Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath is the best add-on to a Command & Conquer game, we have seen.

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars was, without a doubt, one of the best "old school" real-time strategy games to be released in years.

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars helped reestablish the C&C franchise as an RTS power-house and sold well to boot, so it's no surprise that we're now being treated to an expansion pack.

Entitled Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath, this NOD-themed expansion is the best add-on we've so far seen for a C&C game.

Say goodnight to the bad guy

Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath centres squarely on the terroristic Brotherhood of NOD faction and their enigmatic leader, Kane. Rather than picking up after the conclusion of Tiberium Wars, the main campaign jumps back in time a bit and fills in some holes in NOD's rather tumultuous history.

The narrative is just a part of the overall equation but it has a sense of depth to it, thanks mostly to the campy yet well-crafted full-motion video sequences sprinkled throughout the game.

Gameplay-wise, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath doesn't deviate from the basic C&C formula.

You still harvest tiberium, build up your base, commission units and head out to punish your enemy. The sad news is that NOD is the only faction that has a full campaign: fans of the other two factions will be left out in the cold asides from two new sub-factions each and a few new units.

But the missions offer a lot of thrills, with objectives will also prove familiar for series vets-doing the bidding of your charismatic leader Kane, mostly with a far more deft touch than the two other factions. This mostly involves butting heads against the Global Defense Initiative and the Scrin, although you'll also find yourself going against wayward elements of the Brotherhood who have forgotten just powerful Kane is.

NEXT PAGE: global domination, and our expert verdict > >

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Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath is the best add-on to a Command & Conquer game, we have seen.

Global domination

But don't think that Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath is just a rehash of Tiberium Wars - the game features a new global conquest mode that really helps set it apart. Reminiscent of the classic board game Risk, this new mode sets all three factions loose on a tiberium stained planet and gives them a handful of starting bases.

Players can then upgrade these bases in order to improve their defensive capabilities and gain access to superweapons such as the Ion Cannon. These bases can also recruit strike forces, which are your means of constructing new bases and attacking the enemy's.

Victory is attained either by eliminating the two other factions completely off the map or by fulfilling a variety of side objectives - the GDI, for example, has to control a certain amount of the map and its cities while the Scrin need to construct a set number of threshold towers. It's not a perfect system, but in contrast to some other recent games to attempt a global meta-campaign, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath does a good job, especially for an expansion pack.

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Command and Conquer 3 Kanes Wrath: Specs

  • OS: Windows XP/Vista (32-bit
  • 64-bit versions of Vista are not supported)
  • 2GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 6GB or more disk space
  • GeForce4, ATI Radeon 8500 or greater (ATI Radeon 9200 and 9250 PCI, NVIDIA Geforce 4 MX cards not supported
  • DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • OS: Windows XP/Vista (32-bit
  • 64-bit versions of Vista are not supported)
  • 2GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 6GB or more disk space
  • GeForce4, ATI Radeon 8500 or greater (ATI Radeon 9200 and 9250 PCI, NVIDIA Geforce 4 MX cards not supported
  • DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card

OUR VERDICT

There's no doubt that Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath has some flaws and, unless you're a fan of the NOD, you'll probably feel a little cheated by the lack of a GDI or Scrin campaign. Still, Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath is quite impressive nonetheless. It does exactly what a good expansion should - it follows closely in the footsteps of its parent title while also bringing something new to the table. It exhibits the same sense of polish and depth that made the original Tiberium Wars such a classic. RTS fans who can't get enough of the Command & Conquer universe should definitely check this one out.

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