Command and Conquer 4 - EA's ultimate insult

Discussion in 'General Gaming Chat' started by RoosTah, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. RoosTah

    RoosTah Senior Member

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    I don't know how many of you are long time Command and Conquer fans, but I was wondering if those who are were as intensely disappointed and angry with the abortion of a game that is Command and Conquer 4. I haven't been playing games much over the past few months (or years really - the last game I really played was actually C&C 3) and I only just got my hands on this game, but after 2 days of playing I took it back for a refund. In fact it was so bad I had to email EA with the following message (which I also posted all over their forums - I know it's futile, but I've never had a game **** me off so much):

    C&C4 represents not just a failure of design but an ignorance of the franchise and its community.
    Here are the central points of why EA has brought such damage to this series:

     The story is just as important to C&C fans as the gameplay, and the C&C4 plot was canonically inconsistent and intensely underwhelming.
     The gameplay did not attempt to develop the series, but completely dumped the core eliments.
     The implementation of DRM was a slap in the face and the straw that broke the camel’s back for almost the entirety of the massive C&C community.

    EA seem to be under the misconception that it was simply the new style of gameplay that has caused this unprecedented uproar in the C&C community.
    This largely is incorrect. The central points of failure for C&C were 3 fold: narrative continuity, gameplay integrity and an apparent cynicism directed toward the massive C&C community in the form of the DRM system.

    To elaborate a little, for those such as myself – who have played C&C since the first title was released in 1995 – the quasi futuristic and politically intriguing nature of the C&C setting (hammy acting and all) was a key component of the C&C experience. C&C 3 was successful in continuing this to some degree, but the pinnacle of narrative engagement was easily C&C Tiberian Sun. That game’s detailed story really engaged the player and drew them into the fantasy. For many, this story, concluded so brilliantly with the expansion pack “firestorm†after the betrayal of the incredibly charismatic and menacing CABAL, now represents a lost opportunity; CABAL needed to remain part of the series (Milton James’s voice is a must for any sequel IMO). Video games are always going to have plot holes, but EA appear to have decided that narrative continuity was completely and utterly unnecessary as early as C&C 3. For such a loyal community as that of the C&C series, this attitude is symbolic of a careless and disinterested arrogance toward both the series and its long time fans. People already don’t like EA for a raft of reasons, but the acquisition of Westwood by EA and their subsequent marginalization and mistreatment of the series has seriously exacerbated these feelings – feelings that have been brewing ever since EA forced Westwood to release Tiberian Sun unfinished. However, whereas Tiberian Wars was essentially forgiven for its faithful gameplay and reasonably engaging story line, Tiberian Twilight has combined a story line that ends the legacy of Kane in a way that is heavily inconsistent with the previous Westwood games (and essentially just bad and underwhelming for such an iconic character anyway) with gameplay that barely resembles that of any title in the series. Furthermore, the strange omission of the scrin makes the narrative seem even lazier.

    This brings me to the second central point: gameplay integrity. The canonically inconsistent, lazily written and basically uninteresting story of C&C 4 could have been forgiven if the core of C&C gameplay had been evolved rather than completely dumped. You frame the failure of the game as being a result of risk taking predicated upon a perception that the C&C gameplay mechanics were ultimately unsustainable given the rise of more fast-paced and less resource dependant RTS games. However, the biggest mistake one can make in trying to make ground on a competitor is to try and copy them and this is what you have done. Ironically, C&C 2 (TS) had a number of evolutionary ideas that were never implemented due to EAs ‘quantity over quality’ ethos. Many of these ideas should have been put into C&C 3, but it seems with the dissolution of Westwood these ideas have been lost. For instance, what happened to the interactive environment of TS? Ion storms and the Tiberian life forms added an interesting element that was ripe for further development. Also, what of the now famous unit loadout screen that was also lost to EA’s unnecessarily ruthless practices? These ideas back in the late ‘90s represent interesting ways that the mechanics could have been deepened rather than simply being dumped. Ultimately, by making a C&C game in the Tiberium universe that abandoned the core gameplay principles of its predecessors in favour of a fast paced unit capped system that mimics newer games on the market and then combining it with a terrible story you had already have made people pretty angry.

    This brings me to my final point: DRM. DRM turned the already palpable outrage at the terrible story and ‘guinea-pig’ gameplay mechanics into the perfect storm. Not only do you dump the story and gameplay that people fell in love with 15 years ago, you managed to insult the entire C&C community by implementing an anti-piracy system that caries the message that EA doesn’t like or trust the C&C fans. The intensely frustrating nature of DRM has actually been shown to drive people to piracy, rather than away from it. Indeed, I got my copy of C&C 4 refunded because I live in an area with an unpredictable Internet connection and found it made the already painful experience simply unbearable. EA is both large enough and well resourced enough to have carried out market research which would have highlighted all of these facts. That they didn’t is an insult in itself.

    So what’s the bottom line? This game is analogous to a political regime that has lost touch with its people. To be blunt, it is unfaithful, arrogant and lazy. There is room for experimentation within the gaming industry, but if you were going to try something like this then it should have been in the form of a sequel to C&C Generals or a completely new stand alone game. To do it with a game signaling the end of the Kane saga is analogous to getting in different writers in to finish lord of the rings and then having them replace the Hobbits and Elves with mechs and Jedi.
    And this is where I take issue with APOCs apology/response to the ire this game has brought forth; his core message that this failure was a result of basically EA being too daring in its attempts to change is both highly apologetic and unrealistic. There is daring and there is reckless, and you were all very reckless.

    The position you’re in is not unsalvageable however. You at EA LA can redeem yourselves by communicating more with your fans and the larger gaming community in making a new Tiberian universe game that feels like Westwood had some hand in it and that truly evolves both the story and the core gameplay.

    ----

    Anyway, just wanted to know if anyone here was similarly disenchanted with the whole experience.
     
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  3. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    I've loved all of the C&C series (played RA2 countless times) but never got round to getting C&C4. Sounds like i dodged a bullet!
     
  4. TRF_Saints

    TRF_Saints Straight Edge

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    Unit lost.

    I feel for you Dan. I am a big C+C fan and knew it would end badly for the series.
     
  5. esoj

    esoj Senior Member

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    heard nothing but bad things about this. singleplayer definitely not as good as previous games only reason to play it would be to finish the story. multiplayer is terrible a famous caster and streamer by the name the gunrun streamed some while the starcraft 2 beta was down one day and the gameplay was so bad he quit after just one game. now this guy was a big c&c red alert 3 fan he made his own mod for it called retarded red cocaine and ran tournaments using this mod plus casting+streaming regular c&c games. so when such a huge fan can't even play more than one game of multiplayer c&c 4 before quiting in frustration the game is in seriously bad shape. I'll probably only get it when it's $20 or less. also the c&c 4 team at eala got told they would be without jobs before the game was finished but were kept on until it released http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/51336/Command-Conquer-4-Team-Axed-Pandemic-Maxis-To-Follow also there is this article from an ex-eala guy that worked on c&c http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/55831/Ex-EALA-Command-Conquer-Developer-Berates-Recent-Releases
     
  6. Haysie

    Haysie Senior Member

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    C+C1 and Red Alert fan right here... Generals was alright. I was never an enormous fan of the sci-fi command and conquer element.
     
  7. RoosTah

    RoosTah Senior Member

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    Cheers esoj, very informative stuff. Seriously, how big a pack of arseholes can EA possibly be? That's it, I will NEVER spend another cent on ANY EA title from now on. Enough is enough - these f@#$ers deserve to go bankrupt.
     
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