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Apr 17, 2008

Review: Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wraith

Command and Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath Expansion Pack
Electronic Arts
Available Now for PC

During the time when Nintendo 64, Playstation and Dreamcast reined the console market, I turned my gaming habits over to the PC and took special interest in real time strategy games like Warcraft, Starcraft and Command and Conquer. Once the Playstation 2 came out though, it was back to console gaming I never really looked back until recently when I upgrade my old PC to my wonderful new gaming rig and with my new PC I picked up C&C 3 and the new expansion pack, Kane’s Wrath.

Say what you will about live action cut scenes nowadays but I still think that they are the best thing in videogames to this day and I wish more companies would hire cool actors to do them. Command and Conquer games have been doing the live action thing since the beginning and still love to watch actors like Carl Lumbly and Natasha Henstridge in a game instead of computer generated ones though some games still need them like Final Fantasy for example.

For those you have been playing the C&C games for the beginning will love that Kane’s Wrath fills in a lot of details about the C&C canon, but for those who haven’t been following the story will have to read the unlockable database information to understand most of the gaps in the storyline as the cut scenes jump around too much for new comers to understand the plot.

This new expansion provides players with a new single player campaign that has 13 missions that begin in the year 2034 just after the events of the firestorm expansion to C&C 2: Tiberian Sun and end around 2053 after the third Tiberium War. Players will have to chance to see more details behind C&C history during those 18 years which is a real treat for hardcore C&C fans.

For skirmish and multiplayer games, players can now choose from not only the core factions of GDI, Nod and Scrin, but now there are an additional six sub-factions: The Steel Talons, ZOCOM, Black Hand, Marked of Kane, Reaper -17 and Traveler-59. The sub-factions use the same building and unit types as the faction from which they are derived, but they also bring new units and more specific advantages to the battlefield. In addition to the sub-factions and their new unit types: the main factions have new units as well as an epic unit now.

Kane’s Wrath also added a new mode called Global Conquest, a turn-based “Risk” like mode, which seemed a bit odd since C&C games have always been about speed and action and this slows the game down to a dull pace. It’s very complicated, takes about 20 to 30 minutes to finish and I’m not really a fan of it. I rather stick to the regular online play than play this turn based mode.

While I found the single players campaigns to be fun and challenging to play, my biggest problem remains with the online play as it seems EA still hasn’t work out the bugs. The servers seem to be having a problem detecting players and since they can’t see them, the server will in turn kick them off. Also I still think and many agree that the Scrin are too powerful compared to the other factions and many players have set “no Scrin” rules to avoid quick ending games.

All in all though, I’m never one to turn down an expansion pack purely for the reason that it just keep my favourite games going and going with new campaigns and new units or factions to play with, so who could say no to that, right? Map editors and online games can’t only keep you interested in a game for so long, so if you own Command and Conquer 3 and want to add some extra fun to it, then pick up Kane’s Wrath for your PC and get more out of your C&C 3.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Buy it!

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