BioWare Tackles Strategy with Command & Conquer Generals 2

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BioWare Tackles Strategy with Command & Conquer Generals 2

BioWare takes over Victory Games studio to continue a branch of the venerable strategy franchise.

This weekend, Electronic Arts announced BioWare would be resurrecting a branch of the Command & Conquer franchise many fans had given up for dead. Generals came out in 2003 and has no overt connection to either the Tiberian (original C&C) or Red Alert series, instead focusing on the near-future's superpowers grappling with a well-organized terrorist organization. Victory Games - previously part of EA Los Angeles - has been absorbed into the BioWare umbrella and renamed BioWare Victory to develop Generals 2 using the Frostbite 2 engine. The strategy sequel will be for PCs only and released sometime in 2013.

My only question is: Why BioWare? "We're bringing BioWare's vision for emotionally engaging gameplay and great attention to quality to the strategy genre and the Command & Conquer franchise," said Dr. Ray Muzyka, cofounder of BioWare.

Oh, that's why.

"I am excited to welcome BioWare Victory to our label. They are a great addition and the team is working hard to make sure Generals 2 truly immerses and engages players into this intense, gritty, modern war experience," he continued. Stop it, Ray, you are making too much sense.

But why Generals, which seemed to be made in response to our culture's early 2000s concentration on terrorism? "For the last eight years, Command & Conquer fans have been begging for a return to the Generals universe," said Jon Van Caneghem, producer at BioWare Victory. They have? I will miss Kane.

"With Generals 2, we are bringing the Command & Conquer franchise back to its roots, blending strategic gameplay with fast-paced action - all set in visually stunning theaters of war powered by Frostbite 2," said Van Caneghem. All right, I guess that sounds good, and the assetss you guys released do look pretty sweet.

But I still have reservations. Sometime since the acquisition in 2007, BioWare became a brand name that parent-company Electronic Arts could stamp on anything. The company founded by Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk earned its name peddling high-quality role-playing games for the PC audience and have been successful transferring that mojo to the mainstream with Mass Effect and Dragon Age. EA must think BioWare can work that same magic again for the slumping Command & Conquer franchise.

I'm just not sure that BioWare's brand of story-telling and character development will fit with an RTS. And if there will not be the characteristic BioWare writing, then what's the point of putting the BioWare name on the box? The whole announcement just smacks of brand manipulation by EA.

At least they've said that Generals 2 will be PC exclusive. I'm glad most sane game developers have realized that RTS will just never work on consoles - unless Kinect voice commands get a lot better.

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Well EA butchered the C&C franchise and the Red Alert franchise, might as well make it a 3 for 3 job right?

I must have missed all those people asking for a sequel to a ten-year old spin-off game that nobody really cared about in the first place.

It's almost like making a sequel to Resident Evil Gaiden.

I enjoyed all the games up until C&C 4 (excluding sole survivor, never played it, have heard it was terrible), one bad game shouldn't be enough to write off a whole series. Generals was my second favorite, so I'm happy to see a return to the universe and hopefully a return to a proper RTS not a Real time tactics game with little tactics.

It sounds like the studio is just a re-branded EA Los Angeles and is using the bioware name for media attention, so mission accomplished there. Hopefully everything works out that well for the game.

Scared and excited is what pretty much describes my feeling towards this project since I heard about it. On one hand, C&C:Generals was one of the better ones in the series and pretty good RTS on it's own. With new technology possibilities it could be really visually pleasing game.

Problem is, how BioWare will handle another new (for them) genre and whenever They have any plans of pushing it forward from what we know. How much of the game will be gimmicks, tied to online gameplay and what chances there are we could actually have a new, competitive RTS on the scene.

Rather than flashy teasers (can't really call that a trailer), I'd like details about where They plan to take both the franchise and the genre with this title.

Lost In The Void:
Well EA butchered the C&C franchise and the Red Alert franchise, might as well make it a 3 for 3 job right?

You didn't even like the original Generals? I thoroughly enjoyed that one.

I hope it will be as easy to mod as the first one because that had some really well polished mods (Shockwave, Contra)

I think another issue is that this will most likely require Origin, sad but true.

shado_temple:

Lost In The Void:
Well EA butchered the C&C franchise and the Red Alert franchise, might as well make it a 3 for 3 job right?

You didn't even like the original Generals? I thoroughly enjoyed that one.

It was a fun game, but in Skirmish maps you were pretty much going to dick on everyone if you played as the USA. They just got so very, very much money from the airdrops while the Chinese stole it from the internet in tiny bite-size pieces and the terrorists did...well, I don't remember, but I do recall that their money-making upgrade was "worker shoes" as opposed to the USA's "continuous airdrops of fat wads of cash".

