Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm
Windows - 2000
Description of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm Windows
Following the predictable success of C&C: Tiberian Sun, Westwood has played its usual trick - box up some new units and single-player levels with a sprinkling of new features, and watch the pounds flood in.
Firestorm picks up the plot where Tiberian Sun ended. Kane - the charismatic but crazy leader of the Brotherhood of Nod - is missing, presumed dead. UN-like, the GDI is developing new weapons in an effort to finish off the Brotherhood, which, deprived of its figurehead, is descending into infighting and anarchy. [Much like that time when I left the GD staff alone in the pub -Ed.]
The new single player campaigns follow the fortunes of both GDI and Nod, and are difficult enough to provide a serious challenge to veteran C&C fans - while the FMV clips linking missions live up to Tiberian Sun's high standards. C&C games have always played well alone, and the campaigns continue to find novel ways to challenge.
New units are mainly based around existing structures or vehicles, and really the only novel addition is Nod's Reaper - a cyborg torso with an all-terrain walker base. Their variety of weapons works on just about anything, making them a formidable enemy. Spider-like, their web launchers temporarily disable infantry, while dual cluster missile cannons are equally effective against buildings and vehicles. And to top it all off, they heal fast in tiberium deposits. GDI players will fear these.
Limpet drones bury themselves beneath the ground, and clamp on to passing enemy vehicles. Players can then see the "view" from that vehicle, as if they owned it. This can be useful for infiltrating cloaked bases, but seems really to have been included to fulfil mission objectives in the single player game
Both sides have gained mobile war factories, and although they are slow-moving and must be deployed before building, they provide a way to reinforce armies at a battlefield level. They are vulnerable, though, but useful if combined with Nod's new mobile stealth generator.
GDI drop pods come as an addition to the Upgrade Centre. These contain five elite infantry squads which can be deposited anywhere on the map. They make a good suicide squad for taking out enemy power plants, but seem to be no more use than the existing ion cannon.
Two re-hashed units complete the line-up. GDI's Juggernaut is their answer to Nod's artillery. Carrying triple 120mm howitzers, they are slow moving and must be deployed before they can fire. And the mobile EMP is a tracked version of the GDI defence emplacement, which fires an electromagnetic pulse to disable vehicles within its area of effect.
Westwood's World Domination mode provides a pseudo-persistent online world for C&C players to enjoy a more long-term relationship with the game. Play takes place on a map of the US divided into about 40 territories. GDI starts on one side, Nod on the other. Contested territories form the boundary between the two forces, and by clicking on one players can automatically set up a game, with the map parameters generated automatically. When a player from the opposing team comes along, battle commences. Depending on the outcome, one side or the other will advance into that territory. As time goes on, the boundary shifts, and ultimately one side will push the other back to the sea.
The tiberium plague spreading across the planet has also become more deadly. New creatures are now created from tiberium fields - veinhole monsters await unwary travellers, Sarlacc-like, and the dreaded tiberium floaters drift about, expelling noxious gases and generally making a nuisance of themselves.
What is questionable, however, is how Westwood can justify asking £15 for what is really just one genuinely new, useful unit, a handful of new missions and some FMV? When Cavedog released Total Annihilation, new units appeared weekly for download - and two years on the odd one still pops up.
If you enjoyed Tiberian Sun 's single player missions, you will be happy with Firestorm. But despite the addition of a pseudo-persistent World Domination mode, online C&C players won't find much to get excited about.
Review By GamesDomain
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm is an addon for Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, you will need the original game to play.
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