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Ok, this will probably be quite long but...
First off: EA make good games. Undoubtedly. For the purposes of this rant, all such decent EA games will not be mentioned, in fact only C&C games WILL be mentioned (ok, maybe not only, at least one other game will be spoken of before I'm done). Also, I am English. That does bias my perspective on one of the points. I make a number of points throughout my argument, don't worry I will organise them into some semblance of an order at the end. Anyway, to the rant...
I love C&C games (Ok, not the most normal of rant starts, but bear with me). If I had to chose one game as my all time favourite, at least one game up for the running would be a C&C one. But there is one thing though. It would be a Westwood C&C game, not an EA one. The old C&C games were great, especially Red Alert and Red Alert: Retaliation. The storyline was great. The armies were great. They were great games. But, notice that neither of them mentions America. As soon as EA buys the company out and Red Alert 2 hits the shelves, the game suddenly focuses on America. This, while not being coherent with the original storyline (why would Russia attack America? It was us Brits and the rest of the European allies that defeated Stalin in the first game. Personally, I would go after the people who caused me to be defeated, you know, exact revenge and all) it was still a really good game. Yuri's Revenge was even better.
But then Generals arrived. Gone where all traces of the Allies and the Soviets of the most recent game (except Renegade, but that sucked), as well as GDI and The Brotherhood of Nod. Nope, it's the modern day. And apparently, in the modern world, great leaders expect to win battles by equipping they're soldiers, with the dreaded rectangles! The GLA especially. Two rectangles, I mean, come on. With RA2 you could actually tell a SEAL had a sub-machine gun, and Boris had an AK. On Generals, I'm supposed to guess that a rectangular thing is either an AK, or an M-4 or a missile launcher, or an RPG launcher (more on those later). And the Chinese, bolt-action rifles!? In the modern/future world? Come on, pull the other one. Even the cameos are daft. On Zero:Hour, the infantry generals mini-gunners are not holding miniguns. It's an assault rifle in the pic, last time I checked, miniguns were resemblant of chainguns, like the gatling cannon has. Not an assault rifle. So far, I've established that I dislike the graphics, and also the lack of the original armies. Now to take the second point farther. Not only are the original armies not involved, but the game's too realistic to what is actually happening in the world. Arab terrorists and the like.
Now, reason I dislike Generals the fourth: some technicalities. First, the Aurora Bomber. Now, this is a real aircraft (one of those top secret ones that everyone's heard of) and is, in reality, capable of mach 6 flight. Fast. 7000 km/h or something like that. With displacement that causes tidal waves and does quite a bit of damage to whatever it flies over. So, obviously the programmers couldn't make it that fast in the game (maybe a little over powered). But still, why would it go super fast on its attack run, and then slow down and let itself get shot down on the return route?
Next technicality: the RPG launcher (I said I'd mention it). How in the name of the Emperor can a rocket propelled grenade shoot down a plane? Plus the fact that the RPG troopers seem to actually fire heat seeking rockets. Never knew that grenades had homing devices.
The nuclear missile and SCUD storm are next. Nuke: that is one hell of a weak nuke. High damage, but the range ain't fantastic. Plus it still leaves GLA holes behind for a quick rebuild. SCUD storm: it fires, like, 8 nukes. So how come it does just as much damage as a nuke? And why do all the SCUDs damage all the things under the marker, even if the thing lands nowhere near them? Also, having bigger build queues would be nice (9? Come on - T-Sun had 15, and RA2 had a whopping 30! And it dares to insult me by saying that 9 rangers are enough, when on RA2 I couould get 30 GIs for less money per person and in one build queue? On the subject of rangers, why do flash-bangs kill? They are designed as a non-lethal weapon. But they are extremely lethal against infantry on generals. Ok, so they aren't big things, they still add to my dismay. So, we have:
1) No original armies, instead there are modern armies, ones that we see on the news every day (except China). And are sick of (I am at least).
2) Crummy graphics
3) Technical details (there are probably more than I have said, but those are the main ones for me).
Time for the next one: cinematics. This is a different kind of problem for both games. For Generals, the problem is that it doesn't have any. At all. For Zero:Hour, they brought them back (good choice) but what kind of half wit of a general would get his mission briefing from a news broadcast? The others were better, thet filled you in on recent events and told you your objectives for the upcoming mission. So that means:
My next point is the title. Generals. Never in the entire game will you control an army worthy of a general. A general controls a warzone. In Generals you control a battlefield, a small company. Sometimes little more than 2 squads (a certain Zero:Hour GLA mission springs to mind) are under your command. I'm not saying that small armies were not a problem in the other games, but they weren't called Generals. Retaliation was probably the one in which the player feels most like a general, choosing which mission to do next, and playing a seperate mini-campaign for every country you take, instead of flitting all around the world mission after mission. So:
5) You ain't no general
Point-the-next: some map things. The cliffs aren't cliffs, they're just hills with loose stones. I'd like to see a dirt bike go up a vertical cliff face. I also preferred having better graphics to being able to spin round maps and zoom in. I also prefer walls to multi-facing buildings. Now I need to build lots of expensive base defenses (especially Chinese) to protect my base, while previously a double thickness of walls, a few anti air defnses, and a few well guarded entrances (Tesla coil alley - those were the days) would be just as efficient. But my greatest disappointment when it comes to maps is actually with all the games since Retaliation - I want to revisit the underground maps. They were easily some of the best missions (especially when it came to the giant ant missions, the last one with the tesla coil firing queen was well good. And on all those missions you got both allied and soviet stuffs, a healthy mix. Cheapy allied Ranger jeeps with expensive Mammoth tanks... nice. And getting Volkov wasn't a bad thing either. I'm sure the underground wouldn't be that hard to do. RA2: YR even had a moon mission! So that's
6) map features/underground maps/non-terrestrial maps
7) Quirky and daft missions (ie, the giant ant ones held in England in RA:Retaliation)
Another reason: despite the crummy graphics, even top end computers need to have all the quality settings on low for it to even consider not lagging. And it takes a huge amount of hard disk space up.
