Nod leader Kane interrupts those transmissions with a lengthy screed. A new day will dawn, he promises. General Jack Granger and GDI Acting Director Redmond Boyle, already veterans of two wars against the Brotherhood, vow to stop that from happening. Supporting casts on both sides provide skills that prove invaluable as the conflict escalates. Tiberium continues to ravage the globe.
All beings in the Command & Conquer universe are defined by their relationship to Tiberium, a self-replicating alien substance that threatens to wipe out all living things on the planet but is also the worlds most powerful resource, explains EA Los Angeles vice-president and producer Mike Verdu. Tiberium is the perfect antidote to a world addicted to oil, but the costs involved in using it could eventually mean the contamination of the entire planet.
The tapestry of the story is woven into the game in a way that makes it seem like story is everywhere.- Mike Verdu, producer
34 Missions Plus Endless Online Skirmishes
The destruction of the Philadelphia ushers in The Third Tiberium War between GDI and the Brotherhood of Nod. Command & Conquer 3 features 30 missions that allow you to experience both sides perspectives, with four bonus missions that center on the Scrin, an alien race that wants Tiberium for its own purposes and eventually attacks GDI and Brotherhood forces. Each groups unique identity provides strengths and weaknesses that dictate how you should plan resource gathering, structure construction, and soldier, vehicle, and aircraft production.
We reward your style of play in the single-player campaign, says Verdu, letting you make choices before and during missions that fundamentally alter how subsequent missions play out. A new particle system also allows us to put amazing effects on the screen the battlefield comes alive with vastly-improved smoke, fire, explosions, haze, tracers, and weather effects.
In addition, Verdus team put a lot of work into the games artificial intelligence (AI), efforts that bear fruit when you set up standalone single-player skirmishes. We wanted to have computer opponents with defined styles of play, so that players can complement their own styles, he notes. If you like to build up your base and have epic late-game battles with huge armies, then you might be frustrated by an AI that always rushes you five minutes into the game, so you can choose an AI style that fits better.
And when you head online to challenge human opponents, you may find yourself a star on BattleCast Prime Time, where matches are broadcast to thousands of viewers, complete with running commentary. The show offers a sportscast look and feel, Verdu observes.
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Note: This game is no longer available from the publisher. However, you may still be able to find it at your favorite retail store.
We reward your style of play in the single-player campaign, letting you make choices that fundamentally alter how subsequent missions play out.- Mike Verdu, producer
The Tapestry of the Story
In contrast, the single-player campaign features a movie-like look and feel, with high-definition, live-action cut scenes starring Billy Dee Williams (Redmond Boyle) from the Star Wars movies, Tricia Helfer (Kilian Qatar, Kanes second-in-command) and Grace Park (GDI Lieutenant Sandra Telfair) of Battlestar Galactica fame, Joe Kucan (Kane), Michael Ironside (Jack Granger), and others. The characters also sometimes appear during missions to explain the goals you need to accomplish next, as well as to relay important plot points.
The tapestry of the story is woven into the game in a way that makes it seem like story is everywhere, Verdu explains. Supporting the story is a wonderfully-realized universe with amazing richness and depth. Weve continued to add texture ad dimension to it, describing in depth the evolution of GDI and Nod, the timeline of the Tiberium Wars, Kanes history, and a million other details. (For more information about the games story, see The Alternate History of C&C on page two.)
He adds: We also brought in some scientists from MIT to work with us in identifying the physical properties of Tiberium, including its origins, how it works at an atomic level, how it affects living creatures, and why it is such a powerful source of energy.
A Powerful Theme
Not only have Verdu and his team plumbed the depths of the games history and characters, but theyve also considered how a story that began in 1995 relates to our world today. A powerful theme that you see time and time again in Command & Conquer is the notion of science versus religion, Verdu says. The GDI is a sort of high-tech UN of the future that realizes the threat Tiberium brings to Earth and is trying to fight it off with science.
On the other hand, you have the Brotherhood of Nod, whose strong religious beliefs state that Tiberium is something sacred that should be cherished, as it will mark the coming of the next evolution of mankind.
He sums up: While these themes seem to be echoed heavily in todays world, its important to note that were talking about a universe and a science-fiction story that was created in 1995. Good science-fiction has some resonance with current events because its an exploration of what might happen.