Eurogamer


EA has been accused of copying Warhammer 40k tanks for its browser-based real-time strategy game Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances.


Users on Reddit noticed a number of tanks in C&C, developed by German studio Phenomic, are pretty much carbon copies of tanks in the famous Games Workshop tabletop game.


C&C's Forgotten Grinder Tank is compared to the Ork Bonecruncha, created by Games Workshop for Warhammer 40k in 1995. An image highlighting the similarity is below.

'EA accused of copying Warhammer 40k tanks for Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances' Screenshot 4


And the Forgotten Bombard Tank is almost indistinguishable from the 1995 Baneblade design. Again, an image comparing the two is below.

'EA accused of copying Warhammer 40k tanks for Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances' Screenshot 3


EA and Games Workshop are yet to comment on the matter. Interestingly, the Baneblade appears as a unit in the THQ published, Relic developed PC exclusive RTS Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War - under license of course.

Eurogamer


This is not Command & Conquer as we know it. In fact, it's not even war as many of us know it. One of the first things that Martin Lohlein, senior producer at Phenomic tells journalists playing the closed beta is that Tiberium Alliances is that he "wanted to give C&C players a chance to engage with the franchise in a different place in their gaming schedule."


If you do rigorously schedule your gaming, then that place could be on your daily commute, in line at the bank or in a well-hidden Firefox tab at work. The idea is that Tiberium Alliances will run on any device with a browser, allowing you to manage its ongoing conflicts with a few clicks, sending succinct instructions on what to get on with until you check back during your lunch break.


In practice this might sound almost like play by mail but in its current state what Tiberium Alliances most resembles is a cross between Phonemic's similar fantasy effort, Lords of Ultima and, well, a Facebook game.

'Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances Preview: Casual Commandos' Screenshot 1

Expect to start with a small army and upgrade it very slowly indeed.


It works like this: I click to deploy my base buildings across a grid. I click to upgrade them. I watch them collect or produce one of several resources, which I then pump back into the purchase of further incremental upgrades. Essentially, everything contributes to a slow, shallow-gradient grind toward Better Stuff and, in a move that I'm not sure is cynical or genius, absolutely everything has a countdown timer attached to it.


For example, in just fourteen seconds time I'll be able to send out another task force to raid the ramshackle renegade shantytown that bulges like a boil on the edge of my territory. After thirty eight seconds I'll have another Tiberium bonus to collect from one of my harvesters, or I could wait twelve minutes to expand my command centre.


I'd really like to upgrade the infantry I'm about to dispatch and though I don't quite have the resources for it, checking the unit's status tells me I'll have them in twenty minutes and sixteen seconds. Whatever it is that I want to get or to do, there's a countdown for it. I feel a bit like I'm cooking, like I have a dozen egg timers in front of me, all telling me when to toss the next pancake or stir the next pot.


No, not cooking. I'm making microwave meals. Playing Tiberium Alliances feels a lot like opening and closing an enormous bank of microwaves, taking out or putting in dishes of food and, when that food is ready, sending it out to war. Should a resource, building or unit not be available quite as quickly as you might like then - aha, yes, there it is - that 'Add funds' button will get things done, although Lohlein's aim "is to ensure that non-paying players are still able to find a place amongst the top players."


There's less to say about combat at present. Purchasing and slowly upgrading units as you would structures, you organise them into attack waves that roll towards enemy or AI bases in a pre-set formation, arranging them to inflict as much damage as possible.


They then trundle in straight lines, towards victory or death, while the game makes battle noises that sound like a corpulent man noisily eating a packet of crisps while truants kick over dustbins outside his house.

'Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances Preview: Casual Commandos' Screenshot 2

Research points are earned by… attacking other bases? And are currently thin on the ground.


Of course, Tiberium Alliances can only become more polished with time. Lohlein insists that the game will move away from the current grinding and clock-watching towards something that really can be dipped into more casually. "We're limiting the amount of things you can do in a day," he explains. "The game is really tailored to be played in two to three short sessions in a day. There's a minimum engagement required to keep up with the game, but it's much less than you'd usually expect in the genre." Players are encouraged to group together to form those titular Tiberium alliances, bolstering one another's forces as they chase high scores.


Deliberately choosing to abandon my base for a few days to see what happens, I find I am, of course, mercilessly crushed. The game may suit a casual, flighty player, but certainly makes no excuses for the negligent, though it is forgiving.


It's still in need of both balancing and shifts toward the tactical and away from the grind, but Lohlein is confident that data provided by the beta experience will help Phonemic achieve this. It remains to be seen whether the aim to develop a game so casual and relatively non-committal is a recipe for success or merely curious diversion, or indeed if the latter is all that Tiberium Alliances ever wants to be.

Eurogamer


Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances has entered open beta, EA has announced.


Tiberium Alliances is a browser-based strategy game developed by German studio Phenomic (BattleForge, Lord of Ulltima). You have to gather resources, strike alliances and, of course, fight. Expect in-game news, status feeds and frequent updates.


EA has billed it as the first free-to-play cross-platform MMO strategy game, which will, over the coming months, feature cloud-saved data, accessible across web browsers and mobile devices. This, EA said, lets you play from home on your desktop or on the go from your smartphones or tablets.


Get involved at www.tiberiumalliances.com. You'll need an Origin account to play.

