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Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath

Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath

Kane’s Wrath, The follow up expansion pack to the highly acclaimed C&C Tiberium Wars packs 13 new single player missions as well as 6 new subfactions and a global conquest campaign into the mix. The big question though, is it fresh enough to warrant a purchase?

Unsurprisingly Kane’s Wrath follows the age old Command and Conquer game design ethic. Interspersed with the fast real time strategy action are high quality live action cutscenes and cinematics. Joe Kucan retains the role of Kane, the leader of the sadastic Brotherhood Of Nod and as always the cast of actors remains of high quality with Carl Lumbly (Alias), Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Gallactica) and Natasha Henstridge (Species) playing key roles.

These characters are the backbone of the rather convoluted story with each lieutenant trying to leverage power from Kane in their own way.

The single player campaign lasts about 15 hours and it is a little confusing as it is moves around the C&C timeline to fill in parts of the story. Granted a cohesive story isn’t really needed to enjoy the strategy action, however I felt this particular expansion pack was somewhat disjointed. The campaign starts off at the end of the second Tiberium War and then leaps ahead a decade or two after every few missions.

The game itself includes all the usual C&C RTS mission styles from stealth missions to commando infiltration levels. The core of the game still revolves around the base building ethic, basically you start off with a construction unit and have to build harvesters, power generators then construct infantry, vehicles and aircraft. There are also a few support buildings which allow for power ups and special weapon attacks such as nuclear bombs. Unfortunately as always, the simple tactic of building up hard defenses to protect the base from attack then following up by a mad unit building phase works for a final attack on the objective. This was how I beat every base building level, and all without a single air based unit.

The Brotherhood Of Nod are the sole focus of the single player campaign omitting the GDI and Scrin from mission selection, however you can use these other two races in skirmish, multiplayer or global conquest mode if you so desire. An expansion wouldn’t be complete without some new units, and this time there are two new Nod subfactions, the Marked Of Kane and the Black Hand. This sounds great in theory, however the units are rather bland and aren’t really very memorable.

Every faction has a new “superunit” which can turn the tide of battle, the Nod’s is basically a supersized Avatar beast which can withstand a lot of damage and deliver an equal amount of pain on your enemies. This unit can also play home to several infantry units, further increasing its firepower or regenerative capabilities. You are allowed only one of these units per battle.

The Scrin get the most exciting new units which you can access in one of the other game modes with one of their subfactions having new mind control powers. Most people I fear will miss this and perhaps not even play the other game modes !

The combat in true C&C style is fun especially when you mount a full frontal attack with a plethora of units, however there have really been no improvements to the AI with harvesters sometimes getting stuck and soldiers just taking the nearest line of sight movement path, even if they die walking through tiberium fields. Also rather disappointing is the enemy AI as they will just normally stick to the one attack algorithm, even if it is failing miserably.

This is in fact the biggest shortcoming of Command and Conquer in 2008, the Artificial Intelligence. With other leading strategy games taking the reins and delivering some new ideas, such as units having the intelligence to take cover, this can tend to make the game feel really archaic under the skin of the flashy graphics. Combat really ends up feeling more a case of “have I more units than the enemy?”.

Multiplayer is still extremely fun and is when the game really comes into its own, if you have a friend or family member over LAN, all the foibles of poor computer based AI fade into the background.

Global Conquest campaign mode is something quite fresh for the C&C franchise as it is not tied down to little coloured provinces but allows for a free roaming world map in which you can take over cities and areas. It allows a much more open and fluid style of combat.

At the end of the day, Kane’s Wrath is just more of the same and fans of the series will get a lot of enjoyment from the title. Fans of more sophisticated strategy games such as Supreme Commander will find this latest C&C expansion pack rather shallow and “arcade like” however.


Nothing new, but a tried and trusted formula sure to appeal to many fans of the genre.


Very polished and optimised to run well on a variety of hardware.


The sound effects are good and the voice acting is supplied by professional actors.

With many multiplayer modes, it will offer a lot of replayability, however single player mode is rather short lived.
(not an average)

Much the same as always, sure to sell well …

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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