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Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath Review
developer: EA LA
PIV 2200, 512MB RAM, 6GB HDD
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Mar 24, 08
|» All About Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath on ActionTrip|
As you probably know by now, Kane's Wrath is a continuation of the story we witnessed in C&C 3. It's not a stand-alone game, so, naturally, you'll need Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars to play it.
Returning to the Tiberium Universe, the game delves deeper into the history of the Brotherhood of Nod and the profile of the iconic character Kane. The brand new single-player campaign spans 20 years, covering the rebirth of the Brotherhood of Nod after the Second Tiberium War and the dramatic events of the Third Tiberium War. The game follows Kane's endeavors as he fights against the forces of GDI. Actually, there are three sub-stories: Act 1 is set between Tiberian Sun: Firestorm and Command & Conquer 3, while Act 2 brings us closer to the events of Command & Conquer 3. Finally, Act 3 gives us a glimpse of things that take place after Command & Conquer 3.
Between each mission, EALA incorporated High-Def live-action cut-scenes, similarly to C&C 3. This time, the cinematics feature actors such as Joe Kucan (Kane), Natasha Henstridge and Carl Lumbly. In all fairness, the scenes aren't as appealing as before. Some of the actors' performances are unsatisfactory and uninspiring. The character of Kane single-handedly saves the day, and makes the scenes fun to watch, largely thanks to Joe Kucan's charisma and his enjoyable evil-ish monologues. Other actors, such as Natasha Henstridge could've given more credibility to some of the scenes if they took their roles more seriously. These moments tend to blow the fantasy, if you know what I mean. Not that we were expecting any top-notch Hollywood-style performances ("top-notch Hollywood performance?!" Now there's an oxymoron if ever I heard one. - 2Lions), but on various spots throughout the game you simply won't be able to immerse yourself in the Tiberium universe due to lousy acting.
The main single-player campaign has its ups and downs. You'll be treated to 13 missions that span through different eras of the C&C timeline. In that respect, story-telling seems off. Instead of offering a more coherent plot structure, new characters and a logical continuation of the series, Kane's Wrath attempts to fill in the gaps from past Command & Conquer games. As a result, the game fails to tie all the threads together, not even after the conclusion of the campaign, when the developers decided to feed us with a classic cliff-hanger ending. We were sort of looking forward to more eye-openers, twists and, yes, more details about the Scrin (the alien race introduced in C&C 3). But alas, that wasn't the case. Oh well, maybe in the next expansion pack, eh?
Things pick up once you dig into the gameplay. The missions can be fun and are filled with a variety of objectives that allow you to make the most out of your units, both familiar and new. Some of the tasks are quite challenging. You won't be able to complete them unless you act sharply and swiftly to counter enemy attacks. The abilities of the new units will help you on your way and they make for new tactics.
The single-player gives you a chance to control sub-factions, like the Black Hand, which introduces a few new units such as the Purifier - a huge robot, armed with nasty flame-throwers. The GDI get to use the MARV tanks, which fires powerful sonic shells and can garrison 4 units. The Scrin use the all-new Eradicator Hexapod, which gains credits by collecting hulks from nearby destroyed units. We were slightly disappointed, however, that most of the new additions won't truly come into view until you've played the skirmish, multiplayer or the new Global Conquest mode. The main campaign is strictly tied to controlling Nod forces, whereas GDI, Scrin and other sub-factions, are only available in other modes.
Fun multiplayer and skirmish, new units, a vast choice of new maps, still looks good;
Incoherent story-telling, the main campaign brings another cliff-hanger ending, same old AI glitches and path-finding bugs.