I'm sorry, but i have to disagree with the first user-comment for EAs newest RTS, a follow-up to Westwoods "Tiberium conflict" and "Tiberian sun". To kill two birds with a stone, i also wholeheartedly disagree with all the nay-sayers. I tried to swallow all the criticisms I've read throughout, but since this is the only voice currently here, furthermore a negative one, i *have* to throw in my two cents.
Im a die-hard fan of the Red Alert series portion of CnC, especially the sequel. I've tried both "normal" CnCs, but while i appreciated the game's main idea, Soviet vs. Allies was a much cooler conflict to play for my tastes. Also, i was never big on Sci-Fi, except only a handful of games and films. So while all the hype-machinery was started for TW, i couldn't see why everyone was so hot for this game. I thought akin to many skeptics, that its same ol same ol anyway, except for improved graphics and fin. But then i laid my hands on the demo, just for fun, and in that instant moment, i was hooked. Even with my merely biting in the predecessors, it just poured the CnC-feeling from every pore: The sidebar, the cheesy movies, the terrific unit and building-design, the uncompromising mix of fast action and room for tactics, the drill of the briefings, the devastating effects, animation, sound-design etc. I absolutely fell in love with the game and got it right away. And even though its German dubbed, which is, at most times, a serious atmosphere-killer, it didn't disappoint. Though let me note, I'm only talking about the campaign! I don't want to jump to conclusions for the skirmish and multi-player modes when I'm not playing them- What more evidence can one give than after all new RTSes I've played (AoE 3, Supreme Commander, thousands of WW-games ie.) only this could grab me by the throat? Heck, even Generals left me cold (Though after this i think i might give it a third go)! So what makes this game so interesting for me? Well, first its the design, ranging from the menus, interface, cut-scenes, units and buildings, terrain etc. Its just millimeters away from perfect. Secondly, the story and missions, which are a blend of fast-paced destruction and strategical tiers- Which means, that in some missions the tactics are to omit any kind of tactics, which translates further into "Build fast and eradicate the enemy from the face of the earth", and in some there are multiple layers to complete a mission. And while some missions are a tad too easy (And others far too difficult), you'll always notice promptly when you made a mistake, like loosing units or structures after you didn't pay attention for a millisecond. The secondary objectives have their purpose as well, since at most times they ease the advancement (Albeit other times their only point of being is to prolong a mission, what should have been avoided)- And blimey, its just a heap of fun to slay the confronting party in effect-laden battles, while creating outposts, level up, gather resources and building huge bases. The presentation is only the glazing on the cake, with the Hi-Def videos loaded with stars, being less hilarious than the RA2 counterparts, or the aforementioned interface, that makes sure you're always in control of the battle, regardless of where you are on the map, or, the amazing music, atmosphere and so forth. Or did i mention the world map, whats also only a tool of immersion? (No, i didn't. But its adorable!) Simply, everything fits. And the one thing that *really* dragged me in: When i attacked a base during the campaign, the enemy's infantry seized buildings dynamically to my whereabouts- awesome (Even more that you can do the same, sometimes even with bonuses)!
Sure, it really tangles like you'd play the same game with modern looks all over again, hence all the outcries for innovations, but i say better master what you can do already right than innovate while no one cares (Maelstrom, anyone?) Now that they showed that they actually can develop a true CnC, they could show it *everyone* with RA3, though. For my part, they're in my heart again, after disasters as NFS Carbon, their general policy, and the Sport/Sims rehashes every goddamn year. I don't like em much either, but when someone gives a crap and develops such a crafty game, we should cut em some slack.
Bottom line: If you are a CnC fan, than read no further and buy it. If you dug the main idea of the games, but the old graphics put you off, do the same. Singleplayers can anticipate an atmospheric, fun campaign, with missions variantly short and long, multi-layered and straightforward, simple and challenging. Those who like it slow and tactical like Supreme Commander, Medieval 2, Company of Heroes and cant digest the idea of a fast, action-oriented oldschool game should stay with their favorites. But i still advise anyone to try out the demo, since thats exactly what you get, only tenfold.
(Thoughts about the first comment: EA *did* care. Thats why they've thrown Generals out of the window and brought back the original CnC. 3 generations of fans worked on this title. The interface is almost the same as in RA2. System specs are quite humane for todays standards- Just look at NFS Carbon for instance! Why isn't it properly finished? There were fan summits to get feedback- Why do you think did the critics and most fans like it? I mean, most people hate the title exactly for what you miss from it- Being CnC, almost completely unchanged.)
For me, it was like coming home.
(Sometimes it IS a tad too difficult, you're right- But thats better than unchallenging, generic games. Btw, im parallel in love with BfME right now).