Strategy games have found their home on PC’s over the past decade. There’s no doubt that the genre fits in perfectly with the platform and any dedicated RTS fan will admit that nothing goes past the experience on a home computer for the gameplay. Often we see expansion packs that aim to extend the worth of a game and these are welcomed additions to some franchises.
In 2007, Electronic Arts released Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars on PC, which was followed by the expansion pack, Kane’s Wrath earlier this year. Now available on the XBOX 360 is that same expansion pack, which now acts as a standalone pack meaning you won’t need Tiberium Wars in order to play it. It’s available for a discounted price of about $60, which is fair considering it’s not a full-blown C&C; experience. As a standalone expansion, don’t expect the game to have anywhere near as much content and length as the original C&C3; on PC.
KW‘s single-player is split up into three separate game modes: Campaign, Kane’s Challenge and Skirmish. The campaign puts you in the shoes of the commander under the power of the infamous Kane, who is a prophet with many different personalities. One thing that the C&C; series is famous for is its live-action cut-scenes, which once again get the job done with well-directed and intense action sequences. It’s pretty much the only franchise that uses real-life cutscenes to tell a story, and it does it with passion and gusto.
Kane’s Wrath takes place over about 20 years over the Tiberium timeline. I don’t personally have an extensive knowledge of the C&C; storyline, so I found it difficult to grasp what was going on. From what is on show, it’s obvious that there is a lot to know to understand what exactly is taking place, so a little research into previous C&C; games might do you some good.
However, if you’re not familiar with the C&C; timeline but are still a fan of solid RTS games, then Kane’s Wrath should fit your criteria perfectly. There’s plenty to get through and the gameplay is very deep. The campaign mode stretches out over 13 challenging missions and three difficulties and the missions all vary from one another and offer their own challenging goals. There is one minor problem with campaign though, and that’s that you never get to play as anything other than NOD, which gets repetitive and decreases the games replayability factor.
Kane’s Challenge, however, lets you play around a bit more and get accustomed to other squads. You can play as nine different ones across 10 missions, each of which put you against a different enemy. While the campaign mode has more length and challenge, Kane’s Challenge has far more variety. Skirmish mode is also there which is basically a deathmatch mode against AI opponents, and Kane’s Challenge plays out like a deathmatch mode on steroids with more action and strategy.
While the single-player experience is worthwhile and relatively enjoyable, the online experience is far more extensive. Versus, King of the Hill, Capture and Hold, Capture the Flag and Siege are all open to you online, with a minimal-to-no lag present in the few hours I went online with it.
The gameplay controls in Kane’s Wrath were impressive, especially for a console RTS game. The game uses a wheel system that allows for more freedom and quicker access during battles that wasn’t present in the console version of Tiberium Wars, which used a trigger and d-pad system. Kane’s Wrath’s wheel system allows for more accuracy with squad and unit placement, and quick access is vital to success in RTS titles, especially with the downgraded PC-to-console controls.
Command and Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath makes a successful transformation to the console, but the truth is that RTS games are suited to PC. While the wheel system works well on the console with the controller, it’s still far less effective than a mouse and keyboard.