Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Freeware Strategy Games Review: Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn Full Version

This one totally passed under my radar.

With the deluge of freeware strategy games today that is swamping the ‘Net, gamers can only find so much quality freeware strategy games from the run-of-the-mill majority. It came as a big surprise to cave-dwelling me when I came upon the news that Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn has --- YEARS AGO (gaaah) --- joined the ranks of freeware strategy games.

A full in-depth review---plus the download link---of the freeware strategy game after the jump.



(Don’t want to read the opinions of a sentimental gaming geezer? Get the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn full version freeware strategy game HERE.)


Mammoth tanks pour from a GDI-held bridge while a Medium Tank gets hosed down with searing napalm.






What was the last strategy game you played that had you so addicted you still think in the late hours of the night how to go about overcoming the defenses of stubborn AI-controlled bases that had obliterated every last unit you threw at them?

In all the years that I’ve been playing strategy games, the answer is one and the same: Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn.

The answer amused and shocked me as a few weeks ago, as I was mopping up what was left of a GDI base, I exclaimed “Heh!” with a smug grin. I haven’t felt so triumphant since 12 years ago, back when 486 systems reigned supreme and I was playing ---

--- Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn, the. Exact. Same. Game.

Command & Conquer owes its charm to the traditional you-against-a-dumb-AI-with-resources-as-prodigious-as-Bill Gates single player campaign scheme. It may be annoying for some but it certainly glues me to my keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Who can remember the frustration and challenge of throwing Medium and Mammoth Tanks at an Obelisk of Light while MLRS work on the laser tower from behind only to witness despairingly as the AI erects another obelisk seconds later?

Armor melts as an Obelisk of Light stabs coherent light into a GDI Mammoth tank.

Artillery units mop up a base

Back in 1995, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn was one awesome, addictive game that had gamers tearing out their hair --- but had them coming back for more. Certainly, finally breaking a well-entrenched base was very satisfying.

Fun with an Engineer. Here, a GDI engineer makes a headlong rush for the enemy's Construction Yard.

Yes, fun. After capturing the yard, GDI forces quickly construct a guard tower adjacent to it, ensuring that enemy personnel escaping from structures that will soon be destroyed will face a hail of lead.

Two years ago EA released it as a freeware strategy game. The full version of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn can be downloaded from EA’s site as a freeware strategy game and anyone can now defend the world from the fanaticism of the Brotherhood of Nod or attempt to plunge nations into chaos under the banner of the charismatic Kane.

PROS:

  • Old school real-time strategy gaming at its finest.
  • Challenging, single player puzzle-like maps (it takes a bit of scouting and figuring out how to take down an enemy base)
Frustrated with the overpowering defenses the AI put up, I made a whole caravan of tanks, punched through the outer perimeter and proceeded to raze the base from the inside. Only three badly-damaged flame tanks survived the suicide rush.
  • One of the few games that implement infantry well. Here, they are not just walking roadkills; in sufficient numbers even minigunners can take down even medium tanks with enough micromanagement.
  • Near-future military science fiction design theme doesn’t alienate reality nuts while still drawing in sci-fi fans. (“Nuts” --- yes, I’m more of the latter. Blame it all on Arwat, my uncle who still insists that “Power rai makapatay nimo.” (No, you’re not supposed to get that.))
  • The two factions play differently, offering players differing styles of gameplay when they switch sides.
Cheap, fast, and lightly-amored, the Nod Light Tank's design is diametrical to the design philosophy adopted by the Global Defense Initiative. Here, five of them gang up on a Mammoth.

Four Ezekiel's Wheels sneak near a GDI base but are held up by two guard towers.
  • Fans of the later Command & Conquer installments can now experience the origins of the GDI-Brotherhood of Nod war.
  • Throws you back to the days of live-action cutscenes!
  • Needless to say, it still has that sexy female voice that stoically announces “Ion cannon, charging.”
Sword from the sky: an Ion Cannon blast obliterates a napalm-filled flame tank.



CONS:

  • Dumb AI; it won’t compare (of course) with today’s real-time strategy games
Here a Harvester mindlessly chases two soldiers through enemy lines. (And yes, it was plugging that bridge the whole time before I finally amassed enough units to decide to poke it from its code-fugued stupor; the other GDI tanks couldn't get through for most of the game. Ha. Ha.)
  • Might be too difficult for some
  • Repetitive unit responses
  • The game isn’t open-ended; most of the time, its maps present a meager number of ways that players can defeat a level. (Contrast this with modern games.)
  • Cutscenes are grainy.
  • If I'm not mistaken, the game is stuck at 640 x 480 resolution.

This link will take you outside Imbacore.blogspot.com:

>>>Download the game HERE

2 comments:

CaptainD said...

Gah... doesn't seem to be possible to make it work in 64-bit Vista... :-(

Shazbot said...

Oh darn. Ya, that's a multi-edged weapon right there --- I heard a lot of apps have compatibility problems with 64-bit OSs and what with Vista being what it is, you're bound to run into problems. :(

I heard that the SP1 for that OS fixed a mountain of problems though. Still, I'd rather wait for Windows 7.

There's a patch in Gamespot for the game to make it work with XP but I haven't seen anything about a patch for Vista.