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GLA are a terrorist organization based in China and they decide to launch a missile at Europe and America. Now as you can guess America isn't to chuffed at being GLA Workershot at so they respond by attacking China.
Meanwhile China has been taking more militaristic action against the GLA since the introduction of a younger government.
However the GLA aren't happy about being attacked and fully reveal themselves in a battle royale for victory.

OK, not much of a storyline, and that's what's noticeably missing from the Single Player, each mission does not seem to be linked to the last one in any shape or form, it's rather like; 'Here are some enemy forces, destroy them'. That said the mission themselves have quite a bit of variety and are a nice change from the traditional 'destroy all enemy forces' of previous C&Cs.
EA has done away with the FMV sequences which explained the effects of the just completed mission and how it links to your next, and instead replaced them with cut scenes using the game engine, really these are just chances to show off the flashy game graphics.

China NukeThe graphics are (as you have no doubt noticed from the screens) incredible, fully 3D, you have the ability to zoom the camera in and out and rotate through 360°, and for the first time rotate structures!
The details on the vehicles are incredible, down to flashing lights and moving tracks, however the infantry are a bit of a let down, comparing more to multicoloured sticks than humans
Of course with all these fancy graphics and big explosions (especially the Chinese Nuke) you need a hefty comp, this is really a first for the series as previous incarnations have shied away from 3D for such a reason.

DetailGenerals brings about a major change in the way the game is played, they've done away with the pre-build the structure and plonk it down method in favour of an on battlefield construction where you can see the building rise from the ground as they are completed by special Construction Vehicles.
This has caused a drastic change in how the game plays, noticeably slower, especially if you have gotten used to the fast paced frantic gameplay of Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge
There is also a dramatic alteration in general tactics of the game, no longer can you sit behind a line of impenetrable defences building up an attack to unleash upon your enemy, if you try you will invariably loose. Generals requires you to be on the offensive and strike out to take new positions as defending always leads to loosing unless you can successfully pull of a counter-attack.

Rail Crossing

The name Generals comes from an on battlefield experience system which enables you to gain additional powers such as Artillery Strikes and grants you the ability to utilize special units as you destroy enemy units and structures. This does not make Generals an RPG and is really nothing amazing, it really feels a bit gimmicky

Despite previous claims about previous games, the sides in Generals really do each have a unique feel to them, each requiring different tactics to master and each with different styles of play.
USA is all about technology and firepower, China prefers shear numbers, and GLA is best suited to covert hit and run tactics.

The musical stylings of Bill Brown bring a much more movie like feeling to the game with each side having its own sound. The GLA is accompanied by a very Middle East sound; China has a strong and forceful soundtrack, while the USA's music sounds very high tech.

WorldbuilderBundled with the game comes the World Builder which enables you (with a bit of training) to create incredibly beautiful and enjoyable maps with incredible ease.

With the lack of a particularly strong Single Player campaign, you get the feeling that perhaps that is not the focus of the game, and you'd be right. Generals is more about the Skirmish and Multiplayer Modes, they include many features, such as the medals for completing objectives such as building 50 tanks, or owning all the Super Weapons. The abundance of maps included with the game also lends itself to mulitplay.
You can of course play against computer controlled opponents, and Generals features a much improved AI over previous incarnations, however it is still predictable and easy to beat even on the most difficult setting.

GOL InterfaceThe Generals Online interface is not too dissimilar from the Westwood Online interface from previous games and is easy to use. A new feature is the Communicator which allows you to chat to your buddies without having to be in the same chat room as them.
Another feature making an appearance for the first time is the rankings system, when you win a battle you gain experience and after enough experience has been gained you go up a level, this is nowhere near RPG standard and is nothing more than gimmick really.

There is no Official Ladder for Generals and EA are leaving it up to fans to setup and run ladders of their own, however this wasn't some spur of the moment idea, it has been well thought through and the interface is built seamlessly into the game.

BoxartYou may have noticed that I haven't mentioned Westwood Studios in this review, and that is because Westwood were not involved with the development of the game, EA Pacific, the renamed Westwood Studios Pacific, made it; they are the team behind Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge so you know you're in good hands.
This is the first C&C Game not to have the Westwood logo on the box, and in fact Westwood Studios is no more, they were shut down and engulfed into a large über EA studio in LA.




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