Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath
EA keeps piling up its Command&Conquer titles with Red Alert 3 coming up, but until then we have to suffice with Kane’s Wrath, the expansion of Command & Conquer 3 which shows you how NOD managed to rise from its ashes and managed to start the third Tiberium War.
Expansions are a strange thing. On one side they just give you more of the same as they offer additional content of a game that’s already released. On the other hand, they also have the possibility to add some new stuff that wasn’t present in the original. Usually this will be limited to a new (or prolonged) storyline, a couple of new units and maybe a new mission type. Sometimes, however, there’s more. Developers tend can try out totally new things to see if they work and if they do, you can be sure to see them back in a future edition of the series.
In Kane’s Wrath, EA has done exactly that. They’ve introduced the Global Conquest mode which allows you to play Command & Conquer 3 not as a mission-based campaign but rather as an actual game with one goal for each side. NOD needs to get enough cities to riot at the same time, GDI needs to conquer a certain percentage of the world, and the Scrin… well they need to do their usual alien stuff. Of course, killing everyone will also give you final victory.
The good news here is that this mode isn’t linear and that you can play it as a seperate game, but the big advantage is that the tactics part goes lost a bit. Build a huge army and you’ll no doubt be able to crush just about any base you want. Still, it’s quite enjoyable.
Other new stuff includes mostly the usual suspects: new units where the “epic units” tend to stand out of the crowd. The GDI get a M.A.R.V. which is like a harvester gone berserk with weaponry, NOD gets the Redeemer combat mech and finally the Scrin get an Eradicator Hexapod. Each of these can be upgraded by garrisoning infantry units in them, but don’t start drooling yet as you can only build one of these at a time.
For the rest Kane’s Wrath is just more of the same. You get new missions which will hardly surprise you and the cut-scenes with Kane and his followers are just as we expected them to be.
There are some flaws on the technical side though. There’s one stealth mission that just crashes the game at the end if you don’t arrive at the extraction point from the correct direction (which in this case is not the logical direction). Also the popups in the army creation menus don’t always work as they should and the sound effects aren’t always clear in making you understand what’s happening.
So there you have it. Kane’s Wrath is – except for the Global Conquest mode – a pretty standard expansion that follows the lines of Command & Conquer without ever making waves or bringing some decent innovation. Guess we’ll have to wait for Red Alert 3 or a future C&C game to see some really new stuff.