Command & Conquer is a real-time strategy video game series which revolves around conflicts between various competing factions vying for world domination. There are three different storylines, each with three main factions, as well as various minor factions. The majority of these are based on real-world human organizations, such as the Soviet Union and the United States of America, with a single one, the Scrin, being alien.
- 1 Tiberium series
- 2 Red Alert series
- 3 Generals series
- 4 Reception
- 5 References
- Main article: Command & Conquer: Tiberian series
The Tiberium series, which includes the original Command and Conquer game, is set in an alternate history. The three main factions of this series are the Global Defense Initiative, Brotherhood of Nod, and Scrin.
Global Defense Initiative
The Global Defense Initiative has a similar internal structure and administrative hierarchy to a modern day supranational body; integrating the armies and resources of the richest and most powerful nations. GDI is capable of instantly deploying vast quantities of well-trained and well-equipped soldiers backed by powerful ground, air and naval assets. GDI assets are able to deploy globally, quickly and with lethal force. Comparably, modern day armed forces lack the organisational, technological and numerical superiority of GDI armed forces. Global Defense Initiative troops utilize both superior armor and firepower, making them typically more powerful than their Nod counterparts -- especially in open and direct engagements.However, GDI military doctrine has shown to be more cumbersome and lacking flexibility. The Brotherhood is notoriously adept at exploiting these weaknesses with a mixture of low-tech guerilla tactics and a combination of advanced Tiberium-based technologies. By the year 2047 GDI's forces have been restructured to allow for decentralized operations in multiple theatres of war, through the establishment of forward-operating bases in all types of terrain, and the deployment of proven, specialized and cost-effective ground and air forces supported by the most advanced network of orbital artillery satellites in history. In-game, their units are unit-for-unit more powerful than those of Nod and the Scrin. Their superweapon is the ion cannon, an orbital weapon that has appeared in every Tiberium title to date; previously capable of destroying only a single building at a time, the ion cannon can now devastate a large area, through 8 small ion beams forming up into the center and ionising the air before the larger, more destructive main blast.
Brotherhood of Nod
The Brotherhood of Nod is a mysterious and highly militant society of allegedly ancient origins. Throughout its struggle with GDI, Nod is shown possessing characteristics of a vast religious movement, a multinational corporation and a decentralized nation-state, while being none of the three in itself. The globalized brotherhood is led by a mysterious man known only as Kane, and its influence at the advent of the events in Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars reached nothing short of the status of an unconventional superpower. The Brotherhood of Nod represents a flexible, elusive and worldwide cultic army which thrives on the sophisticated synergy between low-tech guerrilla warfare and advanced forces equipped with state-of-the-art weapon systems derived from the Brotherhood's understanding of Tiberium-based military technologies. Nod tactics are highly radical and appear more unethical than GDI's, often showing little regard for human life. In addition, their religious fascination with Tiberium has led them to use the substance as an offensive chemical. Nod forces typically are weaker than GDI's or the Scrin in a head-on engagement, yet they use stealth and advanced hit-and-run tactics to their advantage to take control of the battle and sabotage an opponent's momentum. Their in-game superweapon is a nuclear missile, although in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun and its expansion pack, they use a chemical missile (Tiberium-based) and a conventional cluster missile.
The third faction, which only appears in Tiberium Wars and its expansion pack Kane's Wrath, is an extraterrestrial force known as the Scrin. Its goal is to terraform Earth with Tiberium and harvest Tiberium deposits. Until Tiberian Twilight, they are not referred to by name; GDI uses the terms "invaders" and "aliens" and Nod calls them "visitors".
They remained dormant along the edge of the Solar System for millennia, until awakened by the massive detonation of liquid Tiberium beneath the Brotherhood of Nod's "Temple Prime". Scrin swiftly proceeds to launch an assault on the Earth's cities, wreaking havoc on GDI and Nod alike. These attacks were actually diversions that allow the Scrin to construct colossal structures called "Threshold Tower".
Scrin units and structures show a distinctly bio-mechanical and insect-like appearance. Furthermore, they possess several economic and military advantages related directly to Tiberium, including the ability to promote the growth of the substance, to store infinite amounts of it, and to use it to enhance their units and weaponry. As they are Tiberium-based, the Scrin are immune to the radioactive effects of Tiberium. However, they are vulnerable to anti-Tiberium weapons like Nod's catalyst missile and GDI's sonic emitters. The Scrin have the passive ability to create wormholes to instantly teleport units around the battlefield. Of all the factions, the Scrin possess the most powerful aerial force, consisting of interceptors, bombers, flying aircraft carriers and a mothership, which has a powerful Catalyst Cannon that can devastate adjacent structures beneath it by initiating a chain reaction upon them. Their in-game superweapon is the "rift generator", which creates a black hole that pulls in nearby units.
