During EA’s E3 press conference today Command & Conquer: Rivals was announced for mobile devices, while at the same time letting down fans everywhere of what is considered one of the more beloved RTS series known in video games. Command & Conquer: Rivals seems to be a shallow revival of a game that many remember being their introduction into the RTS genre of games. Know for it’s FMV cutscenes, tough strategic play and Nod consistently trying to ruin everything — Command & Conquer doesn’t need a mobile game to give it the proper due it deserves and EA bringing it back in such a minuscule way shows a window into how they actually see the title. It comes across as a quick cash grab (it’s mobile) that is nothing more but another strategy phone game with a popular name-brand slapped on the side.
While only one match played out during the reveal C&C: Rivals the one thing that stood out above all else was the stagnant gameplay. With such limited space to play any sort of game on, presenting C&C for mobile immediately takes away any since scope that can be crucial to any RTS game, more importantly, having the space to play in that allows for dynamic play. From the demo shown it can be seen that units move at a sluggish pace probably in part to the fact that there is limited space for play, it means drawing out matches longer in whatever way is necessary and if that means making slow moving units, so be it. The main gameplay component of securing a missile to send out the enemy isn’t a bad idea, but it’s not what Command & Conquer is about either. This again points to the fact that all C&C: Rivals proves to be thin veneer; a cheap coat of paint.
While this isn’t to drag on mobile games, seeing that mobile devices are fun and successful platforms for games, it’s more disappointment in knowing that such a special name was used for a game that literally could have been called anything else. EA, if you’re going to bring back Command & Conquer, at least do it right. This half-hearted attempt to grab on to nostalgia for some, while introducing a fresh title to those unacquainted, does nothing to reintroduce or further a beloved title to gamers everywhere. Plus, I don’t think it will have cutscenes like this:
Just imagine a Command & Conquer on the level of games like ones out of any Total War or Paradox title. It would be a joy to take to the battlefield once again commanding the forces of the GDI or tearing through tiberium to further the conquest of Nod. StarCraft II exist. So why not a new Command & Conquer? For now, fans of the series are stuck with Command & Conquer: Rivals, might as well check it out, even if it is just a peak.