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Command & Conquer 4 - CommandCOM 2009
Day Three – Final Day - Page 4I woke up barely after setting two alarms one of my last alarms finally woke me from my slumber and I hastily head down to GameCOM for CommandCOM as I had missed breakfast *whoops*. I checked back into CommandCOM and was once again ushered into the presentation room by Apoc.
C&C Lore with Sam BassAs I’ve mentioned previously C&C4: Tiberian Twilight is the epic conclusion to this saga of the Tiberium Universe. The Tiberium Universe will not end but this will be the end of the Kane, Nod and GDI Saga. Which had me thinking whats next? Perhaps mankind united against the Scrin? Well who knows time vill tell anyway back onto C&C4 with Sam Bass.
Sam went through the goals he had for C&C4’s story and one of those was to do it as best as he possibly could. What inspired me a bit about C&C4’s story was he has been collaborating with Cypher from PlanetCnC The Community C&C lore expert. One thing that became evident as his presentation went on was that quite a bit of inspiration had been taken from Tiberian Sun for the style and atmosphere for the way the story is told which to me is a good thing as Tiberian Sun is my personal favourite C&C.
Anyway C&C4’s story takes a more serious and darker tone then previous C&C’s and one of the bigger changes is instead of you just being a still camera watching events. The FMV’s will now be shot from a first person view camera which will move interact with characters and equipment on the set. Which to me sounds like an excellent direction for the FMV’s to evolve to, as it will defiantly add another layer of immersion to the game and make you feel part of the world a bit more.
The StoryTiberium has changed and evolved a bit after the Ion Cannon blast that hit Temple Prime during Command & Conquer 3 which rapidly accelerated Tiberium’s growth across the Earth. The Earth will be entirely uninhabitable for human life by 2068. Kane has been immersed in study on the Tacitus Data Matrix since recapturing it at the end of Kane’s Wrath. He has approached GDI directly with a plan to save humanity. As we have seen in the C&C4 Trailer which this occurred 15 years before the beginning of C&C4 where your role begins in the Fourth Tiberium War. Kane has designed a system enabling the global control of Tiberium into a power source for mankind. Which Sam explained is something you cont construct during a war or when say GDI is actively attacking all your efforts espically since its a global effort. So Kane has approached GDI with a plan to save human kind . Sam put am emphasis that Kane was saving human kind and not GDI I noticed. So it appears Kane is co-operating with GDI only out of necessity to save the species. So a GDI and Nod alliance is formed and people on both sides are uneasy about this after 80 years of war and trying to kill each other peace wont occur overnight. Your role in C&C4 begins in 2062 for the Fourth Tiberium War.
There has been agitation from extremists on both sides over the years but the alliance has held despite this but remains uncomfortable. There’s mistrust and escalation on both sides, building new weapons and demonstrating them but still the alliance has held. The world is on the cusp of a Golden Age with the Tiberium Control Network offering unlimited energy to mankind. The Tiberium Control Network is on the verge of completion.
Whats Kane Up to?What caused Kane to turn his back on his beliefs and his goals with Tiberium? The real question we should be asking is what does Kane want in return for saving humanity? Dealing with Kane is like a deal with the devil there will a price. (Perhaps a gift basket with complimentary soaps & shampoo for Kane’s to shave his head with)
The GDI Campaign was originally subtitled “The Men Who Killed Kane” but as the main character for GDI is female Sam decided to settle for “To Kill Kane”. The GDI Campaign is a little more inclusive then the Nod campaign and the focus of the GDI campaign is on dangerous fanaticism behind enemy lines. Sam gave an example as “going Jack Bauer (as in from the TV Show 24)” going off the grid and with the mentality “I know what I’m doing and I’m not listening to anyone”. Sounds like the GDI Commander is going to go a little ‘Renegade’ pun intended we shall see if GDI is a bit more shoot first ask questions later like Havoc. The endings where shot about 2 eeks ago from CommandCOM so the FMV’s shooting are finished I’d imagine they are now being edited.