Eurogamer

UPDATE: EA has announced Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances and revealed it is a cross-platform game that works on web browsers and mobile devices.


The closed beta starts tomorrow, 15th December 2011.


"Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances is the first MMO and first free-to-play game for the long-running Command & Conquer series," senior producer Martin Löhlein said.


"We're hoping to deliver an experience that will allow our loyal fans to play their favorite franchise anywhere they go, while introducing the exciting world of Tiberium to new players."


Expect live status streams and newsfeeds, all updated in real time. This, according to EA, forces players to "strategize, react, and adapt on the spot".

ORIGINAL STORY: EA has unveiled Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances, a browser-based strategy game set in the Command & Conquer Tiberium universe.


Tiberium Alliances is developed by the EA-owned German RTS studio Phenomic (SpellForce, BattleForge, Lord of Ultima).


"Command and Conquer Tiberium Alliances brings the battle to your browser in this epic strategy MMO," reads EA's official blurb.


"Compete or ally with your friends in a worldwide war for precious resources. Based in the Command and Conquer Tiberium story world, C&C Tiberium Alliances allows players to experience C&C in a brand new way.


"Using HTML 5 technology, players are able to access their game from any web accessible browser making this one of the first truly portable mmo strategy titles to hit the market."


You can apply for the closed beta today at www.TiberiumAlliances.com - a website yet to fully launch.


The reveal comes hot on the heels of the announcement of Command & Conquer: Generals 2, a PC-exclusive RTS from BioWare Victory and due out in 2013.

Eurogamer

As rumoured last month, Command & Conquer: Generals 2 is currently in development, BioWare has announced. It's a PC exclusive.


A brief trailer was shown for the game at today's Spike VGA event in Los Angeles showing a skirmish in an unnamed city.


Terrorists have apparently blown up a peace conference killing most major world leaders, leaving military generals to scrap it out for supremacy.


The sequel to the 2003 PC real time strategy spin-off (which was developed by EA Los Angeles) is being built on the Frostbite 2 engine and is due for release some time in 2013.


According to the game's official site it's being developed by BioWare Victory - formally Victory Games - and you can expect the following gameplay features:

  • All-out War - Take control of three unique factions, competing for resources, building up your base of operation, and leading massive batteries of tanks, soldiers, and aircraft into battle.
  • Uncanny Sense of Realism - Frostbite 2 technology allows for visceral, visually stunning conflict at an epic scale. Incredibly detailed units and environments, dynamic physics, and exhilarating visual effects bring the battle to life in ways never before seen. This is the closest thing to real war without the consequences.
  • New Ways to Dominate or Ally with your Friends - Go beyond classic deathmatch with a selection of new multiplayer game modes, designed with both cooperative and competitive play in mind.
  • Thrilling Campaign - Command the war on terror in an electrifying single-player campaign. Experience the dramatic story from multiple perspectives-from heroic General to crazed terrorist-while engaging the enemy in pulse-pounding tactical combat.
  • Ever-evolving Experience - Enhance your game with an expanding array of downloadable content. From maps and units to factions, campaigns, and more, the fight against terrorism is deeper than ever.


"We're bringing BioWare's vision for emotionally engaging gameplay and great attention to quality to the strategy genre and the Command & Conquer franchise," commented BioWare boss Ray Muzyka.


"I am excited to welcome BioWare Victory to our label. They are a great addition and the team is working hard to make sure Generals 2 truly immerses and engages players into this intense, gritty, modern war experience."


We'll post the trailer as soon as it's made available, but take a look at the screens below for now.

Eurogamer


EA apparently has Dante's Inferno and Dead Space maker Visceral lined up to tackle the Command & Conquer licence.


The game is "pretty far out", Visceral Games label general manager Nick Earl told Gamasutra.


But the rest of the project remains, for now, under wraps.


Nick Earl is boss of action and strategy games at EA under the new Visceral Games label. This is part of EA's plan to make brands out of its successful studios.


"Regardless of which particular geography, everyone feels like they're part of one group. Think about the DICE brand as becoming a strong FPS brand with games like Battlefield, Bad Company 2, and with BioWare being a strong brand for RPGs - we're trying to do that inside the action space, where EA has not had a strong position for some time," Earl explained.


Will Visceral's Command & Conquer be an action game? There have been some before: you might remember the awful Command & Conquer: Renegade from 2002. More recently, EA had a shooter called Tibierum that was announced in 2007 and thrown in the bin in 2008.


Why? Tiberium wasn't good enough for Riccitiello's table. "It is confirmed that Tiberium has been cancelled, as the game was not on track to meet the high quality standards set by the team and the EA Games Label," the publisher said at the time.

Command & Conquer is renowned, first and foremost, for being a real-time strategy series. The Tiberium saga of whic was brought to a disappointing close earlier this year with Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight on PC.


For now, however, Visceral Games will concentrate on delivering Dead Space 2 on 28th January 2011. Expectations are high, both inside EA and out; Earl believes DS2 will elevate the Visceral "brand" to the "next level".

Video: EA's canned Tiberium game.

Announcement - Valve
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Today only, save 33-75% off all Command and Conquer games on Steam.

Please visit www.steampowered.com for more information.

A different offer starts at 10am Pacific time.

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