The Forgotten is a faction mainly featured in Tiberian Sun and Firestorm with further appearance in Tiberium Wars, Kane's Wrath and Tiberian Twilight. Members of these factions are humans mutated by Tiberium. This rare strain of mutation has deformed their figures but also granted them compatibility with Tiberium. Mutants in Tiberian Sun and Firestorm are either immune to Tiberium poisoning or can absorb Tiberium to regain lost health. The GDI commando unit of Tiberian Sun, Ghost Stalker, is an example of the latter.
The Forgotten were directly involved in the Tiberian Sun and Firestorm conflicts and sustained heavy casualties; even their leader, Tratos, was killed in action. According to Tiberium Wars information, following the Firestorm conflict, they emigrated into the seclusion of the harsh Tiberium-infested parts of the globe.
Red Alert series
- Main article: Command & Conquer: Red Alert series
The factions of the Red Alert series are the Allied Nations, the Soviet Union, the Empire of the Rising Sun and Yuri's followers. The series first starts in 1946 with an alternating history factor by a coalition of Allied countries in Western Europe, up against an aggressive Soviet Union invading the continent in the first game, Command & Conquer: Red Alert.
The Allied Nations was created by a variety of European nations (including the non-Nazi Germany thanks to the alternating history factor) and the United States to fend off the Soviet Union's aggression in Europe. The Allies were suffering heavy defeats against the surprise Soviet invasion initially, but rallied together aided with the help of the Chronosphere were able to finally stop the Soviet war machine. In Command & Conquer Red Alert 2, the Allied Nations once again rallied together in the invasion of the United States to once again put a stop to the Soviets. In Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 : Yuri's Revenge, the Allies joined the Soviets to stop the expansion of the former advisor of the supreme leader of the USSR, Yuri, which he had deployed weapons of mass destruction around the world. In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Allies were no longer fighting a war with one enemy, they now had to contend with the Empire of The Rising Sun. However, the Allies manage to defeat the Empire with some aid from the Soviets, despite the Soviets backing out at the last minute and turning on them but defeated the treacherous Soviets in both Havana and Leningrad.
In the Allied campaign of the Uprising expansion, they suppress a rebellion by the Empire, but it isn't known yet whether this campaign is canon. During its time, countries supported the Allied forces one by one or more by more. The leader of this coalition is the United States of America and its second-in-command is the island nation of the United Kingdom. Aiding members were Australia, Canada, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Turkey, Greece, France, South Korea, the Dominican Republic and Germany.
The Soviet Union's expansion was facilitated by Albert Einstein's mistake whilst trying to prevent the horrors of World War II (see Command & Conquer: Red Alert). The Soviets were defeated by the Allies in the original Red Alert, however they came back in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 with the assistance of a mastermind who is also a mind controller called Yuri. Little comes of this though as they are defeated again by the Allies and Yuri begins his own army in Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge. In the expansion, Yuri is set to control the world with "Psychic Dominators", the infamous weapons to mind-control the world. Yuri is defeated by the Allies and with some partial help from the Soviets. In the latest game of the series Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the Soviets decide to use their own "Time Machine" and reshape the past when they are on the brink of defeat. In doing so, they created the Empire of the Rising Sun (see below) and without atomic bombs or nuclear missiles, the Empire soon takes over most of the land held by the Soviets (who were close to defeating the Allies before the Empire arosed). The Allies and the Soviets joined forces to stop the Empire, but the Soviets ultimately showed their true colors and abandoned the Allies during the final assault on Japan, though the Allies managed to defeat the Empire regardless. After the Allies foiled the Soviet's plan to use Weapons of Mass Destruction against the United States, they defeated the Soviets at Leningrad.
The Soviet campaign in the Uprising expansion depicts them as freeing themselves from FutureTech's occupation on four locations, but it isn't known yet whether this campaign is canon. During the years of the Soviet Union, countries supported the Soviet interests and wanted communism to be in their lands. There was speculation in the Allies that Josef Stalin isn't choosing to let Vietnam, Sudan and India be in his division. Most of the supporters were from Iraq, Cuba, Libya, the Ukraine and Georgia.
Empire of the Rising Sun
The Empire of the Rising Sun is a militarized and futuristic version of Japan first introduced in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. As an unintended result of the Soviet Union's time travelling and eliminating Einstein, the Empire of the Rising Sun came into being and became a major faction. Led by Emperor Yoshiro, the Empire opposed both the Soviets and the Allies, skeptical if it's their divine right to rule the world. Utilizing advanced technology, such as powerful navy, transforming mecha units, robots, a psionic schoolgirl, and submersible planes. The Empire is excellent at expanding bases thanks to their nanocores, mobile vehicles capable of unpacking into various buildings for their main bases only.
