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REVIEWS COMMAND & CONQUER 3:


KANE’S WRATH

Swarms of units
will win the day.

The MARV is a beast.

COMMAND &
CONQUER 3:
KANE’S WRATH
Ed Zitron shaves his head and grovels at the feet of the one true prophet

T
DEVELOPER EA HE INEVITABLE RISING of the inevitable armies soon to be at your While it’s laced with plenty of C&C lore,
PUBLISHER EA (tiberium) sun is the only thing disposal, you’re the murderous Messiah’s there are times when the stupidity of the
WEBSITE www. more reliable than the release of a only trusted aide. No pressure then. challenge make the campaign feel somewhat
commandandconquer.com
C&C expansion, and Kane’s Wrath gives us Your first task is to start a revolution fan-made, with little consideration for
ETA Out now
the basics we expect. Namely, new units within downtrodden Rio De Janeiro, and balance or giving you time to prepare. What
PRICE £19.99
and a continuation of the storyline with an this you’ll achieve by capturing radio it comes down to is repetitive turtling, with
extended campaign. Though Kane’s Wrath stations and undermining the GDI presence the occasional movement of a surveyor to set
is a mite more risky than expected. by destroying their buildings. To start this is up an outpost closer to your target – if only
While it flaunts a fan-pleasing timeline all par for the course – a casual stroll so you can build a few more refineries to
with 13 new Nod missions, it also adds the through the streets, knocking off a few GDI fund the gigantic force required to do the job.
fantastic Global Conquest mode – world soldiers, until you’re attacked by a Nod This would be intolerable if it weren’t for
map Risk-style gameplay that you’ll splinter group. At which point the entire the fact that the story is remarkably
recognise from Empire Earth III and situation goes to shit. What unfolds defines engaging, with the hilariously camp
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War – Dark the campaign – endless, merciless waves of overacting that makes C&C what it is. The
Crusade, but which C&C has taken to new units that seem to know just where to hit Tiberian Sun and Firestorm storylines are
levels of balance and engagement. you, and at exactly what time. On my first interwoven, along with a continuation of
I’ll delve deeper into this world go I was obliterated, because the sheer Tiberium Wars’ storyline, in a fascinating
domination mode, in which armies stage number of units that dropped on me at way. Just fascinating enough, in fact, to make
skirmishes on a continental level, later. First, once was unspeakably vast, and could only it worth wrestling with the Herculean tasks
AT A GLANCE… we need to discuss the fact that for all but be planned for with prior knowledge. of the campaign missions to reach the next
the hardest of hardcore C&C players, the This trial-and-error approach seems cutscene. Some people will lack the patience
A frustrating campaign carried by
the greatest strategy experiences on campaign missions of Kane’s Wrath are ball- vital to progress, forcing you to strategise or mettle to conquer them, which is a shame
the PC. kickingly difficult. I’ve barely slept since I around forthcoming surprise attacks. For as they’ll be missing out.
played them, as my dreams are plagued with example, a mission against The Black Hand, The missions are bearable and beatable
Minimum system requirements:
2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, and a replays of their various tactical injustices. a Nod splinter group, drops GDI units on once you get used to the continuous stress
128MB graphics card. you from the east with no warning and no and paranoia of having to defend your bases
HOW IT STACKS
KANE’S LYNCH explanation. This is impossibly frustrating, constantly, and once you’ve attuned yourself
The Nod campaign kicks off with the and in a lot of missions you’ll spend most of to the sometimes predictable AI (they won’t
COMMAND & CONQUER 3:
TIBERIUM WARS 86% smooth-headed maestro of hyperbole your time desperately trying to keep your walk over mines, they kill your harvesters,
COMMAND & CONQUER 3:
82% striding into an abandoned Nod command base in one piece long enough to get the lay etc.), you can actually hurtle
KANE’S WRATH
centre, resplendent in a delightful terminator of the land and launch a huge tank rush to through the missions a bit more
WARHAMMER
40K: SOULSTORM 81% hat and eye-patch ensemble. Aside from the the other side of the map. quickly. Just don’t expect any of the

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PCZ193.revkane 68 10/3/08 10:07:36


If all else fails, shoot the tiberium.

No country for new Nod.

