Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
Windows - 1999
Description of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
Your squad creeps closer and closer to the enemy defenses. Leaning forward in your chair, your breathing grows shallow and silent, as if any noise you might make could alert them to your presence. As your squad approaches, your helicopter squadron arrows over the enemy's heads. The first two fall to the waiting SAM sites. Then an explosion fills your field of vision. A small part of the laser defense network fencing in the base is down, creating a gap large enough for your elite squad to enter. They set about laying waste to the enemy power facilities as you switch your attention to the subterranean APC you have lurking undetected beneath the base. As the enemy garrison begins to slaughter your infantry, the APC emerges unchallenged on the now unmanned quiet side of the base. Two engineers jump out before it returns to the ground. One manages to crawl his way through the defensive fire to enter the nearby factory. Your infantry squad lies dead or wounded on the ground, and as the enemy turns its fire on the now useless factory, you sit back in satisfaction. So it begins.
The Wrong Kind of Snow
How long has it been? Surely one of the most eagerly awaited (and most delayed) sequels in recent times, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun has finally made it to release. It was originally due in 1997, but was held up after Electronic Artsbought Westwood, the game's developers, from Virgin last summer. Follow-up to the popular Command and Conquer: Red Alert, the new game brings the concept forward a decade or seven, to a post-apocalyptic-style future world. Tiberium, a strange and mysterious mineral which sprouts from the ground, has covered much of the planet, killing or mutating most of the human race with its deadly emissions. Through the ruined cities and vast tiberium fields, two forces fight for the planet. It's a straight up fight, good NATO types versus the religious fanatics with the mad and sadistic frontman. Strange how often that seems to happen. As fans will know, the good guys are the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and the cultists are known as the Brotherhood of Nod.
The game is similar in concept to many others, tracing its ancestry back to Dune: you mine naturally- occurring minerals - in this case Tiberium crystals - take them back to your refinery, convert them to money, then spend it on units and buildings to improve your army. A similarly equipped opposing faction is doing the same thing elsewhere in the area. Your task is to use any means necessary to defeat the enemy.
Don't Look Into the Light!
Tiberian Sun will feel very familiar to anyone who has played the other games in the series. Perhaps rather too familiar - the mechanics of controlling your base have only been marginally improved. Clicking on one of the unit pictures on the right-hand side of the screen starts its construction. Build orders can now be stacked (although only up to a maximum of 5), but you can't queue the building of buildings (because Tiberian Sun has retained its predecessor's quaint system of being forced to place the building only after it's been "built"). A basic, if slightly awkward, waypoint system has been added for movement. You set the waypoints and assign units to them, rather than being able to SHIFT-click waypoints on the fly. You can set rally points for new units fresh from barracks and war factories. One disappointment is the omission of an option to wall your base in all at once; small blocks of wall can still only be built and placed one at a time. Also, when moving groups of troops, the default is that they won't attack enemies en route to their destination - you have to force that behaviour by CTRL-clicking the target location. If you're used to the more refined interfaces of Total Annihilation or Starcraft, the Tiberian Sun offering may seem a little stark.
Much has been made of the new dynamic lighting features. Enemy bases now have searchlights which look pretty enough but don't really seem to make that much of a difference to the gameplay. Ion storms and lightning spice things up a little, and are often used to fulfil plot functions as well. The terrain has rich, deep hues of colour and has more of a 3D feel to it - units can drive under bridges and the voxel-based vehicles tilt as they traverse slopes. However, the 3D doesn't appear to affect the gameplay in terms of weapon or spotting range. The overall impression is of a rather cleaner and more modern looking Red Alert. The flipside of this modesty is that C&C;:TS will run on even the most modest of PCs. The sound will also be all too familiar to players of the preceding games. The music is (thankfully) unobtrusive and the effects a little sparse. The units talk back to you, but have a limited range of samples that quickly become tiresome. It certainly doesn't evoke the kind of immersion that TA managed so well.
So what about those units? Some will be familiar to players of the previous games in the sequence. The basic infantry types make another appearance, along with the harvesters, artillery and so on with which you're probably familiar if you've played any of the Westwood strategy games. The differences between the forces are maintained - GDI kit is mostly heavy armament, big tanks and the like while the Brotherhood get good infantry, stealth tanks and other subtle units as well as a selection of slightly politically-incorrect weapons of mass destruction. The basic units are retained from the earlier games; infantry has not seen many changes, and the smaller vehicles are similar. But among the many new arrivals are various types of walkers that replace the smaller GDI tanks, rocketpack infantry and hover tanks. Helicopters also make a return, joined by a new helicopter bomber, highly effective in large groups. And the more sneaky players will be pleased to hear that engineers feature for both sides, and have gained the ability to repair bridges.
