The first thing to note is that a number of previous reviews have given star-ratings based on the authors' hopes and expectations of the game! I've now been playing it fairly solidly for a few days, and it's great, compulsive fun, but it has the hallmark shortcomings of every Westwood game since DuneII (shortcomings that were forgiveable in the "grandaddy" game of the genre, but should really have been fixed by now. The greatest disappointment for me is the lack of serious artillery and spotting units. They add so much tactical depth to the battlefield, and were used so effectively in Dark Reign... This one is another game where the standard missions reward building lots of the heaviest and most powerful units available, and using them in a massive bludgeoning attack. There are a few tactical missions (with no building) that rely on finesse, though. The second disappointment (a problem also solved years ago in Dark Reign) is the mindless way units bumble about and get in each other's way when following a move command. I've actually seen 2 units go head to head, trying to push past each other, and remaining jerkily stuck until I intervened manually! A related problem is the way it puts weak but vital units (such as repair trucks) in harm's way. Surely a damaged combat unit should retire behind the lines to where the repair truck is waiting, rather than having the latter hurry up to the front line? If I sound disappointed, it's more a case of regretting what could have been - a feeling I've had with every Westwood game since C&C. This is still a compelling and atmospheric game that will keep RTS fans hooked for hours, but it's also a missed opportunity. Performance-wise, it's fine on my elderly PIII-450 system - I mention it because of the previous review indicating performance problems with the game.
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