back, and its better than ever. The
Westwood Studios group has done it again.
They have taken Command & Conquer to the next level by adding
the Firestorm expansion pack. This
isnt just any old expansion either.
It may as well be a whole new game.
Everything has been re-worked and advanced--so take a seat and get
ready to pick sides, there is a world full of trouble to be started or
stopped. This, of course, is
up to you.
While the theme is
anything but original, it is still a major gaming force and the Command
& Conquer world is a classic when it comes to RTS.
Like Warcraft II, StarCraft, and C&C Tiberian Sun, C&C
Tiberian Sun Firestorm is an ever changing RTS that tests your battle
skills, as well as your ability to think on your feet as you battle for
survival against other players or your computer controlled opponents.
C&C Tiberian Sun
Firestorm pits GDI against NOD in a global battle for domination.
Both sides have been worked over and given some new toys to wreck
havoc on their enemies. Look
out for Mobile EMPs, Cyborgs, Limpet Drones and many more.
C&C has been around for so long that just about everyone with a
computer has played at least one version or another.
From the original Command & Conquer and Red Alert, little has
changed in the Tiberian Sun set as far as controls go.
If you could get everything working in C&C, then you should be
Firestorm contains 18 entirely new missions that will determine the fate
of every man, woman, and child on the planet.
The levels vary from quite small to extremely expansive and, as
usual, the computer always seems to be building and expanding faster than
humanly possible. Like
its predecessor, Firestorm contains very detailed and well laid out
terrains; great pains were taken to provide vivid and diverse settings.
Everything from bridges, buildings, cars, shrubs, etc. can be found
at various points, (even a few civilians will scurry around when you
rumble past). These can provide much needed cover and tactical advantage,
but only if you know what to put where.
Weapons and weapon
development is still based on a hierarchal system.
Until you build up the base of your NOD/GDI tower you cant build
the weapons of mass destruction. Once
your base is fairly well established, everything runs fairly smoothly,
aside from the probing attacks from various other forces.
When starting out, should something happen to your hierarchy while
playing, it must be re-built before you can manufacture certain
items/weapons. For that
reason alone, it becomes increasingly important to know what you have
already built and where it is. There
is nothing worse then being in the middle of a heated battle and hear a
pulse blast in the background and have no idea what you just lost until
you are looking to build its item.
Missions in Firestorm are pretty standard.
Destroy your enemy without getting yourself killed in the process.
But no one seems to buy these types of games to spend a lot of time
playing alone. This game
really shines when you want to play against other people.
Multi-Player RTS is a wonderful thing, and Firestorm delivers in a
big way. An added improvement from Tiberian Sun is the ability to
make alliances on the fly. You
can select an ally as soon as you see them.
This makes game play quite a bit easier to manage.
You only have to make decisions like that as they become necessary.
Another thing to always keep in mind before you start playing
multi-player is your schedule. Have
a fair amount of time set aside when you join a multi-player game; you
will never be done in an hour--its not possible.
The only problem
with the multi-player is that the Westwood Online still needs quite a bit
of work; it still isnt as smooth as Blizzards Battle.net.
The game is very playable over a modem connection to the network.
The only problem that I found was the User Registration--the
whole process is a HUGE pain. Not only do you have to find a unique user I.D., but you have
to come up with an eight character password that cant have any special
characters. It can only have
numbers and letters. Nothing
like crying at the computer because you cant remember the password to
go with your Westwood multi-play password.
While you cant
cry to your team-mates online, you can hear your troops wail as they fall
in battle. The sound effects
and music that accompany Firestorm are excellent.
The music is extremely quiet by default and provides just a touch
of ambiance while you madly construct your fighting force.
The sound of tanks and air-raids, combined with infantry battles is
music to the ears. It is
quite realistic, yet not so overbearing that your torn away from what you
are doing. With a decent
sound set up you can hear the enemy rush before your waist deep in bodies.
All in all, this is an excellent choice for any RTS fan. It takes the classic C&C world to the next level and can
provide lots and lots of entertainment even after its completed with its
excellent multi-player setup. And
the graphics are great. If
youre still thinking about the original C&C then you aint
seen nothing yet. This
could be the perfect Easter present for that hard to shop for gamer.
Make sure they have C&C Tiberian Sun;
Firestorm is an expansion pack.
Just because it doesnt play like an expansion doesnt mean it