While the Empire initially holds the upper hand against the Allies and the Soviets since it attacked them, when they were at their weakest from fighting each other, the two archenemies join forces and beat back the Empire. Despite the Soviets backing out of the alliance, the Empire is defeated by the Allies. In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 – Uprising, the Empire drives the Allies and Soviets out of Japan and establishes itself once again as a global superpower, but it isn't known yet whether this campaign is canon.
Yuri, a powerful telepath and the chief advisor to Premier Romanov in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, decides, near the end of that game, to defect from the Soviets. In Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge, the allied military finds out that Yuri has created a secret army of his own to take over the world by using Psychic Dominators, devices with the power to mind-control everyone in the world. His units generally rely on mind control abilities and cunning rather than brute force. The main goal of both the Allied and Soviet campaigns in Yuri's Revenge is to destroy Yuri's psychic beacons and eventually eliminate Yuri himself.
Dependent on the chosen side, the Allies track Yuri down in Antarctica with the aid of Soviet technology, while the Soviets find Yuri in Translyvania as well as mind controlled Allied and Soviet generals, who, once certain the psychic beacons are destroyed to join the Soviet player. Yuri's bases were seen in San Francisco, Hollywood, Seattle, the Pyramids of Giza, Sydney, London, a desert city in Morocco, the Moon and Yuri's secret island in the Pacific Ocean during all seven missions for the Allied campaign and only six for the Red Army's campaign.
Generals takes place in the near future. The United States and the People's Republic of China are the world's two superpowers, and are the targets of the Global Liberation Army, a large, well-organized terrorist organization, fighting as a fanatical irregular force. The United States and China are depicted as allies in the series, and frequently co-operate with each other throughout the storyline against the Global Liberation Army, which is depicted as an omnipresent, borderless organization with unclear goals beyond opposition to and expulsion of both China and the United States.
People's Republic of China
The People's Republic relies largely on brute force and sheer numbers, culminating in a variety of powerful and heavily armored tanks, and has limited air power. China's playstyle emphasizes direct assaults and sheer power to defeat American technology and GLA stealth. Chinese troops and tanks gain special bonuses when in groups, and make extensive use of propaganda (passive healing) to support their troops. China has a wide range of vehicle types, including several specialized tanks like Type 69 as "Battlemaster", BTR-80 as "Troop Crawler", "Overlord" tank(s) and two artillery units: the Chinese "Inferno Cannon" and "Nuke Cannon". They are the only artillery units whose shells cannot be intercepted. Chinese forces also make heavy use of gatling, nuclear, and napalm weaponry to destroy the enemy. China also utilizes advanced electronic warfare technology, including elite hackers, a spy called Black Lotus, listening outpost vehicles and electromagnetic pulse weapons. There is an electronic warfare tank which can be used in tactical scale and a bomb delivered by a plane for strategic purposes. It can black out an entire base and bring down aircraft.
China has a major disadvantage in that its ground forces are generally slower than those of the other two factions. Due to having virtually no fast attack units, except for their MiGs, China is forced to make large, ponderous assaults with heavy units, a tactic that can be countered by the GLA's speed or the USA's air power. However, the Chinese forces are well-suited to winning drawn-out battles of attrition.
China's campaign is the first chronologically in Generals. China retaliates after the GLA launches a devastating nuclear attack on Beijing. During one battle, China destroys the Three Gorges Dam in order to eliminate a large GLA army. China uses its nuclear arsenal to further fight against the GLA and eventually crushes the GLA cell masterminding all Pacific rim operations. In Zero Hour, China defeats the GLA during their invasion of Europe and seizes the opportunity to rise as a world power.
Global Liberation Army
Being technologically disadvantaged, the GLA has comparatively weak (though highly mobile) ground vehicles and no air force, prompting the use of guerrilla tactics such as tunnelling, suicide bombing, hijacking, and ambushing.
