I was looking forward to seeing this real-time strategy game from 2008 for the first time, and now that I have, I’m not even sure what to say about it. This might be the exact point in time when the games industry stopped and said, “Wait, I think we might have gone a little too far here.” Or should have said that, at least.
First, let’s talk about the game part of the game. It’s a real-time strategy game. There was a time when I enjoyed these kinds of games, but now I find that all the clicking and scrolling and micromanagement of units just gets on my nerves. This game has all of that.
I played for an hour and I didn’t see anything particularly special about the RTS gameplay, except that the units were pretty bizarre and unorthodox (things like war blimps, robot spiders, and vehicles that shoot your troops through the air). It seemed like it checked all the boxes for a competent RTS, but that’s about as much as I can praise the game itself.
But let’s be honest. I didn’t buy this game in a Steam sale for $6 for the game. Honestly I didn’t even know what kind of game it was before I played it. I got this game entirely for the campy full-motion video cut scenes with well-known actors in them.
I don’t know this for sure, but I feel like this might be one of the last games ever to be made with full-motion video. If that’s true, boy did that fad go out with a bang. These videos are, hoo boy, they are just … wow, I don’t even know what to say about them. They are just hilariously over-the-top. I mean, it’s impossible to imagine that anyone involved in making these videos was taking it seriously. You just know there was a director behind the camera shouting after every take, “More! More! Bigger! Broader!”
It’s also impossible to avoid the elephant in the room: Holy god is this game sexist. It was kind of embarrassing. Was Harvey Weinstein involved in making this game? It’s hard to imagine a more blatant pandering to a target demographic of teenaged boys. I mean, I know there are more skimpily-dressed women in other games-the most tame of anime games, for example-but I think because these are live-action videos it really stood out.
It was such over-the-top objectification that I couldn’t tell if it was real or ironic. Surely it had to be a parody of old-timey television shows from the 70s and 80s, of Daisy Dukes or Heather Locklear or Charlie’s Angels. Remember Queen Ardala from Buck Rogers? And the twins from that short-lived show Quark? Yeesh. That was actually on television where kids could see it.
Anyway, it was … well, it was something, that’s for sure. The bizarre cut scenes coupled with the high-intensity metal music during the game was enough to leave me exhausted after an hour. I’d heard about how strange these Command and Conquer games are for a long time, and it didn’t disappoint.
Will I play more? Highly unlikely. Though I found the cut scenes hilarious, getting through the game to see them is asking quite a lot. Better to just look them up on YouTube.
Previously on the Steam Backlog Bonanza: Majesty Gold HD.
Stream Production Notes: Nothing special to report. Balancing the audio continues to be the biggest technical thorn in my side. There’s a certain lack of confidence that comes from staring intently at the bouncing “Desktop Audio” meter and trying to visually compare it to the bouncing “Microphone” meter while adjusting the game’s volume settings, knowing that you won’t *really* be able to tell if it’s balanced well until the stream is over and you listen back to it hours later, when it’s far too late to change anything.
This is my Blaugust post for August 2nd, 2019.