Well, I think it's cool and I will wait until anything on which we can base some opinion on. And I find it a little early reveal, with more than one year to wait.

Lost In The Void:
Well EA butchered the C&C franchise and the Red Alert franchise, might as well make it a 3 for 3 job right?

Oh come on now, Red Alert 3 was awesome.

Also, since Bioware is making it, I expect a large part of the game to be romance options.

And your commander turns out to be totally gay for the Chinese commander.

Mantonio:

Lost In The Void:
Well EA butchered the C&C franchise and the Red Alert franchise, might as well make it a 3 for 3 job right?

Oh come on now, Red Alert 3 was awesome.

Also, since Bioware is making it, I expect a large part of the game to be romance options.

And your commander turns out to be totally gay for the Chinese commander.

Ever since the reveal during VGA people have been asking which tanks we will be able to romance. No response from BioWare yet tho. I'm however hoping they will remain true to their equality ideology and let us romance tanks as aircrafts or jeeps.

Lost In The Void:
Well EA butchered the C&C franchise and the Red Alert franchise, might as well make it a 3 for 3 job right?

Wah? I'll grant you that C&C4 was pretty shit (though I commend them for at least trying something different even if it failed utterly), but Red Alert 3 was awesomely over the top camp funtimes.

SonicWaffle:

shado_temple:

Lost In The Void:
Well EA butchered the C&C franchise and the Red Alert franchise, might as well make it a 3 for 3 job right?

You didn't even like the original Generals? I thoroughly enjoyed that one.

It was a fun game, but in Skirmish maps you were pretty much going to dick on everyone if you played as the USA. They just got so very, very much money from the airdrops while the Chinese stole it from the internet in tiny bite-size pieces and the terrorists did...well, I don't remember, but I do recall that their money-making upgrade was "worker shoes" as opposed to the USA's "continuous airdrops of fat wads of cash".

The GLA got money from murdering enemies and their Black Market generated a steady stream of cash iirc. It's been a while since I played it though, so I might be misremembering.

Don't forget that the idiot Jon Van Canegham who worked on CnC4's disaster is back on as executive producer for this one again.

Face it, the Bioware label means nothing. This is Victory Games renamed so that it gets brand recognition.

But hey, at least Tito can say that this game will have modern looking graphics, since it is running off Frostbite 2.

I'm predicting EA will open a BioWare Sports studio in no more than six months. Nice way to butcher a brand.

I hear you on EA seeming to stamp the Bioware name on everything lately as if it magically prints money, I'm half expecting EA to rename itself "EA Bioware" soon.
I'm betting Victory Games was working on this long before it was renamed.

And aside from that, meh. I'm not big on the RTS genre and not even the Bioware label will change that.
But I'm glad the fans of C&C finally get a new game.

I rather enjoyed C&C3 (especially made better with mods) but absolutely hated Red Alert 3. Generals was okay, but Zero Hour? Awesome.

I'm not even going to touch C&C4.

I'm rather conflicted about this announcement. On one hand, I wish they would have another go at the Tiberium universe but then again, they could very well stuff that one up.

So I guess them working on the Generals universe is the better choice for now, as it will give them the opportunity to prove that they can really do something good with Command & Conquer.

well I don't know one one hand I quite liked 3 but on the other 4 was a disaster but it does look like we have a reasonable development cycle unlike 4 which was converted from a free to play browser game to a full release in about 3 days

Please Please Please Please don't force this on the travisty known as Origin

I'm glad they're remaking this game but may the gods of Skyrim (or whomever) look down and not force it as an Origin SP and/or MP exclusive (which I'm sure EA will do to make it a more 'functional' platform)like BF3 is.

Of the C&C universe, I really only liked RA2 and Generals and the RA universe was tainted with the last version.

plugav:
I'm predicting EA will open a BioWare Sports studio in no more than six months. Nice way to butcher a brand.

Well, I'm looking forward to Bioware Visceral's Dead Space 3 (Now with Necromorph Romance!), Bioware Sports' NHL 13, Bioware Criterion's Hot Pursuit 2, Bioware Maxis' The Sims 4 and Bioware DICE's Battlefield 4.

I' not going to blame Bioware for any of this when it's a total crapfest. This reeks of EA putting it's hard where they don't belong. Leave Bioware to do what they do, which doesn't include making RTS's

RatRace123:
I hear you on EA seeming to stamp the Bioware name on everything lately as if it magically prints money, I'm half expecting EA to rename itself "EA Bioware" soon.

Considering Bioware is the only branch of EA that many people don't hate yet it's hard to blame them for slapping their name on every new or re-branded team they have. And it seems to work too because I've already seen people getting excited for this because Bioware is making it but not noticing that it isn't the same team that made, well, every Bioware franchise that people love.

plugav:
I'm predicting EA will open a BioWare Sports studio in no more than six months. Nice way to butcher a brand.

