Does the Bioware name have any place in a C&C Generals sequel?

Title Does the Bioware name have any place in a C&C Generals sequel?
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Games
When December 10, 2011

The Bioware name has always meant "RPG" to me. However, I don't mind that EA is moving the development of Command & Conquer 2 under that branding. It's a name with plenty of room to grow. But that's not all EA is doing..

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I couldn't be happier to have a AAA strategy game on the way. I couldn't care less that it's coming from the Bioware name. Beats the pants off of their line up of generic sci-fi shooterPGs and disappointing Dragon Age follow-ups.

Hey look, a product page with a bullet point feature list. Oh, what's this:• Ever-Evolving Experience — Enhance your game with an expanding array of downloadable content. From maps and units to factions, campaigns, and more, the fight against terrorism is deeper than ever.
DLC units and maps for an RTS are a concern because they threaten to disrupt balance and divide the multiplayer community. I hope the final game shows the EA learned from the mistakes of C&C 4.

Here's the link to the product page:

Tom, how's the online community for Generals these days? Do you play any automatched games? Is cheating still a big problem?

I really hoped they learned from the mistakes of C&C 4, I just don't know what they were thinking when they made that. Hopefully them making another C&C means they know they have a strong property and know better than to mess it up again.

Excellent! I can't wait to see what Bioware brings to the RPG genre

*Selects unit*

"Oh! General! I didn't see you there. I'm nervous about this upcoming battle."

*Conversation tree options pop up. I select "I don't care about your problems."*

"That's right, General, you've got other things on your mind. Like how this cold snap is going to affect the battle. Winters like this remind me of growing up on the farm. Just me, my older brother, Biff... he was my hero, growing up. I didn't think he could do anything wrong..."

*What's going on here. I click on another unit*

"General! Ready to kick some Brotherhood ass?"

*Conversation tree pops up again. I try to drag a box across multiple units. It doesn't work. You can't select multiple units. What. In my panic I accidentally select the "Tell me about this place" option*

"Well, I'll tell you one thing, I sure don't know why we're fighting over this sorry hunk of rock and ice. One thing I miss about growing up as a pickpocket on the streets of Washington, we may have always needed more to eat, but you could get warm in a second standing over a subway grate. It was a hard life, but I learned to survive..."

JVC, why do you disappoint me so? It's clearly the wrong setting. This should have been Command & Conquer: Might & Magic (with appropriate FMV cutscenes).

Back in the day of Total Annihilation those sort of things were awesome. Of course, they were free to everyone, where EA "chargefor everything" will mean those who buy units probably have advantages over those who dont.

Achievement get!

The only one you're missing is the sociopathic mercenary/assassin/warrior, and the hurt little girl who would never dream of bumping uglies with a random superior, but it so obviously willing to make an exception in your case.

If they can do something that grabs me like the first red alert did...then they can call the developer anything they want, as long as it doesn't take 15 years to ship...

I don't mean to say that I'm responsible for this, but I think my shout out in the Qt3 podcast definitely got this to happen.

The online community is awesome so long as you're playing on the LAN at my house. :)

Beyond that, I'm afraid I have no idea. I wouldn't be surprised if EA has pulled the plug and you actually can't play Generals online any longer. That's the case with at least one of EALA's better RTSs, Battle for Middle Earth II.

I suspect what EALA was thinking when they made C&C4 is that World in Conflict is a pretty good game. And they were right! I didn't care for the presentation of C&C4, but at a design level, I thought they did a good job. I was glad to see them take that kind of risk, particularly after the disappointment of the curious hyperactive but dull Red Alert 3.

Ha, good one, Mr. Strad.

However, the Bioware label is just a branding strategy. This is a completely separate creative team.

I missed out on C&C4. After the terrible C&C3 I tried the C&C4 demo and stopped the instant I realized you only started out with 2 or 3 units and had to UNLOCK the rest FOR ONLINE PLAY through grinding. Imagine playing chess and only getting pawns.

Was there some other dark secret about C&C4 or was that it?

Yeah, the grinding was what killed C&C4 for me, although it was mercifully brief compared to, say, Age of Empires Online's godawful open-ended grinding. But once you put your time in to unlock units in C&C4, I'd say it was every bit as good as World in Conflict -- which it strong resembles -- on a game design level. Heck, better in some ways! I like how they handled unlocking tech levels by teams fighting over crystals.

If there's one thing the Generals/BfME team did, it was inject so much FUN into the game. Sure they weren't the most balanced things (the specialized generals in Zero Hour, Aragorn and the giant eagle in BfME 2), but even 100 games in I was still finding new little things units would say that would make me chuckle (a cockney orc proclaiming "Our ally's gone! Eh, we didn't need him anyway." when your partner rage quit).

I'm so glad they are continuing the Generals line of C&C. I recently started playing it again by coincidence. I thought that game never got its true due for how it pushed C&C in a different, better direction. For me C&C 3 and subsequent games after Mark Skaggs left EALA devolved a bit and lost a lot of the innovations that Generals brought to the series. And even what his LOTR BFME game brought to EALA RTS games.

I don't know anything about the dude running Victory/Bioware team. I hope they can keep some of that Generals spirit to the game. How it didn't take itself to serious which allowed it to have its own set of wacky units, especially on the GLA side. And how for me the gameplay took center stage and wasn't just a vehicle for FMVs like other C&Cs. I hope this doesn't turn out to be something like "Battlefield Wars" though. Not that that would be a bad game but that's not really what Generals is all about.

It would have been fun seeing a Skaggs led team do this game. Heck I wish he would have never left EALA because I think his Red Alert 3 would have actually been a great game unlike what it turned out to be. To bad the lure of Zynga money has snared so many great RTS leaders and devs like Skaggs and Brian Reynolds.

All that being said, I'm THRILLED we have a new AAA RTS game coming out. Hopefully, this is a signal of a new renaissance of RTS games that are coming.

By the way, Tom, I'm disappointed you and Bruce never did a Generals or Generals ZH match for CGW/GFW magazine. And it would have been fun if for the TMA podcast, you guys could have done more shows like the DoW II show where you all played a quick match of classic RTS games then talked about it for the show. Wishful thinking :)

The majority of the C&C community HATED Generals. They hated the "Starcraft" changes and wanted it to go back to being the exact same game from 1996 with walls and tank spam.

C&C fans are basically the No Mutants Allowed of the RTS community.