS is the formula for success is (all the units you have)+1. Red Alert was ATROCIOUS for this. It was 100% tank rush. With 30 tanks, no base in the world is defendable. At a lan once I actually mined half the damn map, and I still lost to a tank rush.

    C&C was different. I used to make people insane when they'd have some 12 missle tower base entrance and I'd land a chinook in their base and start c4'ing everything. With good players, the general rule was "if they make your base, you're done". That's why in the original C&C EVERYONE played the Tiberium Gardens map, you could make choke points into your base.

    All RTS's suck these days, and I wonder if I'll ever see another C&C caliber game. RTS's now are about how fast you can click the build unit button.

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