Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight

 
(i)

 

Strategy game features frequent but mostly tame violence.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game is about strategic thinking and making the most of limited resources. It glamorizes war to a degree, but not graphically. There is no great moral message good or bad in the story, though there is a political and ideological conflict between the game’s warring factions, one of which is led by a nasty, sociopathic man.

Positive role models

Players take on the role of a military commander and see the world from a first-person perspective through the eye of a camera during the game’s cutscenes. Aside from a choice early on that leads players toward one faction or another, they aren’t given much control over events. The commander simply follows orders, defending and attacking as his superiors require in order to meet their political and military objectives.

Ease of play

The basic controls will be familiar to Real Time Strategy (RTS) fans, but it will take a while to grow accustomed to new features. A few quick and simple tutorial missions at the start of the game do a good job of showing players the ropes, and several difficulty settings accommodate players of all experience levels.

Violence

Armies, including tanks, planes, and armored troopers do battle with a variety of energy and projectile weapons. Players view the action from a bird’s eye perspective. There are lots of explosions and soldiers go flying through the air, but there is no blood. One live action cutscene shows a close-up of a person’s face as he dies.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

A few instances of the words “bastard,” “bitch,” and “ass.”

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:$49.99
Available online?Available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:March 16, 2010
Genre:Strategy
ESRB rating:T for Mild Language, Violence (Windows)

This review of Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight was written by

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Quality

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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