The GLA has a larger array of infantry types and vehicles to make up for this disadvantage, and has the widest range of stealth options. The GLA also has a very powerful economy, with various resource-gathering techniques such as salvaging wreckage, gaining cash bounties on destroyed enemy units, and building multiple "black market" structures to bring in large amounts of money over time. Also, the GLA are unique in that they have no energy requirement for any of their structures or units. The GLA's upgrades make it more powerful when fully equipped, transforming a relatively weak group of units into a more respectable threat. Their special unit, stealthy sniper named Jarmen Kell has the ability to shoot crew out of vehicles, making the GLA infantry able to steal the driverless unit. The superweapon names Scud Storm is very deadly to any infantry, due to its anthrax load spreading wide, somewhat hurting the enemy vehicles and buildings are only affected on impact. The GLA is also unique in that its structures retain two stages of integrity. Stage one is the functional stage where the building acts normally compared to its Chinese and USA counterparts. The building reaches stage two when it would have conventionally been destroyed. In the remains of the building there is a "hole". Overtime, the hole will regenerate health and at 100%, the destroyed building will respawn, as in return to stage 1. This special ability makes it difficult to permanently damage the GLA with many single-shot weapons or units.
The GLA's toxic weapons, strong suicide units, and stealth and surprise abilities enable it to hit enemies from unexpected directions, and its powerful economy, combined with cheap, fast units, enables it to flood opponents with sheer numbers. The GLA's primary disadvantage is that, in terms of firepower and durability, its units are outmatched by Chinese and American units, and it has a complete lack of air power.
The GLA campaign is the second chronologically in Generals. Following the setback at the hands of the Chinese, they raise funds and instigate attacks against their American and Chinese antagonists. They eventually overtake the Baikonur Cosmodrome in order to fire a Soyuz rocket bearing a biological MIRV at Astana city. In Zero Hour, the GLA loses control of the Baikonur Cosmodrome to the USA and attacks the American west coast in retaliation and eventually invades Europe. They are defeated in Europe by China.
United States of America
The United States is the most technologically advanced faction, and fights with a combination of powerful ground units and a large, versatile fleet of aircraft. USA forces rely on skill, mobility, and high technology to defeat the raw firepower of China and the guerilla tactics of the GLA. USA ground vehicles can construct unmanned drones to support and repair them in combat, and American troops and vehicles make extensive use of laser technology to guide weapons and defend against attack. American infantry have a number of special abilities, and include stealthy long-ranged snipers and a powerful commando named Colonel Burton with a number of abilities revolving around demolition and stealth. The USA also fields the largest air fleet in the game, including attack and transport helicopters, fighter planes, high speed bombers and stealth bombers. American Generals' abilities revolve around air power, including air strikes by A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and fuel air bombs. They also possess a Particle Cannon super weapon capable of destroying units and most buildings instantly.
The USA has a major disadvantage, however, in that it has the most expensive economy in the game; in comparison to troop costs, it has a less stable supply of power than China, and its high-tech units are very expensive. However, they gain resources the fastest, with their speedy chinooks taking $600 at a time. This method, though makes them vulnerable to a GLA quad cannon attack, or a Chinese Gattling tank.
The USA campaign is the third chronologically in Generals. In response to the GLA's launch of the biochemical weapon, the USA engages the GLA across several locales, including Baghdad and the Caspian Sea. They later defeat a rogue Chinese general supporting the terrorists and track them back to their base of operations in Akmola, Kazakhstan. In Zero Hour, the USA retakes the Baikonur Cosmodrome, but is later pushed back from Europe after the GLA invades the west coast of the United States.
A faction of Generals 2 in Command & Conquer 2013.
Asian Pacific Alliance
A faction of Generals 2 in Command & Conquer 2013.
Many reviewers have praised the diversity of the factions presented in the Command & Conquer games. Because of the markedly different units, a different playing style is often needed depending on the faction. Reviewers praised this diversity, particularly since similar RTS games of the time had little diversity between the factions.
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- "Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars Designer Diary #4 - Comparing the GDI and Nod Factions". Gamespot Staff, Electronic Arts. 2006-12-15. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/commandconquer3/news.html?sid=6163297&tag=topslot;title;1&om_act=convert&click=topslot. Retrieved 22 December 2006.
- "Technology in 2047". Electronic Arts, Command and Conquer website. 29 September 2006. http://www.ea.com/commandandconquer/news.jsp?id=6. Retrieved 9 January 2007.
- "Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars Designer Diary #2 - The Brotherhood of Nod and the Return of Kane". Gamespot Staff, Electronic Arts. 2006-08-23. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/commandconquer3/news.html?sid=6156230&mode=previews. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- "Kane's Dossier". Electronic Arts, Command and Conquer website. 2006-10-29. http://www.ea.com/commandandconquer/news.jsp?id=7. Retrieved 19 December 2006.
- "Command & Conquer 3 Faction Feature -- The Scrin". IGN Staff, Electronic Arts. 2007-03-20. http://pc.ign.com/articles/774/774243p1.html. Retrieved 17 June 2007.
- "Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars hands-on". IGN. 2007-01-16. http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/754/754963p1.html. Retrieved 16 January 2007.