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 tanks sporting long-range firing capabilities. Meanwhile, Nod's weapons are more in-line with its clandestine activities, such 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 split into three zones. Blue Zones are the only completely inhabitable areas of the world and are largely controlled by GDI. The rest is split 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, a Treasury officer and a handful of surviving generals to save the day.
On the 360, the mission structure is a little different. Rather than playing as either of the two factions from the start, you must play though the first act of the GDI campaign before unlocking the Nod campaign. 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.
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 show up until later in the campaigns, but when they do they make quite the entrance. Like the other two factions, they have their own toy box 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.
Multiplayer is another of Command & Conquer 3's strong points. Standard skirmish modes are available for up to four players as are a number of other, more strategy-oriented modes. Capture-and-Hold has players battling for control of certain points on the map while Capture-the-Flag adapts the FPS-standard mode to an RTS. Siege keeps players from attacking each other before a timer goes off, which adds a new wrinkle to the typical RTS match since it eliminates any possibility of an early game rush. The Live Vision Camera is also supported so you can see opposing generals.