Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun is an exciting real-time strategy game, and a sequel to the first Command & Conquer story. It was first released back in 1999 and so looks basic when compared to the latest releases, but Tiberian Sun is still packed with playability, a perfect way to spend a few spare hours.
The story once again pitches good guys the Global Defence Initiative against the global terrorist group the Brotherhood of NOD, whose use of the deadly Tiberium substance is beginning to lay waste to whole areas of the world. Full motion video clips using big-name actors like Michael Biehn and James Earl Jones explain the details as you go along. And before you know it, you're pitched into a lengthy and interesting campaign game.
You can play either the NOD or the GDI, and they both have their own custom units and characteristics. The GDI are good in the air, for instance, with pesky soldiers that fly over on jetpacks and harass your ground-locked units. But the NOD have units that can burrow underground, sneaking up inside an enemy base to cause the maximum amount of chaos. And their artillery are amongst the most powerful vehicles in the game, able to pound the enemy into submission from a very safe distance.
There's plenty of variety in your campaign missions, though, so you'll need to learn how to make the best of whatever force you're given. Sometimes this may be tiny, requiring you to sneak around and avoid conflict. Occasionally you'll be given a solid objective up-front, perhaps a base you must destroy, a person to rescue. But of course you'll often be faced with that favourite RTS plot: build a base, harvest resources, then explore the map, mercilessly destroying everything you find.
And if that's not enough, this download also includes Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun – Firestorm, an expansion pack that adds new story elements, missions and gameplay options.
This is all relatively straightforward, easy to learn. If you don't have the time for a full campaign, though, it's also possible to play skirmishes, pitched battles against multiple human or computer opponents. These can take place on pre-built maps, or you can generate new random maps to suit your requirements. They're hectic, a lot of fun, but needn't take up much time - a simple two-player skirmish can be over in maybe 15 or 20 minutes, so it's easy to squeeze in a game even if you've only a few moments to spare.
Please note, this game comes in an archived form. There's no installer, just unpack the game to your Program Files folder, browse to the \Program Files\EA Games\Command & Conquer The First Decade folder, and double-click the "Play Tiberian Sun" shortcut to get started.
Troubleshooting: sometimes, when launching the program under Windows 7, you may see an error message complaining about missing or unregistered DLLs. If this happens to you, right-click the "Play Tiberian Sun" shortcut and select Properties > Compatibility. Set "Run this program in compatibility mode for" to "Windows 98/ Me", check the "Run this program as an Administrator" box, click OK, and try running the program again: you should now be successful.