Both sides get some great "exotic" (i.e. expensive) specials. GDI has the Mammoth Mk. II - a kind of walker/tank hybrid that is awesome when used properly. The commando from C&C; (Tanya from Red Alert) reappears in a number of different forms. Nod gets a cyborg commando with an awesome weapon, capable of decimating infantry, vehicles and buildings alike and making very short work of enemy bases. He's capable of soaking up enormous amounts of enemy fire. Much like the marine from Quake, really. He also, like other Nod mutants, heals when in tiberium fields. For the GDI, there's a commando with a railgun that can destroy many targets at once. He also carries the familiar C4 explosives for blowing up buildings.
New structures make an appearance too, although the traditional base facilities remain unchanged. Construction facilities (the heart of the base, needed to manufacture other buildings) are still just as crucial. Power plants are needed to supply the base with electricity, and silos hold the precious tiberium until you have a chance to spend it. But this time GDI has the option to upgrade certain buildings to increase their capacity or add extra abilities. GDI base defenses now have a "modular" form: they all share the same tower, and require a weapon placed on top: choose from a Vulcan anti-infantry cannon, a rocket-propelled grenade for vehicles, or a SAM for those pesky helicopters. Sadly there is no provision for placing multiple weapons on one turret, but the turrets do slot neatly into any concrete walls you choose to build. Nod gets lasers and obelisks (similar to Tesla coils) for defense and various types of missile silo and production facilities. Both sides get various types of high-tech laser fencing, impenetrable unless the power is cut off.
Westwood really deserve congratulations in this respect. There is a lot of variety in types of unit and they all complement each other well. It's no longer really possible to take a big force of a specific unit into the fray as each type has its own vulnerabilities. Tanks need escort from smaller, faster units like infantry or buggies or they quickly fall victim to rocket-launcher infantry and base defenses. As before, GDI tactics generally centre on big guns and large-scale offensives whilst Nod players are better advised to use stealth and hit-and-run attacks.
Nice Job, Lieutenant
Unit AI has seen something of a revamp: at last tanks no longer get confused when negotiating a narrow bridge or pass. At least that's almost the case: there is a small amount of bunching and every so often a tank towards the back of a group will decide the causeway is impassable and wander off in some unpredictable direction. But despite the changes, the old problems with the harvesters are still present. If you have more than one refinery, the harvesters won't go to the closest to unload if there is already another harvester en route. They will usually head off to the other refinery causing much delay and annoyance. They will always take the shortest route, so trying to attack an enemy base from two opposite directions is right out: your harvesters will plough straight into the waiting defenses and get expensively wasted. Sadly a few other of the "traditional" irritations familiar to fans remain. One is that units will often stand idly by while their nearby comrades are being shot up, which isn't exactly ideal.
Now Listen Carefully, 007
Two single-player campaigns are on offer, one taking the forces of the GDI, one heading up the Brotherhood and, as usual, they can be played at different levels of difficulty. The plot is well developed, with each mission being preceded by a few minutes of video moving the plot along. These deserve a mention - they are amongst the most convincing live-action sequences around and the actors are blended well with computer-generated surroundings. Big name actors, such as James Earl Jones and Michael Biehn, help in making the cut scenes so good. The video can get a little blocky at times but this doesn't detract from the impact. Plot characters make the odd appearance in missions too, and each has their own weapons and abilities, similar to the commandos. There's plenty of variety in the objectives; destroying all the enemies on the map still features heavily but there is the odd rescue or sabotage mission thrown in to liven things up. The only real problem with the single-player game is that the progression through the different tech levels seems too slow, and this restriction contributes to a slightly pedestrian feel to the missions. The difficulty level is set high enough to challenge even hardened RTS fans and overall Tiberian Sun plays a much better single-player game than the competition.
Those hardened RTS fans will be disappointed to hear that there is no "fog of war" option in the single player game, but it has made an appearance in the multiplayer options. Westwood have retained their tried and trusted system. Thus, in the solo game, just as in Red Alert, you can see any units in any explored part of the map once you have built and deployed a radar. If you can take out your enemy's radar, or the plants powering it, you can "blind" them. Without an operational radar you also can't move units on the minimap (a ubiquitous feature of modern RTS games), as the minimap is part of the radar. The radar is not-all seeing though, for example the Nod stealth generator hides units from being viewed on both the minimap the main screen.
