Summary: Westwood showed off its upcoming 3D RTS, C&C: Generals at Camp EA. With its fully rotatable 3D engine, destructible environment, and more, it should make a big splash with the RTS community when it's released in December. Read our preview for more!
Estimated Release: December 2002
Unfortunately there wasn’t much new information about Westwood’s upcoming RTS game that we didn’t already report on at E3. The demonstration build of C&C Generals at Camp EA was the same as the one at E3. For those that missed it, the setting for Generals is roughly the modern day, with three distinct sides: the United States, China, and a terrorist organization known as the GLA. Each side will feature three different generals with varying specialties, strengths and weaknesses and three to four unique units (we had reported only one per general earlier). For example, the US Air Force commander will get B-52s and increased strength in his air units. The Chinese Secret Police chief will have better ability in spotting hidden units.
The units in the game are based on today’s high tech weapons platforms, including Abrams Tanks, Comanche gunships, F22 fighters, and more. The Chinese side features more of the fantasy C&C themed flair, with flame tanks, and “hacker” units. The GLA relies on down and dirty low-tech weapons and units like truck/buggy mounted guns and rockets, RPG carrying soldiers, and “angry mobs.” The SAGE graphics engine is fully 3D, allowing for full rotation and different levels of zoom, and allows for more interaction and use of the environment as a weapon. At E3, we saw how the GLA was able to destroy a dam, which caused a flood downriver, washing out units caught downstream and creating a large body of water in the middle of the map.
Other new bits we learned included the interface – which is no longer the signature Westwood sidebar. The interface bar has now been moved to the bottom of the screen like most standard RTS’s. It’s not clear however, if you will still be able to build units from anywhere on the map using the interface bar, or if you will have to click on buildings to create units as in many other RTS games. Westwood is planning on getting feedback from players in order to decide these issues. We learned that last week Westwood officials were visiting the top ranked StarCraft players in Korea and getting their feedback on how to make Generals a better game. It has not yet been decided if a large scale public beta will be happening for Generals, but if Westwood is this concerned with game balance, it’s not out of the question at this point.
The first two screenshots on this page are new ones. We went ahead and re-posted the old ones as well for convenience. Generals is due out this December – we’re extremely eager to see how the game turns out, so count on more previews of this title as it progresses through development.
SIDEBAR: What do you think of Generals? Sound off in our comments section.
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