Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath PC DVD
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now
Given how enjoyable Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars was and how enjoyable the expansion packs have been for previous Command & Conquer games, it’s fair to say that many have been looking forward to Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath. Many have hoped that it would bring some new features that would enhance the experience as well as some enjoyable new campaigns that would be the equal of those in the original game. Whilst Kane’s Wrath is a good expansion however, it’s probably not exactly what many fans of the series were expecting.
It may be a little disappointing to learn that Kane’s Wrath only has one campaign. It wouldn’t be so bad if the missions were particularly good but most are pretty standard affairs the like of which you’ve already played many times before if you’re a fan of the RTS genre. There isn’t a particular mission that lives long in the memory and that’s a shame. Of course there’s always those crazy Command & Conquer cutscenes to inject some cheesy personality into the proceedings but even here there is disappointment because once more the cutscenes are not subtitled, meaning deaf gamers will be oblivious to all of the tongue-in-cheek cheesiness that the series’ cutscenes are famous for. The campaign spans 20 years beginning with the rebirth of the Brotherhood of Nod after the Second Tiberium War and moving past the events that occurred after the Third Tiberium War.
Of course there is the usual smattering of new units and the addition of some ‘Epic Units’ as well as new sub-factions in Kane’s Wrath. The most interesting addition in this respect has to be the Mechapede unit which the Scrin faction now has access to. As its name implies, it looks like a centipede and you have the ability to add pods of your choice to alter its effectiveness against different unit types. The Epic Units, which include the M.A.R.V., Eradicator Hexapod and the Redeemer, aren’t actually that useful unless you find yourself in a drawn out battle because they are so expensive and it’s a good bet that most battles will be over before you have access to them.
One of the stranger inclusions in Kane’s Wrath is the Global Conquest mode. This mixes a Risk-style turn-based game with skirmish battles (which can be auto-resolved if you wish) and it works quite well. The mode doesn’t have the depth or addictiveness of a Sid Meier game but it gives a nice change of pace from the typical Command and Conquer experience. You can play as the GDI, NOD or the Scrin. The problem is, of course, that most fans of the Command and Conquer series probably don’t want a change of pace. It should be noted however that the strategical elements are far from complex and it provides unlimited replay value, unlike the campaign which most will only play through once. For those who enjoy both turn-based strategy and Command and Conquer games however, Global Conquest will certainly be a welcome addition.
Little has changed from Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars in terms of presentation. In some ways this isn’t a bad thing because Tiberium Wars was and still is, a good looking RTS and Kane’s Wrath is just as good. Tiberium Wars wasn’t generous in its support for deaf gamers however and Kane’s Wrath is also very disappointing. The game’s cutscenes are not subtitled which renders them pretty much useless for deaf gamers. This is frustrating because it essentially robs deaf gamers of enjoying the storyline. Communications you receive during the missions aren’t subtitled. Objectives are shown in text and can be recalled by pressing the O key. The radar shows the general position of your objectives. Unfortunately the tutorial for the Global Conquest mode isn’t subtitled meaning that’s it’s nowhere near as useful for deaf gamers as it should be. On the whole then it’s far from a great experience for deaf gamers and that’s very disappointing.
Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath is an expansion that will satisfy the legions of hardcore Command & Conquer fans but it’s difficult to see it impressing many of them. The single campaign on offer is ultimately disappointing although, to be fair, it does have its moments. The Global Conquest mode is certainly an interesting addition and is a decent Risk-style experience although it may not be to every Command & Conquer fans taste because after all it’s a turn-based mode in an RTS game. The new sub-factions and units are all decent additions which I daresay fans of the series will appreciate. The real problem is that the overall quality of the expansion just isn’t as high as we’ve come to expect from the series and whilst it’s a good expansion, it’s far from being a great one.