By now, Command and Conquer
's primary parties are well-known. There's GDI - the Global Defense Initiative - which is the world's army and the Brotherhood of Nod, an underground terrorist organization. Each side has basic units that parallel each other, such as riflemen, heavy weapons units and light assault vehicles; at the same time, both have their own toys that fit with their faction's personality. GDI sticks to the military guidelines, employing tanks, snipers and bi-pedal tank sporting long-range firing capabilities. Meanwhile, Nod's weapons are more in-line with its clandestine activities, suck as fanatics (suicide bombers), stealth tanks and flying saboteurs. The balance between unit types is pretty good with no side having a pronounced advantage over the other, which is one of the primary fundamentals of any RTS.
Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars takes place in the year 2047, seventeen years after Firestorm, the final expansion to Tiberium Sun. In this time, the world has undergone a number of drastic changes that affect both factions and set up the third Tiberium War. Tiberium, a radioactive resource, has spread and grown out of control, prompting the world to be spilt into three zones. Blue Zones are the only completely inhabitable areas of the world and are largely controlled by GDI. The rest is spilt into Yellow Zones, which are livable but contaminated and Red Zones, which are toxic. Nod sees this as an insult and decides that after years of hiding in the shadows, it is time to strike.
Their plot begins with a nuclear strike on the orbiting command platform Philadelphia during a major GDI summit. The attack destroys nearly all of GDI's command structure. In the ensuing chaos, Nod also begins a series of quick strikes around the globe, leaving it up to you, an accountant, and a handful of surviving generals to save the day.
While most of the game's plot involves these two factions trading blows, C&C 3 introduces a third race, the Scrin. This alien race doesn't pop up until later in the campaigns, but when they do, they make quite the entrance. Like the other two factions, they have their own toybox full of powerful alien weapons like tri-pod walkers (think War of the Worlds) and a planetary assault cruiser that is like having a mobile airport.
Unlike the other two factions, the Scrin are not playable until after you complete either of the two main campaigns. So, while they are a powerful force, their campaign doesn't factor into the overall story and, on some level, feel a bit tacked on. The introduction of aliens also takes away from the game's real-world feel.
Mission structures are interwoven. Although you can play from one side and get the story, you won't get the entire story until all are completed since they constantly reference each other. Early in the GDI campaign, you have to liberate Washington, D.C. while in the Nod campaign, you lead the strike to take it over.
As with most of the game, the multiplayer side of C&C 3 sticks to the classics. The only new function is BattleCast, which is a cool option that allows you to broadcast your matches over the Internet. You can even have someone do play-by-play or telestrate the match, adding a new twist to competition.