Command & Conquer: Generals

aka: C&C: Generals, Command & Conquer: Generäle
Moby ID: 8387
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

A new chapter in the Command & Conquer universe, set somewhere in the 2010s, pits three sides for global domination: the United States of America, the People's Republic of China and the Global Liberation Army (GLA).

Generals features real world (renamed or slightly altered) weapons combined with quasi-high-tech ones, new control schemes and a fast-paced multiplayer. Generals is the first game in the Command & Conquer series not to include FMV or pre-rendered cutscenes between missions, and was also the first C&C game without the Westwood Studios label (although the development studio was initially called Westwood Pacific before being merged into EA Pacific). It uses a full 3D environment powered by the SAGE engine, a modified version of the W3D engine previously seen in C&C: Renegade.

The core gameplay differs somewhat from other games in the series, a move done in order to modernize the formula. First off, construction yards are absent, as structures are built by dozers for the USA and China, and workers for the GLA. The sidebar is replaced with the bottom bar, and support powers are "purchased" with leveling up as a general, which is done through participating in combat. For the first time in the series, each factory-type structure (barracks, war factory, airfield...) has its own build queue, in the same fashion as in Blizzard's RTS titles before it, instead of having a shared one like in the previous C&C games. Upgrades are available for the first time in the series as well, bringing improvements to units and structures. Everything is paid for in advance instead of having credits slowly drain as the object is constructed.

Spellings

  • 終極動員令:將軍 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

462 People (394 developers, 68 thanks) · View all

Executive in charge of production
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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 84% (based on 48 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 78 ratings with 4 reviews)

Finally, an original and imaginative real-time strategy that brings color back into the fading RTS genre!

The Good
Man, I tell you, I love real-time strategy games. Good or bad, I really do love them all. I like being able to command my own forces and use strategy to destroy my enemy. I like building bases, I just like the feeling of being both God and Commander of my forces. And multiplayer is always fun in real-time strategies. Isn't it great seeing two grand forces clash in one area? Watching the destruction, the fighting...it's great, it really is.

But lately, this real-time strategy genre has began to look like pure crap. I had high hopes for games like Warcraft III and Age of Mythology - I mean, come on. It's the successor to Warcraft, and who didn't think Age of Mythology looked awesome? But both games disappointed me and I doubt I'll ever play them again. Sure, it was fun for a little while, but they were so very flawed that it wasn't worth going another round in.

Red Alert 2 annoyed me, as well. I can't stand that game. I never understood why it was so popular? Well, forgive me if I didn't have particularly high expectations for "Generals". With release after release of mediocre RTS titles I've never heard of before ("Militarism"; "Highland Warriors") and disappointing games I really wanted to play ("Warcraft III"; "Age of Mythology"), the RTS genre as a whole starting to look more and more bleak. Games like Starcraft, Command and Conquer and Age of Empires started to be just a thing of the past, and with each release it was looking worse.

I picked up Generals after having seen a video of it. If anything, the game certainly looked good. Graphically, I mean. But what I got was more than just eye-candy, what I held in my hand (well, in my hard drive) was more than just another dull real-time strategy. This, my friends, is the best real-time strategy to make its way onto the market in years.

Command and Conquer features three different playable "races". There is USA, China, and the germ-warfaring terrorists, the GLA. Each race is different, with different advantages and disadvantages, and they're all perfectly balanced. Do you realize how hard it is to balance three completely different races? Generals did it.

But without a doubt, the greatest feature of Generals is the incredible graphics. No real-time strategy to date has had such incredible 3D graphics. And the engine is absolutely beautiful. Tanks leave trails behind and kick up dust clouds as they move, when they blow up pieces will fly far and tuble down hills, and one particularly early level in the China single player campaign requires you to blow up a damn - the water gushing down the gorge into the GLAs forces is a sight to be seen. Fire looks like actual fire, and the nuclear explosion is breathtaking. Craters and markings caused by missiles, scuds, nukes, and so on will stay there throughout the game. Height is also a factor in this game. Rocket soldiers standing on a higher ground will have a much better firing range than those below, and tanks and jeeps cannot go uphill quite as fast as they could on flat ground.

The game rules are also supurb. Units standing next to an exploding tank will become injured or be destroyed themselves. You can horde units inside civilian buildings to be used as a defense, but the enemy can destroy the building or - if they're American - rapple down from a Chinook and assassinate all your men from the side of the building!

The units for China and USA are fairly standard. The two races get their own set of infantry and tanks, as well as air units and some special units, but they're very distinct. For instance, the Americans prevail in air units, but the Chinese waste them when it comes to electronics.

But the GLA is very, very different than the first two. The GLA is one of the most creative races I've seen in a RTS. They resemble a Middle East terrorist group, using pickup trucks and holes in the ground as some of their weaponry. Their equivilant to a tank is a pickup truck with a guy on the back strapped to a minigun. They can steal civilian cars, load them up with bombs and drive them right into your unsuspecting units! They'll even disguise their own bomb trucks to resemble your own units. They'll take and sell wreckages of destroyed vehicles for extra cash, as well, further making you want to crush them! You spend two thousand bucks on that Overlord, and they just sold its scraps!

Resource gathering, at first, I thought was flawed. Rather than chopping down wood or digging for gold or searching for some mineral in the ground, you simple secure and begin taking supplies from supply locations, which run out rather quickly, so you must build rescource-generating units, such as a black market, hackers, or supply drops, depending on which race you play. This adds a completely new strategy to resource gathering, and it works great.

The super weapons are also great. China gets a nuclear missile, which as I said before, is an incredible sight. Not only does it do massive damage, but it leaves behind a firey cloud that lingers for quite some time. The GLA get scud missiles that leave behind anthrax which kills your infantry almost instantly.

