Fandel Mulkey On April 8, 2010 at 7:57 am

C&C 4 pits two factions: the GDI and NOD. After a brief alliance for the first few missions (which serves as the games tutorial), you’re given the option to choose which side you’ll help. Gameplay has drastically changed from the past C&C games. Instead of hunting for resources to build a stationary armed force, you’re actually presented with a choice of three classes: Offense, Defense and Support. All three are mobile and you can freely move them anywhere on the map, only becoming stationary in order to release any units that are ready for battle. Instead of scourging up resources, you’re freely able to rebuild as many units as you like; of course there is a limit to how many forces you can build, via command points. Once you exceed the number of command points, you won’t be able to build any more units until one of your units is destroyed. While your opposition in single-player is also limited to a set number of command points in theory, they aggravatingly get around it by having multiple mobile command bases (an advantage you won’t be able to take advantage of unless you play co-op).

Another unfair advantage the computer has is the ability to use more advance units while you are locked out of selecting more powerful units. C&C 4 uses an experience system that allows you to select more power units once you accumulate more XP over time. While in theory, this could give the player an incentive to play more; in practice it’s aggravating as the computer will often throw second and third-tier units at you while you’re stuck grinding it out with inferior units. It’s even worse in multiplayer, to the point where you really shouldn’t bother with multiplayer at all until you reach level 20 and have access to all units and upgrades. If you aren’t nearly maxed out, you’ll be matched (if you can find a match) with players who will destroy you with higher-level units that you won’t be able to counter. You can also opt to play offline skirmish (multiplayer with the computer) to grind for XP, but the same problems rear their ugly head in terms of balance issues.

As for multiplayer/offline skirmish, there’s only one actual mode – conquest – where you need to capture nodes for command points. This leads to a massive grinding back-and-forth between factions. For example: while you capture node one, the enemy will capture node two. Once you recapture node two, then you have to recapture node one. This sort of back-and-forth (which can also occur in a few single-player missions) can go on until one side (Probably you) will simply get bored and to quit.

Graphically, we’re looking at a game that would have been serviceable if it had been released back in 2004. To be honest, I’ve seen original Xbox games look better than C&C 4. There is nothing that impresses you; in fact, serviceable would be the perfect word to sum up the visuals in C&C4. Textures are bland and effects are almost non-existent and the models are unimpressive. The music on the other hand isn’t bad, while the sound effects are well done…at least when it comes to explosions and movements; the voices will quickly get on your nerves.

Speaking of voices the cut-scenes and acting are mediocre. The FMV harkens back to the bad days of the Sega CD/early PS2 era, while the actors can’t seem to decide if they want to take themselves seriously or not. As for the story, if you’ve never played any of the C&C games before, then you’re going to be completely lost before the third cut-scene.

As for the games DRM, you need to stay online at all times in order to play, that requirement also applies to the single-player campaign. Thankfully, with the release of the latest patch, if you are disconnected in a game, it’ll auto-save at the point where you lost your connection so you won’t actually lose much progress.

Overall, Command & Conquer 4 can be best described as a game with a lot of innovative ideas that are executed very poorly. The XP system could have increased replay value; instead it increases the player aggravation once they find out that the enemy AI isn’t bound by the same rules as the player. In addition, it makes online multiplayer almost useless until you grind away enough to unlock most of the advance units and upgrades. While it can be an interesting game for C&C fans when the game eventually drops in price; with so many other choices right now, it’s hard to recommend this game, especially at full-price.


While the game has some interesting ideals, the XP system in addition to the near-broken AI will cause frustration long before many matches are settled.


Nothing special whatsoever. The good news is that people with average PCs should be able to run this game, considering that there isn’t anything in C&C4 that looks better than a typical game released before 2005.


A mixed bag: While the sound effects are great and the music is good, the acting and voices in-game range from b-movie bad to just plain bad.


A game filled with interesting ideals that are executed poorly. While the game overall isn’t horrible, a lot of bad decisions cause a potentially good game to be dragged down to the depths of mediocrity. While patches have fixed some of the problems (the game auto-saves when your connection gives out) many problems remain.

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