A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Command & Conquer 4 is a real-time strategy game that features frequent, futuristic violence. However, it’s seen from a high perspective, there is no blood, and things never get more graphic than a flailing soldier tossed into the air from an explosion. The story, which is about a clash between political ideologies and features a sociopath who leads one side of the fray, is melodramatic and tame, with good and evil clearly distinguishable. Parents should be aware that this game facilitates open text communication between players. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for children under 12 years of age.
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What's it about?
The purportedly final entry of Electronic Arts’ classic real-time strategy series, COMMAND & CONQUER 4: TIBERIAN TWILIGHT, puts players in the shoes of a nameless commander who leads his forces through two campaigns, one as an officer for the Global Defence Initiative, another as a leader of the less reputable Nod forces. Unlike previous games in the series, the fourth instalment typically has players leading smaller groups of units in one of three distinct disciplines: support, defense, or offense, and they can only recruit as many units as they have command points. What’s more, players now get to work through a rewards system while playing that sees them grow in rank and earning new unit types in the process. This growth system applies across all modes, including the solo and co-operative campaigns, quick skirmishes, and online multiplayer.
Is it any good?
Command & Conquer 4 isn’t really the Command & Conquer most people remember. The campaign feels more focused on completing objectives with smaller groups than building the huge armies of C&Cs past; while the online multiplayer has players striving to hold control points rather than simply crushing the enemy. Depending on how much you liked the original formula, you may well find yourself lamenting the franchise's distinctive brand of classic real-time strategy.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is the franchise’s over-acted live-action cutscenes, which feature middling actors giving voice to thoroughly campy lines. If this decidedly B-movie style of narrative hasn’t done anything for you in the past, it won’t convert you now. However, players who get a kick out of the franchise’s corny melodrama will probably eat it up. It’s fitting that the final game in the franchise remains true to its narrative roots, even if its classic style of play doesn’t.
Online interaction: Players can go up against one another or work as a team together online. Open text chat is supported. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for children under 12 years of age.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about levels of violence and their appropriateness for different age groups. At what point does violence become too graphic for pre-teens? For kids in high school? Can games be too violent for grown-ups?
Families can also discuss the game’s incorporation of live action scenes. Does it make the characters seem more real? Or does the graphical discrepancy between play and narrative seem jarring?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.