Unlike many real-time strategies, Generals does not have some discouraging low unit limit. In fact, it may not have it at all - or if it does, I at least haven't reached it yet, and I've built up some massive armies.

Your units gain rank as they fight, and their skills increase. Infanry can take more hits and do more damage and hackers will start earning you more cash.

And you gain rank as well, and with every promotion, you get more goodies. From missile barages and emp blasts to paratroopers and the ability to steal cash from your enemies to a massive anthrax bomb...you get stronger and stronger as you fight, and the better you are, the more powerful you become and the more fun the game is. There is never a dull moment in the game, it continuously progresses with every battle.

The entire game is very simplified. Despite all the great things in the game, controls are very simple, and the interface is perfect. Never are you lost wondering how to do anything in the game - it's all right there for you.

The Bad
The computer is easy. Really easy. It really isn't that hard to beat three computers set on "brutal" difficulty (the highest difficulty level). If you have a computer ally with you, it's very possible to beat six "brutal" computers. Hopefully there will be a patch that makes the AI a little tougher, because this is the most blaring flaw in the game.

There aren't that many units in the game. Well, there are, but there could have been more. Also, there's not a lot of necessity to diversify your units. Why bother building a squad of infantry when you can build a humvee, stick it full of machine gunners and stick a rocket launcher on it? You'll soon realize that once you've found the perfect unit for your race, that's all you'll need to build.

Since there is no way to defend against the "super weapons" I was disappointed to find that there's no way to turn them off.

The GLA might seem offensive to some people with the current situation in the Middle East.

Very few graphics options. You either run it at full detail or not at all.

The single player campaign is rather short, and not altogether interesting. There are no cinematics in the game, which is another disappointment.

The Bottom Line
Generals has brought color to the ever-fading RTS genre. It may be THE best RTS ever made. It's set a new standard - and I God damn hope other developers will follow it.

Windows · by kbmb (415) · 2003

Great graphics etc ... Far too short

The Good
I am a great fan of the C&C series. Tiberian Sun was my favourite. The graphics in C&C generals were very good. The intros were great. The gameplay (while it lasted) was also excellent.

The Bad
I completed it in a day. There was only one mission that my 7 year old brother couldn't win (played on brutal as USA). I got more gameplay out of the older titles. I was a bit uneasy with the American/Arab/Chinese stereotypes. It was far too short.

The Bottom Line
great game - enjoyed it thoroughly - but finished it in a day.

Windows · by Paul Ryan (1) · 2005

THE best RTS game of all time

The Good
This game takes RTS games to another whole demintion. It uses a 3D engine, which gives it some of the best computer graphics to date. The interface is extremely useful and easy to master. Also, unlike many other RTS games the different sides have different units. There is only 1 unit that stays the same on each side. There are 3 sides,China, GLobal Liberation Army (GLA), and the U.S. The sides are perfectly balanced, but each are uniquely different. Another new addition to the Command & Conquer series is that you can earn generals promotions, and points. (hence the name Generals) When you gain promotions and points you can select from a bunch of different things like EMP pulses, A-10 airstrikes, and even suprise rebel ambushes. The superweapons have been redifined, so that none of them are all too powerful.

The Bad
The only problems with this game are it's bugs. It has more of them than a Motel 6. Sometimes it will freeze randomly, shut down, or the screen might turn black. I don't have time to go into the details about all of them but be warned, you will have to download nearly every patch created. Fortunately it does have a great help service.

The Bottom Line
If you can deal with the ocasional mishap this game is well worth the money that you'll pay for it. I wouldn't recomend it to a novice player. It can be hard, although most of the time it's easy.

Windows · by Jester236 (34) · 2003

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

German censorship

Command & Conquer: Generals was first temporarily (28 February 2003) and later definitely (6 March 2003) put on the German index. This means that it is forbidden to sell the game to minors or to advertise it in any form. The BPjM, Germany's banning office, said that C&C: Generals is too close to real-world events (i.e. the threat of an Iraq war) and too cynical - for example sending out suicide attackers, carpet bombing and raiding UN convoys.

Later it has been re-released in a heavily censored version:

  • Many units and places were renamed. For example, the USA faction was called WA (Western Alliance) and China was AP (Asian Pact).
  • All civilians were removed, and all soldiers were replaced by cyborgs, like in previous German C&C releases. Therefore, some quotes of the GLA Worker like "I'm hungry" or "My hammer is too heavy" were removed completely.
  • Terrorist infantry units were replaced by small drones.

This censored version of the game had a separate update branch, but was compatible with all other releases in multiplayer. Additionally, the font used in pre-release builds' menus was restored for unknown reasons.

Online servers

The game's online servers (which were hosted on GameSpy) were intended to be closed on 30 June 2014, like for other Electronic Arts titles in the wake of GameSpy's total closure. However, they remained online as late as 16 July 2014, when the login function stopped working.

References

Two traffic signs exist in the game which point to Dutch cities of Breda and Geertruidenberg. No mission is set in The Netherlands, and the prop is used randomly, e.g. in missions set in Kazakhstan.

Awards

  • GameStar (Germany)
    • February 13, 2004 - "Best PC Strategy Game in 2003" (Readers' Vote)
  • PC Games (Germany)
    • Issue 02/2004– Best Strategy Game in 2003 (Readers' Vote)

Additional information contributed by RobbertC, Plok and tarion.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by John Chaser.

Macintosh added by Corn Popper.

Additional contributors: Xantheous, Apogee IV, Felix Knoke, AdminBB, Xoleras, Carl Ratcliff, Abi79, Zeppin, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Plok.

Game added February 14, 2003. Last modified March 23, 2024.