Slow, lots of lag
9) Huge disk space required.
Ok, so far they've been ways in which the game itself could be better. But my last reason for hating EA is nothing to do with the mechanics, the graphics or technicalities and quirks, but something else entirely. It's not C&C! It might say C&C all over it, but it doesn't feel like C&C once during the in-game experience. C&C was great. The sidebar was on the side, not the bottom. You didn't have to waste time researching new stuf. Engineers were a far better way to capture buildings. Being able to build everything from the sidebar instead of searching for the building you want stuff from was great. Yes you could only get one building at a time but at least it wasn't vulnerable while building, and there wasn't daft dozers to get killed, instead you could repair from the sidebar, and build from it as I have previously said. And self replenishing ore/tiberium was better than randomly placed supplies, I mean, who is going to build a big supply pile in the middle of nowhere? Oh, wait. The idiots who did on Generals. Apart from the last 3 sentences, all this is the main reason I dislike Generals. The rest is inconsequential, just the rust on the bucket with the big hole in. <drum roll please> The main reason I hate Generals is..... that it is Age of Empires. Even down to the position of the sidebar, it is basically a mordern 3D spinny-zoomy Age of Empires. I'm not saying Age of Empires wasn't a good game, on the contrary, it was brilliant. But C&C should be C&C, not modern world AoE. If EA wanted to do AoE so badly, they should not have called it C&C. It should have been its own thing. So,
10) It's AoE, not C&C!
Sooooooooo... I'll now organise all those random points and put them in a decent order:
1) Quirky and daft missions (ie, the giant ant ones in Retaliation) not present
2) Small technical details
3) Crummy graphics
4) Lots of lag, despite no. 3 and no. 10
5) Huge disk space required, despite no. 3, no. 10, no. 9 and no.7
6) Map features
7) Specialist (i.e. underground/non-terrestrial) maps not included
No 'classic' C&C armies
10) Despite the name, you don't exactly control a force worthy of a general
11) It's supposed to be C&C you foolish EA person! Not AoE!
So, that's the list (the extra one is there because I split map features from specialist maps). No.s 1 through 10 aren't things I'm partcularly bothered about, except the lag and the disk space. What I'm really annoyed with is no. 11. Why do big companies like EA buy little companies, and then transform their product from a prime specimin of one RTS series to another? It's stupid, and it's dangerous. Oh well. It's not like I can do fucj about it.
Anyway.... thank you if you read this, if you read it al then an even bigger thanks. Maybe even a well done. That's my rant over. It was longer than I'd anticipated, and took about two hours to type out.
P.S. If there are spelling mistakes then it's 'cause spell check isn't working on my computer. Apologies.
Ravenwing: list made, now just to buy all the stuff on it (why do bikes have to be so expensive?)
I see your point, in my oppinion the best c&c games were the origional and RA, i liked RA2 but not for the reasons i liked the other two. I like RA2 because its a bit of fun and it looks cartoon'y'. RA2 and the origional C&C were great tactical games that were a good bit of fun but still keept realism first. I do not like generals, although i do not agree with some of the things you have said the game to be has no objective its just build - kill. The story line is terriable.
C&C are great games just not generals.
The poster formaly known as VampireSoul, formaly known as OrkSlugga now known as Orkslugga.
I never played much of C&C, I can't remember why. Good game though. Should install it again. The only C&C I never had was Red Alert on the PC, along with its add ons. And I couldn't install covert ops for the original either. Tiberian Sun had lots of tactics involved - and a pretty good storyline. I listen to the storyline of most games, I can even follow the mgs2 storyline up to a point (I quote the play magazine [not letter for letter, I can't remember the exact words] = "anyone who got through to the end of mgs2 without bleeding eardrums mustn't have been listening". Seriously, that is one twisted storyline), but with Generals I just ignore it. If there is one at all. Also with generals, the first to build a superweapon almost always wins. But I've already had my rant, so, I'll stop there. And I really did like the underground and giant ant missions.
Ravenwing: list made, now just to buy all the stuff on it (why do bikes have to be so expensive?)
I couldnt be bothered reading that, but I know what being said. Westwood's C&C games kept me coming back till I found another game, Generals made me look for another game. Sure, I was an avid player, sure, the game was fun at the start, but now I've played DoW, GC2, and WC3 it doesn't hold the test of time. . .
i have c&c generals, and the zerohour expansion, although i will admit a good game of zerohour is good every so often, i think that its a crap game, although at the start, when it first came out, it was good, now usa superweapon general rules all, and the rest suck major b***s.
Donuts, is there anything they cant do??