Carl Lumby is an angry man.

This is a war of scraping attrition


that will force you to use every
damn dirty trick in the book
All roads lead to war. Global Conquest
How to conquer the world in a few measly hours...

In Global Conquest winning is actually


remarkably time consuming, as it’s mostly not The battle of Britain.
based upon beating a few enemies. Rather, it’s
about the ability to control the most resources
and space on the map while making it difficult
for the enemy to get more. This in turn dwindles
their forces and allows you to reach your
alternate win conditions.
For the GDI, these are based on influencing a
percentage of the map, while the Nod needs to
have a percentage of the map’s cities in unrest –
which is remarkably difficult, as the GDI are constantly trying to lower the unrest in cities
for their own gains. The Scrin needs to build nine upgraded bases with towers – which
sounds easy, but having nine fully upgraded and protected bases is no mean feat.

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PCZ193.revkane 69 10/3/08 10:07:45


REVIEWS COMMAND & CONQUER 3:
KANE’S WRATH

Come sail away with me.

Poor Madagascar,
always left out.

“All together now – Kane has


the whole world in his hands!”

quick fix, small-scale unit battles of C&C3 – focused on upgraded firepower and shielded
this is a war of scraping attrition that will harvesters, and the latter having Yuri-esque
force you to use every damn dirty trick in mind-control abilities as well as the ability to
the book. use tiberium against its users. Their epic unit
is a garrisonable spider-thing (this expansion
WORLD WIDE WAR
Hard to be a Nod RTS expansions means new units, and
is big on arachnids) that can also collect
dead units and recycle them into resources.
The Brotherhood’s got problems, but you can sort them out... Kane’s Wrath brings these to you in the form
of four new sub-factions. The GDI gets the THE WORLD IS YOURS
Death to the heretics. earthy marine units of the Steel Talons, who The single-player campaign is classic C&C
sport Tiberian Sun-era mechs such as the action, but with the difficulty verging on the
Wolverine and Titan at the expense of some imbalanced. However, the centerpiece of
of the newer C&C3 units – however, they Kane’s Wrath is the frankly fantastic Global
also get upgraded units such as the Conquest mode. This feels like a mixture of
armoured harvesters. DEFCON and Risk, generously peppered
ZOCOM are tiberium-haters with with Total War. The game opens on a map
tiberium-resistant armour and upgraded of the world, with cities as the points of
Zone Troopers, and they’re also invincible to tactical consideration. These cities provide
tiberium-related attacks. resources for all three factions in different
The GDI also gets the ridiculous MARV – ways, and each faction starts with a few
a gigantic, garrisonable, rolling tank- bases placed onto the map.
monster that eats up tiberium and rolls over These bases have a ring of influence,
Taking place just after Tiberian Sun, the Brotherhood of Nod is splintered into several
lesser tanks like they roll over troops. which grows as the base levels. A city within
factions that either fear the GDI or believe Kane to be a false prophet. The Nod get Marcion’s Black Hand, with your ring generates resources for you, based
The most notable of these anti-Kane revolutionaries is Brother Marcion, the newly their special infantry and flame-throwing on what’s going on in that city. GDI want
elected leader of the Black Hand, played by Carl Lumby (Marcus Dixon out of Alias). Not war mechs, and The Marked of Kane’s cities happy, and gain the most currency
only is he a fantastic orator, he also has some of the most ridiculous facial expressions in
cyborg units prove to be both great fun to from smiley townsfolk. The Nod will gain
videogame history, making a new standard for over-the-top campness in C&C games.
The other star of Kane’s Wrath is Natasha Henstridge, famous alien nymph/murderer use and frustrating to fight. Their epic nothing from a civilly obedient town, and
from the sub-par series of sci-fi flicks Species, who plays Alexa Kovacs, a Kane fanatic and Redeemer also bears some resemblance to must keep towns under their influence in
one of a few friendly faces – beyond, of course, Joe Kucan, who is at his most angry and the mechanical spider from Wild Wild West. turmoil if they’re to reap profit from them.
bald throughout the expansion.
The Scrin, alien-types that they are, get The Scrin don’t care about how happy
the Reaper-17 and Traveler-59 – the former the people are because that doesn’t affect

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PCZ193.revkane 70 10/3/08 10:07:55


Power Play
Abilities, War, and You

The forcefields came down, when


the electricity bills went up.

