Like many of the C&C fans, I have been waiting for EA to make the next full installment of the series and have gotten disappointed every year with no news at all last 5 years. Sure, there’s the browser game and mobile game, but those aren’t really what we were looking forward to.
After EA acquired Westwood, there was one pure C&C, the Generals. After that, the series headed closer to Starcraft to challenge its esports dominance. That didn’t work. In fact, that is one of the major things that caused to series downfall, because there was a reason why very few people played both C&C and Starcraft.
While C&C has never been realistic military RTS. The game used to heavily reference realistic aesthetics, and units. Especially in Generals, but Red Alerts had units that still maybe could be invented by humans at some point.
That made the game a lot easier to pick up because you could actually figure out what things do mostly just by looking at them. You also didn’t have a light show on your screen every time you shot at something. Can you tell that I wasn’t a huge fan of the Scrin?
On top of that, a lot of the game mechanics got rewritten to better suit shorter online play, that rippled into the single player. Those used to be the things that separated C&C from Starcraft, Warcraft and such. They were the reason most of us liked C&C over the competition.
After the release of C&C4, with all-time low review score for the series, there seemed to be hope in the horizon. As with the announcements and release of Battlefield 3, EA pushed the agenda that all future EA titles would be made on top of the Frostbite engine.
That got the community thinking of the possibilities. Maybe we could get a new game with more realistic aesthetics and maybe, just maybe the devs would listen to the community feedback on gameplay, after the C&C4 reviews. At least for me back then, it also didn’t help that I found RocketSolution’s community made concept video, showing of C&C style gameplay in BF3:
Couple years later, at E3 2013 we got a glimpse of upcoming C&C: Generals 2, running on to of Frostbyte and seemingly returning to more realistic aesthetics. Sure, we didn’t have that good of an idea of the gameplay mechanics, but it was a start in the right direction.
After that, however, things went downhill fast. First, the game was stripped of its single-player mode and re-purposed as a free-to-play game with in-game store and microtransactions to meet the new direction set by EA for all of its upcoming games. Then, after only months after the reveal, on October 31, Victory Games was shut down, and that was the end of the last full C&C game.
It’s been 15 years since the last Command & Conquer that I actually liked was released. I don’t want to admit it to myself, but I’m not sure I can call myself a fan anymore. Until I have finished game that proves my fears for the future of the series wrong, this series is dead to me.