The Nod campaigns sub title is “All Things Must Dead” its about the truth, who Kane is, what he wants and why. So there will be no mysterious ending for Nod like in Command & Conquer 3 where he fades into a flash of white. C&C4 will reveal the answers we’ve been seeking on Kane since the beginning of Command & Conquer. So we finally get to see whets going on behind the scenes with Kane for once and you will get to know Kane.
The FMV SetsThe mobile Point of View or First Person shooting the team had to completely rethink their shooting style for C&C4. Sam wanted this to be a mobile environment so you can move from place to place which again was something inspired by Tiberian Sun. The key set for the GDI & Nod Campaign’s is the Global Stratospheric Transport or GST. Set design started with concept art, then they had their 3D artists create a mock-up of how the set would look, further concepts were done to flesh out the details and then the sets were created for shooting.
Sam Bass showed us a video of a tour through the C&C4 Set, which featured himself giving us a guided tour of the main set of C&C4 the Global Stratospheric Transport. At the beginning he quickly explained that C&C sets usually consisted of allot of Green screen and blue screen work, however as he walked through the set in the video. The majority of the set is very real as opposed to mostly green screen work in past C&C’s. So this is a cool step and should add a depth of realism especially the seats on the GST are very uncomfortable Sam added. The set contains the Bridge, the Cargo Bay where the Crawlers are kept and various hallways and rooms.
Sam also showed us some test footage from Command & Conquer 3 starring the EA dev team instead of the cast starring Chris Choraz as Kane and I got to say he did it surprisingly well a fun test. Then by comparison Sam showed us test footage for Command & Conquer 4, walking through the halls of EALA. It was a Nod cinematic that was test footage of the new Point of View shooting.
Sam then went on to show us a video that was fairly polished video and may or may not end up in the final game. It started off in a jail cell with someone from GDI who I recognised giving me orders in the single player mission we played the day before. He informs us that someone important wants us out and its better than being down here where you don’t exist. He dismisses GDI personnel nearby and leads you out he’s setup a gap in the security rotation to release you. What I deduce from this video is that it might continue from Tiberium War’s GDI ending where you used Boyle’s Tiberium Missile on the planet and you’ve been locked up for your crimes and now you are being smuggled out by GDI extremists who want you to work for them. This is only my personal thoughts EA did not confirm any firm story details for C&C4.
They’ve tried to incorporate a real world view to the game, in the missions you have the holograms of your commanding officer’s as well as ground troops reporting things to your attention and adding extra immersion to the game.
There’s a lot more depth to missions in Command & Conquer 4, there’s the usual primary, secondary objectives but there will also be allot of optional or bonus objectives that are bit more in-depth then C&C3’s bonus objectives. There’s allot more thought going into all the map design’s and Sam also mentioned your tech tree / level is not limited for any levels you play so the design will be taking this into account. The new design philosophy for C&C4 is the choice rests with the player not the game designer, so their trying to give us allot more freedom so the game plays allot more dynamic in the way the objectives are played out and there are multiple solutions. Missions are allot more open world in design too their trying to get away from the linear game play of previous C&C missions. Some improvements to realism in C&C4 is the AI respects visibility, e.g. it has to find you rather then knowing your position, everything you have to do the AI does essentially which sounds a bit fairer.
Design with Jason Bender
Jason Benders talk on game design was taking a hard look at the Command & Conquer series and he talked about the new direction with C&C4. One of the goals of the design focus for C&C4 is game play clarity. Jason used an example of a given map in C&C3 and asked how many refinery’s do you need and where do you put them to do well. Now only players who have played the map and the game allot will have any idea on this, newer players might not even build more then one refinery. Jason referred to this as one of the pitfalls within the existing C&C franchise which I’d agree it takes a long time for new players to get good at C&C. So the thinking with Command & Conquer 4 is, how can we make C&C more available to newer player’s and still keep it enjoyable for the existing fan base.
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