When playing turn-based Global Conquest, you’ll find yourself able to use a few abilities to
turn the real-time battles in your favour, for a low resource cost. Most of these are based
on the manipulation of unrest, the creation of new units and general-purpose damage, and
range from single-target moves to area-of-effect blasts. For example, the GDI’s Ion Cannon
causes major damage to anything in its range, while the Orca Strike only damages a strike
force. The Nod, however, have the ability to make a strike force or a base miss a turn,
allowing you to attack unannounced or wipe out a base without the worry of another strike
force halting your path. Both the Nod and the Scrin also have the ability to make a low-cost
strike force appear within any circle of influence across the entire world map. The fact that
any of these abilities can be used across the whole of the world, regardless of your bases’
placement, adds another realm of tactics to an already fiendish gameplay mode.

I guarantee that you’ll find yourself


territorially protecting Britain out
of sheer pride and tactical impetus

how tasty they are. They sap the population an MCV and a lone mammoth tank would
of each city with each turn, but gain credits have left me with a black eye and a bruised
from them regardless of unrest, giving them ego, my tactical genius led them to conquer
a different tactical approach to the world a gigantic base with few casualties, wiping
map, and one that’s excellently balanced. out the alien invaders’ European stronghold
Affecting the state of the world map is in the process.
done by assembling strike forces. A strike
force is limited by your cash reserves, tech TIBERIUM MORES The lazy man’s war.
level, and a standard size limit, and usually The beauty of Global Conquest is this: while
consist of an MCV and several groups of you can auto resolve a great deal of battles
troops. You can use them to set up a base, (you’ll have to, as even a single game can by allowing you to construct particularly
extending your influence over more cities, or take up to 3-4 hours with a few RTS battles tailored forces for each situation. For
launch attacks on enemy bases – using the here and there) you can tactically deploy example, a ZOCOM group with a MARV will
specialist base-damaging Ion Cannon, for strike forces against bases and then deal be an easy way to auto resolve past any
example. Or you could opt to hobble your with them in real time. You can choose to marauding forces, but a smaller scouting
enemy’s resources with a Media Blitz, to forge an especially micromanaged siege party with an MCV will be useful to take out Graphics Identical to C&C3
Sound Swirling and orchestral
lower unrest in Nod-controlled cities. against a Nod fortress, or custom configure an enemy base with a structured, resource- Multiplayer Global Conquest mode,
So far, so not-very C&C. However, when a strike force to fight a Ground Control-style building campaign. skirmish
your strike forces meet with the enemy, be baseless battle. Kane’s Wrath is undeniably good value, Global Conquest is
they other forces or bases, you can either The tactical aides let you turn the tide of but it is a bipolar expansion. While the replayable fun
auto resolve or fight it out in real time. Your war in your favour with one deft stroke, and campaign mode is at times unbalanced and Storyline is engaging
strike forces can be customised or launched there’s an undeniable thrill of satisfaction blood-pissingly annoying, the Global C&C3 gameplay expanded
Nod-only campaign
in preset configurations, and auto when you succeed in pushing a faction out Conquest mode is hours of the finest
Harsh difficulty
resolutions are calculated in a reasonably of a particular part of the world. What’s strategy action I’ve ever played. The game is
predictable and realistic way, to the point more, I can guarantee that you’ll find addictive, rewarding and accessible while at

82
that two bombers can obliterate a strike yourself territorially protecting or fighting the same time being complex enough to win
force if it hasn’t got any anti-aircraft units. for Britain out of sheer pride and tactical RTS veterans to the cause.
The greatest facet of Global Conquest, impetus – it’s got three clustered cities and There’s no doubt that the Nod campaign
though, is the real-time use of different thus is a huge resource. will frustrate all but the purest and most
factions to pull off skill-based victories over With the ability to fight the battles masochistic of C&C nuts, but Global
grim odds. While auto resolving a battle personally, you feel a vice-like grip over your Conquest manages to whip in and save the
Kane is able
against the Scrin with some rocket troops, forces, and the new factions play into this day. You can’t kill the Messiah. pcz

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