You should play: Command and Conquer 3

cnc_gamescom_2013_screenshot_retreatYou should play: Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

Platform: PC, Windows, Xbox360

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Release: Available now

Price: $14.99

There comes a time in every young person’s life when he or she gets the urge to build a huge army and destroy their friends in the midst of virtual battlegrounds. This week, we’ll look at “Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars,” a game that pits you in a fight to the death with — or against — your friends, raging war with huge armies built from the ground up.

The Command and Conquer series is an old and generally well-known franchise, mainly for “Command and Conquer: Red Alert” and “Command and Conquer: Generals” in the late ’90s and early 2000s. The series is a real-time strategy game meaning you are commanding your soldiers from the top-down perspective, so instead of fighting on the ground like a first-person shooter, you are looking down on your subordinates as if they were chess pieces.

Tiberium Wars is the 2007 entry of the Command and Conquer series, and although it is now a six-year-old game, it still remains as one of the best in the franchise as the other more recent Command and Conquer entries have flopped considerably. Despite being a little over a half a decade old, Tiberium Wars’ graphics are still visually spectacular and on par with the ever popular “Starcraft II.”

Tiberium Wars takes place in 2047, after a gigantic meteor has hit the planet, bringing total devastation as well as a new resource: Tiberium. Tiberium is now used as the main resource to create just about anything as it can be reformed and refined into any resource, such as metal, fuel, etc., despite being highly radioactive.

There are three different factions, all fighting for Tiberium, that allow you to adopt different types of play styles and unit types. First, there is the GDI, a branch of the United Nations, which resembles an orderly military and defense force. Second, there is the Hand of Nod, which is a cult that worships the new resource, approaching North Korean levels of fanaticism and seeking to destroy anyone who would want to use it for themselves. Lastly, there is the Scrin, an alien-based faction that has come to cover the planet in Tiberium and wipe out the human race.

These three extremes make for quite the explosive battle among friends and add to the level of insanity that is the Command and Conquer universe. Although the game follows the standard real time strategy game “rock-paper-scissors” formula (Read: Infantry-Tanks-Airplanes), the unit and faction diversity allows for a wide variety of play. For example, you can rush out units as fast as possible in order to stop the slower players from forming a large enough army that is much more difficult to defeat. You can employ guerrilla fighting techniques by destroying high-value enemy buildings, such as refineries, research facilities, etc., with stealthy units to cripple your enemy and, ultimately, have your friends swelling with rage.

“Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars” is a fantastic alternative to “Starcraft II.” It is certainly a game that keeps you coming back to master the three factions’ strengths and weaknesses and keeps you having fun by rolling over your friends’ bases with futuristic tanks and airplanes. “Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars” also has an expansion by the name of Kane’s Wrath. This expansion is definitely worth checking out as well as it adds two new sub-factions to the three major factions mentioned above, essentially multiplying the amount of content available to play.