Command & Conquer
War Game Doesn't Disappoint
Command & Conquer serves up a fictional future where the United Nations' Global Defense Initiative fights against a powerful terrorist group, the Brotherhood of Nod. As the strategic leader for either side, you must command your troops through increasingly complex missions to save--or destroy--the status quo.
Command & Conquer is easy to learn but difficult to master. Its military units include a multitude of infantry, as well as a variety of mechanized troops and aerial squadrons. Each unit has its particular capabilities, and some may only be built by one of the two combatants. Sound effects vary from unit to unit, and violent players will thrill to the gruesome sound of tank units squishing infantry.
Because of the vast number of units you must control, you'll appreciate the ability to quickly group troops into teams you can summon with user-definable keystrokes--a great aid in precision maneuvers. The grouping feature is also particularly helpful when launching massive assaults, which can otherwise block strategic passages and cause units to wander around aimlessly, or worse, blunder into enemy troops.
Like other games of its genre, Command & Conquer requires you to build and maintain a base for mining raw materials, obtaining supplies, and building troops. The building interface is a simple point-and-click sidebar, which allows you to keep most of your attention on the battle. Home bases are subject to a particularly nasty attack--the opposing player can send an engineer to take over a building and then promptly sell it, depriving you of the building and giving the enemy more cash for weapons. Trying to determine which of your units is the engineer can be a problem, though--the graphical representations of units are so small that telling one from another in the heat of battle can be tough.
Whether you ally with friends against a common computer foe or play against each other in a fight to the death, Command & Conquer allows a variety of networking options, complete with separately designed missions for multiplayer games. (Network play works over a standard AppleTalk network, or over a 28.8-Kbps or faster modem link to the Internet.) Even in single-player mode, Command & Conquer offers challenging play and often forces you to make complex tactical decisions beyond simply trying to overpower your opponent.
The Last Word
Command & Conquer expands the tactical war-game genre in innovative and exciting ways. It's not as easy to master as competing titles such as Blizzard's Warcraft II (see "), but if you enjoy real-time strategy games, it's definitely worth adding to your collection.--DANIEL MADAR
RATING: Four Stars/7.8
PROS: Excellent variety of weaponry; challenging missions; great team-oriented options.
CONS: Tiny unit graphics; unwieldy massed troops.
COMPANY: Westwood Studios (702/228-4040, http://www.westwood.com).
LIST PRICE: $59.99.
Copyright © 1997 Mac Publishing, L.L.C.