Saturday, April 26, 2014

Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances --- Late to the Party Ryview

Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, by EA.

Command & Conquer is a big name in real time strategy. Like Starcraft and Civilization, the first title in the series helped shaped the genre. It fundamentally changed PC gaming, and it definitely played a large part in my childhood. Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun kept me entertained for countless hours as I struggled to beat it as a less-then-capable adolescent gamer. How does the Freemium online edition stack up?
Unfortunately, I think the taint of Freemium gaming tarnished the name of Command & Conquer in this case.

Let me start with the experience. The base design and construction still feels fundamentally like C&C. You have a main Command Center, and you harvest Tiberium as one of your primary currencies. There are several other currencies in the game as well, but I'll get to those later. You build units that fit the C&C mold and attack AI and player bases alike.

Obviously, to work as an online game, it based on time. You have to wait quite a bit to get enough resources to do anything. And as you level up, you essentially decrease the amount of times you need to check back every day to avoid hitting your resource cap.

So many wasted resources! How will I ever buy the next pointless upgrade?

But after you get through a few tutorial steps, suddenly you're expected to start a second base, which costs a fortune. And to build more buildings, you need to advance your main building, which also cost a fortune. Essentially, the game hits you with a wall that isn't necessarily a "pay wall" but it might as well be. You're stuck doing nothing but sitting for hours (and/or days) to gather enough resources to advance. I think the balance is completely wrong there, it takes way too long to accomplish anything at that stage.

The multiple currencies don't help either. You have Tiberium. You have dollars. You have energy. And you have premium currency. So many balls to juggle. And I understand that a game like Age of Empires has 4 resources, but they make functional sense. You know what should cost wood or food. How on Earth am I supposed to understand why some things take Tiberium and other take dollars? Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems arbitrary to me.

This is what happens when Command and Conquer downs a full bottle of Ambien...

It seems like this is a classic example of trying to start you off with something moderately entertaining then slapping you in the face with a big fat bill. I understand that if I like a game, I should contribute to it. But a game like this is really nothing special. If it didn't have the Command & Conquer name attached to it, I'd abandon it right away and feel no remorse. So, honestly, it just feels like a weak attempt to milk a decades old franchise for every penny its worth.

Is it worth playing? I really don't think it's worth the time or money that it would take to progress. Feel free to play it over the course of months while you have fun in other ways, but I see no particular reasons to keep it going. I'd rather just play Command & Conquer. You can get practically all the games for 19.99 at Amazon, I think that's a much better use of your money.


Time Value
Money Value
Final Score

Let me know what you think of Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances (if you choose to play it)!

Until next time,


Pictures courtesy of EA

1 comment :

  1. I entirely agree that once you get to a certain point (and it didn't take that long to get there) it takes an absurd amount of time to accumulate enough points to do anything. It's a game full of a lot of waiting around with nothing to do but twiddle my thumbs. Back to the original C&C games for me.