Game Review – Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances

17 Nov

I’ve long been a fan of Westwood’s campy Command & Conquer RTS series, so when I heard about this game I was excited. An online C&C game? Would this be similar to Age of Empires Online – a game I’ve thoroughly enjoyed?

Sadly, no. Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances is closer to Mafia Wars than anything in the C&C series.

World View

Every bit of the world I looked at was as featureless as this one…

When you sign up you get to choose a side – not that this seems to matter since you can ally with anyone – and then set up a random plot of land on a nondescript landmass in an arbitrary world.

Base View

I’m getting that Farmville vibe…

The limitations of browser-based gaming are evident as soon as you get to the base view. Each grid-like plot of land has some minerals to mine, with any non-mineral patch used to put up other buildings (to build defensive units, refine minerals, generate power, etc). You’ll have to spend minerals to create an attacking army, build defenses, do research (very, very slowly) and constantly upgrade everything.  As you progress in levels, getting the materials for this will take an exceedingly long time – unless you want to pay for it, that is.  Everything you gather takes time (except for research, which only comes through battle), including,  most notably, command points – the key resource you need to launch attacks and “play” the game. Once you spend your allotment (usually enough for maybe 6 battles), you’ll have to wait a while or (again) spend real money.

When you do have the resources, you can attack computer-controlled encampments to loot extra resources, or try to take out other players. An attack consists of you lining up your units in a stack up to 4-deep, then watch as they plunge headlong at the enemy. From there it’s basically a game of rock-paper-scissors to determine how much damage your units can do. Once every unit you have has either spent its ammo or died, the battle ends if you haven’t managed to destroy the enemy construction yard. You can attack again, but as each attack uses command points (of which there’s a limited amount) you will want to avoid needless extra fighting.

Mid combat

Line up your forces and watch them go in a straight line. It’s like electronic football from the 70’s…

Aside from the battles themselves, the rest of the game does feel like a Facebook game – and I don’t mean that in a good way.  The only thing missing is the constant barrage of mineral requests from friends – though I’m sure that will be put in soon enough.

The most egregious thing of all, though – a cardinal sin for me in free-to-play gaming – is that it appears spending money will give players a competitive edge over non-paying players. Since a lot of the game seems to be about attacking each other, this is far too unbalancing.

This is a game that may appeal to the casual Facebook gamer, but is nowhere near what RTS fans will find compelling. It’s an interesting curiosity, but ultimately forgettable.  Hopefully Command and Conquer online will fare better when it comes out.

6 out of 10

One Response to “Game Review – Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances”

  1. September 11, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Many thank for the overview, I have heard
    similar things concerning the game and will probably
    be checking it for myself during the next month.


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