Command & Conquer 4

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have an absolutely fabulous… oh, what, Christmas is over?… I spent the whole holiday sleeping and desperately trying to overtake the hacker’s prestige levels in Black Ops, you say? Oh, damn. Well, I guess I’ll talk about why a certain game in 2010 (can you guess which one?) shattered my gaming soul instead then. No point being merry AFTER Christmas.


If you’ve had a gander at our Games Awards for 2010 (and if you haven’t, you really should) you’ll have noticed that Final Fantasy XIII took the trophy for ‘Biggest Let Down’ back home to its parents so its mother can tell it that all that really matters is that it tried its best. Respectfully, having never played XIII or cared much for the franchise, I personally disagree with this “winner”. Despite my best efforts (by which I mean, I cast my one vote for it) Command & Conquer 4 survived without shame at the awards and I can’t with a clear conscience stand by and let it skulk off to the corner so that EA can call it a “misstep” in the series. I’ve loved the Command & Conquer series since I played it in 1996 when I got it for Christmas (ah! There is a Christmas link to this rant after all) at the tender age of 8. I even wrote my first blog right here on Ready-Up about it! (Kind of…) I warn you now though, this post is likely to contain a lot of bold text. I can feel it in my fingers.

In fact, I’m going to kick things off by providing an image and caption from that very post:

Command & Conquer 4 needs MOAR GIANT ANTS!

Did I get my giant ants? No. Did I get the finale to Command & Conquer that I’d been waiting for just over a decade to see? Barely. Did I even play a Command & Conquer game despite the name being in the title? NO. I don’t care if I’m 9 months late to the party of moaning about this atrocity, but frankly I’d done everything to delete it from my brain until the opportunity to vote against it came along. This game was a TRAVESTY for fans of the series. 9 months of backlog on the internet also proves that I am far from alone with this opinion. They destroyed the balanced multiplayer by making a level-up system that meant unless you bought the game on release and lived in the correct time zone you’ve lost before you’ve installed the game, they made the campaign painfully short with a rushed and unsatisfying storyline (which, by the way, was supposed to be the explosive FINALE to the series) and worst of all? THEY CHANGED THE GAME.

The keys are on your hands EA…

It played like some crappy Chinese knock-off that an overweight unemployed fanboy made in their basement during a 48 Red Bull binge after they were dared over instant messenger to create a Command & Conquer MOD from scratch without using anything from the franchise. I’d even go as far as to make a Starcraft II joke here, but I’d actually feel bad about it because I LIKED Starcraft II. It almost appeared as if EA was TRYING to make the deep-rooted fans of the franchise hate this game. I’m not talking about the fanboy who’ll hate everything regardless of its quality, I’m talking long term, want to love it, have always loved it since first started playing it FANS of the game. It’s not even a difficult theory to come up with that maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t be a good idea to try an entire new gaming experience on the LAST GAME OF THAT SERIES. Can you evolve it? No. Can you iron out the bugs afterwards? No. Can you alienate a large chunk of your fan-base by changing everything that got the franchise to the point it’s at now? Absolutely you can! I feel VIOLATED that I had to pay £39.99 for the privilege of owning this thing in a box.

Hope I don't miss and clip that nice EA employee…

You know what though? After some deep reflection, I thought I’d give Command & Conquer 4 another chance. No, really, I did. After seeing Final Fantasy take home the golden turd award, I figured maybe I was just steamed from my first experience and hadn’t been level headed enough to enjoy my experience the first time. So, I booted up my computer which I bought in October to find out that you can only install the game once onto one PC and that was it. No uninstall option, no multi-install option, either buy the game again or sod off and learn to buy it from Steam in the future. That was it, I wiped my hands clean of the game for good, I ricocheted it clean off my wall and into the trash bin and set about writing this rant right here.

I’m not asking for a refund, I’m not asking for an apology (though acknowledgement that a mistake was made wouldn’t go awry) but I do ask that should the series continue (and based on recent rumours and rumblings it might) that you forget that this appalling excuse for Command & Conquer ever existed. I’m all for experimentation in the franchise as long as it’s clearly laid out from the beginning, I tried out Renegade and even THAT didn’t suck as hard as C&C4 did. Why? Because it was clear cut that it was going to be risky and different, it wasn’t trying to disguise its new gameplay and just slap a C&C sticker on the box hoping nobody would notice or care.

Command & Conquer 4 – you sucked, you destroyed my biggest hope for 2010, and you deserve every word of this and more. There! I feel much better now. I shall NOT get my hopes up for ANY game currently announced for 2011 just to avoid any further disappointment!… Oh, what, Duke Nukem Forever is confirmed for 2011? Oh, damn.






2 responses to “Command & Conquer 4”

  1. Walter avatar

    I was lucky enough to play the beta for C&C4, not lucky in that I got to play it early, lucky that it shattered my attachment to the series so quickly I knew the beta saved me £40 on buying the retail.

  2. Duncan avatar

    Oh, Walter, how I envy you.

    To be honest, after this rant was over and done with, I feel much better now. I shall allow Red Alert 4 into my life to make up for this game. 😛

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