At the 2011 Spike VGAs, EA announced that Command & Conquer: Generals 2 was in development at newly minted BioWare Victory and would be a multiplayer-focused follow-up to the classic RTS game. Since then, however, a lot has changed with the game, including its sole focus on multiplayer and even its title.
For starters, Command & Conquer: Generals 2 is now simply Command & Conquer, meaning it’s more of a reboot for the whole franchise rather than a direct sequel. On top of that, BioWare Victory has dropped the BioWare moniker, and is back to being Victory Games.
In addition to a new name, Command & Conquer is now a free-to-play game, but it still has a very heavy multiplayer focus. However, in case hardcore C&C fans were worried, the game will also include a singleplayer and cooperative campaign like many of the previously released Command & Conquer games.
Victory Games confirmed the inclusion of singleplayer with a trailer at Gamescom 2013 (seen above) and a brief synopsis. The synopsis should please Generals fans as it directly ties into that universe’s fiction.
“The China dominated Asia-Pacific Alliance (APA), having sat comfortably as the world’s foremost geopolitical power for nearly a decade, finds itself challenged on all fronts. The upstart European Union (EU), a high-tech, single-state entity with an increasingly expansionist agenda continues to flex her muscles, while a series of increasingly bloody uprisings have torn key APA and EU satellite nations asunder. Rumors point to a newly reconstituted Global Liberation Army (GLA) as the instigator, but witnesses have described technology far beyond the reach of any normal terrorist organization. Concerned, the APA dispatches an elite force to infiltrate the latest, most volatile rebellion, one targeting an EU backed dictator.
“Their mission — learn the truth about the GLA, undermine the EU and restore peace to the globe.”
In addition to confirming a singleplayer campaign, Victory Games also revealed that Command & Conquer will have shorter matches than fans are used to. With gamers’ time being spread out among so many releases, Victory thought it a smart decision to give gamers the option of paring matches down to 30 or 45 minutes.
It’s important to mention, however, that gamers only have the “option” of shorter matches; there will still be ways to recreate the hour-long skirmishes from Command & Conquer‘s heyday. But Victory couldn’t help but notice that the ideal duration for gamers’ preferred play sessions shrunk down to the aforementioned 30-45 minute sweet spot, and so they changed the pacing of this new Command & Conquer to reflect that.
Another key change to this Command & Conquer that fans of the franchise will instantly notice is the lack of live-action cut scenes. Although campaigns are returning for this free-to-play offering, the story elements will apparently not be structured around live-action sequences. Victory’s Jon Van Caneghem isn’t ruling out the possibility of live action cutscenes in the future, but they certainly won’t be available when the C&C public beta goes live later this year.
Speaking of the beta, Victory apparently plans to keep the game in a digital state and may never release it as a retail product. That way the developer can continually tweak and roll out new content for the game without worrying about getting it on a disc.
While Victory Games is trying some new things with this “reboot” of Command & Conquer, there is still a lot that fans will recognize as key markers of the franchise. Whether that will help the game appeal to new gamers and old fans is yet to be determined.
Are you glad that Victory Games is including a single player campaign in the new Command & Conquer? Do any of the changes they are making to the game affect your feelings about the game?
Command & Conquer will be out this Fall for the PC.