|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Relic||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 19, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-6 (Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
After the single-player missions, there's a whole new gameplay style to look forward to. But with such a non-linear single-player campaign, there's plenty of replay value in replaying missions using different tactics, weapons, and upgrades. Along with each mission there are plenty of side-missions that you may have passed on the first time through.
Online multiplayer modes feature Campaign and Skirmish. The Skirmish mode includes one-on-one or three-on-three matches. All four factions are playable, and this time there is a base, but it's used for producing more units. The key to winning the match is acquiring the most victory points, a task that includes capturing enemy strongholds and eradicating enemy units. To keep things on a level playfield, the leveling-up is restricted to the host in the multiplayer modes, but there is a shift back to the micromanagement as there are more units available for each faction that are produced from the base. To diversify the gameplay even further, you can play the entire single-player campaign cooperatively.
Talking with other online players, I was surprised to hear just how well the game ran on various PC systems. A few were running the bare minimum of the suggested requirements with no problems. I experienced only a little bit of slowdown when the combat really heated up. Keep in mind this game is overflowing with production values. Graphically it's amazing, with lots of detail and background animation. With a great soundtrack, Hollywood-quality voiceovers, and explosive sound effects, this game begs to be seen and heard. The interface is user-friendly, and hotkey commands will be automatically assigned to units to make production easier.
The only downside to the game may be the repetitiveness of the map and the online gameplay, but if you really love doing something, it's worth doing it again, and again.
CCC Senior Writer