The computer AI appears a little improved, but it still does the familiar trick of sending a handful of units over every so often without being able to co-ordinate this with other forms of attack. Having said that, it's more tenacious than before: even the loss of its construction facility and the majority of its power plants in one game (rendering it almost impossible to build anything or defend its base) failed to fluster the AI. It must have saved up some cash, because by the time my forces were massed for the second wave it was back on its feet again. Especially when playing Nod, it's capable of springing some surprises and keeping the unwary or poorly defended on the run. One of the AI's weaknesses is not defending its harvesters properly - by targetting them aggressively you can often bring the AI to its knees.
Face to Face
Multiplayer options are restricted: Internet play is only via Westwood's server. You can't play head-to-head TCP/IP games, so LAN games are IPX only (so dust off your copy of Kali). There's modem/serial direct connections, and a skirmish option that lets you take on the AI with all the units and buildings enabled. A maximum of four players in Internet games and eight in skirmishes is the only limit. You can mix AI players into "human" games. It's particularly fun to take on the role of the Brotherhood - their units have much more potential for sneak attacks, surprises, and the other things that make multiplayer games fun. And the good news is that the dreaded "tank rush" tactic so common in online Red Alert games seems to have been laid to rest for good. For the uninitiated, this involved laying down a few essential buildings very quickly and then manufacturing a great number of tanks with which to storm the enemy base. Thankfully it's just not possible to build such a large force so quickly any more. Westwood have also added an option to randomly generate multiplayer maps that can be tailored to suit your wishes: the quantity of each individual terrain feature can be altered. So, if you should wish to play on a snow-covered map with no tiberium, lots of cliffs and more water than ground, you can. The game also comes with 2 CDs, one for GDI and one for Nod, so you can have a 2-player battle with one copy of the game.
But the million dollar question is, has it been worth the wait? Well, Westwood have chosen to retain the best features of the previous games; their accessibility, the elements of careful planning and co-ordination, and not least the outstanding multiplayer experience. However, in keeping to the tried and tested formula, they haven't offered any radically new features. The new units are well-crafted, but the game feels more like a beefed-up Red Alert than a new product. The designers have opted not to incorporate many of the new features seen in RTS games which have come out while Tiberian Sun has been on the cutting room floor. Worth the wait? For players accustomed to the more refined TA or Starcraft design and interface, perhaps not, but for die-hard C&C; fans like me, oh yes!
Review By GamesDomain
Want to play online? Go to https://cncnet.org/tiberian-sun.
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun has an addon available: Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm, don't miss it!
Comments and reviews
Blipit 2020-04-23 0 point
Couldn't download this... very slow then times out around 3-4 Mb every time. Other games and programs are downloading fine.
JamesTDG 2020-04-18 0 point
I actually have an original disc copy of this right now! Now if only it would let me run it without having to reboot my PC...
softhacker 2020-02-26 0 point
NOW IT IS FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Promoting the release of Command & Conquer 4 EA released Tiberian Sun as freeware in 2010. It is therefore legal to download. The game used to be available from commandandconquer.com.
This is a link to Tore's installer for installing Tiberian Sun on modern systems
Kamarule 2017-12-11 1 point
Thanks coz bring back my childhood memory...i playing this game when i 10 year old...now i'm 32 year but this game is always be the best game i have play...
NoMoreAccounts 2017-03-14 0 point
Installed it and it didn't work, here is a better and actually free version, precracked https://cncnet.org/tiberian-sun
help 2016-09-02 -4 points
i tired so hard to make this work but windows 10 doesnt let it run... Its says things are outdated.. So the newest version of windows is outdated?? i look up the update and let it run and it still says its not there... i just dont get it and i do know alittle bit about this type of thing.. I download many games over the years..
Patch 2016-03-22 0 point
If you can't run this game for a reason or another i suggest downloading this patch.
Also let's you to play online :D
twinPRICKS 2016-03-07 0 point
I loved c&c(original) and red alert BUT,
I just could never gat into this one...it was a command&conquer
game but somehow it just seemed to be missing...something?
I can't put my finger on it.
the fun-factor just wasn't here,at least that's my opinion.
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