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C&C Generals Video, Preview

Tiscali Games serves up a video of Command & Conquer Generals, showing more from the 3D real-time strategy game under construction at EA Pacific. The 2.5 MB ShakyCam movie offers a minute of gameplay footage in DivX format showing a dam breach and resulting damn flood. Also GameSpy.com's C&C Generals Preview is online, offering impressions of the game along with quotes from Mark Skaggs, Harvard Bonin, and Dustin Browder who describe the serious focus of this installment (oddly under the heading "The emphasis is on FUN!"), the near future setting, missions, the interface, examples of missions, and more. Included are the screenshots they released yesterday when they posted word that the game is now expected in January 2003 (story).

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7. Re: The Thing Aug 23, 2002, 10:08 Dr.Haggard
 
Wow, hehe

Your bullet point review is much appreciated, I think I'm going to like it for the atmosphere and the mood, but based on your comments I also think it can wait a while. It doesn't sound like a masterpiece of sci-fi horror (as you say it's certainly no System Shock, which I never really expected it to be of course) so I'm not going to drop what I'm playing now and rush out for it, but at the same time I think I'd be missing out if I didn't pick it up sometime.

It's a shame many of its shortcomings are simply down to sacrifices for the consoles

 
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6. Re: The Thing Aug 23, 2002, 07:17 Ray Marden
 
Wow, this is such a hard one to figure out; this one is really going to come down to personal taste. I think that it is a good (not great, nowhere near System Shock) game, but one that is really for the gamers who can get "into" the games. It controls like Hitman 2, has the action of FAKK 2, and tries for the suspense of System Shock. How is that for a description?

Good:
* When it gets the mood right, the game is full of suspense.
* Some good "shock" moments.
* Simplified controls; scroll the mouse wheel up to change weapons, scroll the mouse wheel down to change items. You can access logs, found keys, inventory, and teammates with a few select keys.
* The graphics get the job done. The inside areas are markedly devastated and the outside areas are eerily desolate. The lighting effects and bump mapping are nice.
* There are times when it really captures the feeling of being alone; you better not lose track of the light poles...
* The squad; when they work, they add a lot to the story. They can be a real help in tight situations and often you have to make sure that they don't become the situation.
* The game controls really well for being third person; the camera is always behind you a bit, doesn't get hung on world geometry, and is both far away and quick enough to keep the action going.
* Sound; a minimalist approach that works quite well. All you'll ever really hear is the constant pounding of the storm, the screams of your fellow man, or something moving around...out there...

Cons:
* Damn consoles. The areas are broken up into really small chunks, you don't have many graphics options (resolution, bit depth, refresh rate), you have no real audio options (volume control), you have no real advanced mouse control options (invert or not), and you can only save when you find a voice recorder, although you can save multiple times and they are fairly common in the levels.
* Pacing; sometimes the game jumps ahead too much or forces thing. Just walked outside with your buddy? Well...uhh...you two got separated in the last second and are now buildings apart. Yeah, that's it. Likewise, kill a boss/creature and you may suddenly jump to another area for the next portion of the game's story.
* The squad; when they don't work correctly, they are like little children that you have to lead around by the hand. Sometimes they get scared for no good reason (watch their friend burst out as a Thing, kill a few creatures, and torch bodies so no Things can come from them...and then he notices the one body that does scare him). They can be a little reckless with their fire, even when you stand in place the whole time.
* The scripting is a bit hit or miss in the game. About one third of the scripting is really good, one third is just tolerable (timing is off, expected), and the last third is really atrocious (obvious, sometimes you wonder why they bother with the fear element/squad since all the bastards seems to become The Thing at X time in Y area with Z element).
* Switching between everything can be a pain at times. You feel really clumsy at the beginning of the game, but you do get used to the controls for the squad/inventory/mission logs/weapons (all accessed through their own window that you open). They will always feel a little clunky, though. Also, you can get bogged down at times dealing with passing around items and keeping everybody happy.
* The game is played from the third-person perspective, but there is a first person option. However, it is used solely for aiming and you cannot move in place, only lean left and right. You wouldn't really want to play this game from the first-person perspective, but it would be useful at times.
* Aiming the weapons has been dumbed down. You don't have a crosshair, except when in first-person mode, and your character automatically aims at enemies. You can widen or narrow your character's auto-aim field, but it does take out some of the challenge.

So, confused yet? I like the game, but it is not perfect and I do eat things like this up. I do think that, relatively, they did a good job of capturing the feel of the movie. I do worry about how much they emphasize the combat at times, but that seems to be a staple of the genre, of gaming for that matter. I would give it a 7.5 out of ten, subtracting or adding as much as a point depending on how much you can get "into" the game.

I like it, but I think most people should play the demo and I think it will be too slow for the action crowd and a little tame for the resident evil crowd (kill, kill, kill...). Most people that hold interest in the title will want to pick it up when it is discounted.

Wondering if you are The Thing :|,
Ray

Edit: Fix a thing or two...
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I am thankful for all the cranky folks on Usenet, who keep us humble every single day by reminding us that we suck. -Jeff Green
This comment was edited on Aug 23, 11:13.
 
Avatar 2647
 
Everything is awesome!!!
http://shoutengine.com/GarnettonGames/
I love you, mom.
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5. Re: The Thing Aug 22, 2002, 21:27 nin
 
Yeah, fess up Ray...is Thing any good or not? Whats cool and what sucks?

Thanks!

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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4. Re: The Thing Aug 22, 2002, 13:57 Pete
 
Yes a review of somesorts would be nice Ray.

 
Doin' it Big
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3. The Thing Aug 22, 2002, 11:05 Dr.Haggard
 
OT, but how is the game Ray? Interested in your opinion, I haven't picked it up myself yet since I've got plenty to be getting on with, but just wondering if it's worth rushing out (well, to an online store) because it's the best thing since sliced, um....System Shock 2

 
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2. I hate RTS... Aug 22, 2002, 10:27 Ray Marden
 
...games, but I cannot wait to play this one! I was incredibly let down by TS when it came out (ok C&C game, nothing new), but Generals really seems like it could be the game that brings back the "fun."

As for the screenshots, I don't think they are altered, not that I would really know to begin with. Compare it to other third perspective RTS/actions games and it doesn't seem impossible. Granted, any good developer will take shots at high resolutions and turn on things like anisotropic filtering or FSAA, but that is nothing new.

Back to The Thing, wondering if I can trust my squad... :D,
Ray

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am thankful for all the cranky folks on Usenet, who keep us humble every single day by reminding us that we suck. -Jeff Green
 
Avatar 2647
 
Everything is awesome!!!
http://shoutengine.com/GarnettonGames/
I love you, mom.
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1. westwood Aug 22, 2002, 10:20 psychochicken
 
isn't westwood notorious for touched up screenshots? I remember back in the C&C:TS days, the touching up on some shots was ridiculous.

 
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