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Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances Preview

Sara Lau
Mar 19,2012  02:03 by
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There are quite a few classic PC games which are now still having an huge impact in the gaming industry. Command and Conquer is such a long-running franchise renowned for its fast-paced real-time strategy. The good news is EA has just announced Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, while the bad news is that it is not a sequel to the series, but it appears to be a spin-off played directly in your web-browser. Although browser MMO games are proved to be rather hit and miss these days, I still have a high expectation for this game, because I believe that EA Games can bring something new to the game.

When I entered the game for the first time, I got to select my faction. I chose GDI as NOD is temporarily not available during beta test session. The base looks pretty much like the old-school C&C which presents player with a top-down birdlook view. You can build structures, defenses and armies. But like other browser-based strategy games, players are not able to control them because they are all static. Generally, the major part of the game is divided into several sections and each presents you with a different strategic interface.

The base overview map is the place where you build constructions and manage resources. Resources consist of credits, crystals, power and Tiberium. Crystals are used to train and upgrade your armies while Tiberium is used to build new constructions. You place a harvester on each crystal or a Tiberium patch, and it will automatically yield resources for you. But like I said above, you are not able to issue commands to any units, although you can see harvesters moving between resource patches and bases, because they are just preloaded and looped animation. A new mechanism which makes the game stand out from its predecessor is that some buildings can give resource productivity boost if they are placed adjacent to the resource patches. But these bonus resources can only be harvested by clicking manually. So, it’s very annoying that you have log onto the game periodically to check, otherwise they won’t increase when the storage capacity is full. Credit and Power are both required to unlock skills and technologies. The former is also created by corresponding building, while the later can only be obtained by winning a battle. So it’s another mechanism that encourages players to keep staying online.

The size of your army is determined by Army Point, which is dictated by the Command Center. You have a lower threshold of Army Point upper cap but it rises as you level up the Command Center; besides, the maximum level, until which you can upgrade your units, is the same level as the Command Center. When you attack an AI camp, (it is the same thing as instance, which is marked on the world map. Once you go through the current available one, another camp of higher difficulty level will appear randomly around your base), you need to deploy the units depending on enemy defenses and the layout of the base. To do that, you need to operate strategically to place units in waves. Once you have placed all your units, you can click “start” to commence the battle. Units just mindlessly go straightly forward and attack anything within their attack range. According to your pre-battle tactical deployment, the first wave launches right away while each wave after this will be delayed by every 10 seconds. The battlefield terrain condition will also need to be taken into account, as the “swamp” or “lake” will slow down their movement speed. You can gain resources by damaging enemy units and structures.

The defensive part is also deployed independently from the main base. This is the only way to access your base, so all your opponents will try their best to traverse this line before being able to any of your structures. And likewise, each defensive unit take up Defensive Points which are based on level of the Defensive Headquarter and the level cap of them cannot go over the level of Defensive HQ.

Overall, Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances is a nice game focusing on grand strategy. It also comes with some original C&C voice-over which can be heard while you are managing your main base. The nature of this game determines that it’s based, you need to wait 1 hour in order to obtain enough Battle Points in order to launch an attack which lasts only several minutes; you will have to win hundreds of battles in order to unlock the Predator, the tie-one light tank; and the rate at which you logon to the game periodically to collect bonus resources is also time sensitive. This might be the biggest problem that might turn newbies off the game.

1 Comment on Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances Preview

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  1. Dffgdrrr says:

    Oh, research points are earned exponentially as you level up your base and rank… for example, im a sergeant and am lvl 16 with a lvl 12 base and i get ~50-100k per attack. I like this because then only really determined people stay long enough to realize this… therefor less noobs.

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