This statement made me physically ill. I think I need to lie down.

This just sounds like EA are trying to squeese every penny from Bioware brand that they possible can. I can't really see this doing anything else but damaging Bioware name if game ends up not being very good.

I wonder how long it takes when name Bioware means nothing and brand is bleeding in some ditch somewhere.

I have doubts about bioware being able to do an rts game well, plus I'm sure that ea will fuck it up somehow, they have been doing allot of that lately and I don't see them stopping it anytime soon since they don't seem to trust their customers at all.

I, for one, have been hoping they would make a sequel to this game for YEARS... if only because I wanted to avoid the story-destroying travesty of a game that was C&C 4. No such luck.

Still, folks seem to forget the ONE crucial thing about Generals.

It wasn't at all about being a spin-off or a play on the hype of our 'terrorism fears'. It was about EA creating a storyline in which it could exercise some creativity and freedoms that were otherwise limited by the Tiberian and Red Alert universes.

It's their own original arc... and it was a -DAMN- fun game.

If they stay true to those old-school C&C roots... I have no doubts that Generals 2 will be a very fun game. They've seen how poorly received a radical departure like C&C 4 was. With any luck, they've caught on that we don't WANT them to reinvent the wheel.

We just want them to refurbish the tank sitting on top those wheels.

Well, Generals is my absolute favorite CnC title (Red Alert 3 comes in at a distant second), so I'm really happy for this. To this day, I still pop in my copy of Generals to get a bit of play time in from timt to time. I only hope that this game is a lot more along the lines of the original Generals, where base-building and resources gathering took a bit more thought, and gameplay was a tad more strategic, rather than like Red Alert 3.

What's the real Bioware going to be working on next? That's all I care about.

Also, Halo Wars worked fine on consoles Greg. Just sayin.

Now when I see the Frostbite 2 engine was used in a game. I have the weirdest feeling it gonna look really good, yet the gameplay is gonna be either whatever to bleghhhhhhhhhh.

SonicWaffle:

shado_temple:

Lost In The Void:
Well EA butchered the C&C franchise and the Red Alert franchise, might as well make it a 3 for 3 job right?

You didn't even like the original Generals? I thoroughly enjoyed that one.

It was a fun game, but in Skirmish maps you were pretty much going to dick on everyone if you played as the USA. They just got so very, very much money from the airdrops while the Chinese stole it from the internet in tiny bite-size pieces and the terrorists did...well, I don't remember, but I do recall that their money-making upgrade was "worker shoes" as opposed to the USA's "continuous airdrops of fat wads of cash".

The chinese also got it from a unit that was far easier to hide than a building, Though in zero hour they got a building where you could garison your hackers, thing is hackers gained ranks fast and the ammount they got went up exponentially, I've dominated financially as the chinese, it's all about mass hackers and hiding them, not to mention they could disable vehicles and such. GLA got it from general upgrades that made them get bounty money on every kill, and they got the black market buildings that generated some income.

So the airdrop thing isn't really OP if you know how to play the other groups well enough...

Obsidian doing south park, bioware doing rts... Is this the start of a trend where devs go outside their comfort zone in an effort to expand their creative horizons?

Im scared of change and what is new terrifies me :S

But past the initial shock and mix of emotions, I'm actually quite on board with this and am curious to see what bioware does.

I've been really let down by Da2 and to an extent, Me2 (think its a good game for what it tries to do, but seems representative of a shift by bioware towards streamlining and fpsing their titles, also both games have horribly constructed plots and stories, but in the case of me2 its faults were patched over by its strengths to become a good game) and what I've read in the me3 leaks didn't fill me with confidence about that game either, but this could be a fresh start from bioware and it's refreshing to look forward to a game from them that is completely free of the prejudice (both positive and negative) of their past games (see the da2 debacle....)

i still wish they would have made tiberium :C

Jaeger_CDN:
Please Please Please Please don't force this on the travisty known as Origin

I'm glad they're remaking this game but may the gods of Skyrim (or whomever) look down and not force it as an Origin SP and/or MP exclusive (which I'm sure EA will do to make it a more 'functional' platform)like BF3 is.

Of the C&C universe, I really only liked RA2 and Generals and the RA universe was tainted with the last version.

Do you complain when Valve games are only distributed on Steam as far as digital distribution is concerned?

No?

I foresee romances...

Dibs on tanks.

shadowmagus:

plugav:
I'm predicting EA will open a BioWare Sports studio in no more than six months. Nice way to butcher a brand.

This statement made me physically ill. I think I need to lie down.

Er... Sorry for that, I meant no harm. I'm just confused and a bit upset by EA's strategy to name everything BioWare.

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