I was a bit disappointed when EA announced the next Command & Conquer, I was expecting new title for PC / Console, instead they announced a new game for mobile platforms.
Command & Conquer Rivals is being developed by EA Redwood Studios, and is undergoing a closed early access session as we speak. I mentioned I was a bit disappointed when they first announced this title, but it seems to be I was wrong to be. After we got the chance to test out the game at Gamescom, as well getting access to the early access, with that play session and the hours I’ve put into the game so far proves me wrong.
First things first, Rivals is still an real time strategy (RTS) game, and lots of the core concepts are in the game, such as resource gathering and base building. Well, the base building part is a bit minor, as the focus is at the battlefield itself. Rivals uses the rock-paper-scissors concept, rifle infantry are good against rocket infantry, rocket infantry are good against tanks etc. There are of course a lot of work to be done stabilizing the units, nerfing, upgrading different units etc.
But overall the maps are small, and the more units you have on the battlefield, the more time it takes before you can deploy more.
The goal is to destroy your opponent’s main base and there are two ways to achieve this. One is to conquer and hold the control points on the map, there can be two or three points on the map. Holding more control points than your opponent will raise the bar for the warhead in the middle, and when the bar is full, it launches a missile at your opponent’s base. If you manage to launch two missiles, it’s game over for your opponent. The second option is go all in attack at the enemy base with your units, it takes longer time though. But strategic wise, you might get an upperhand by stressing your opponent by attacking all in as well.
I have a lot of fun playing Rivals on my tablet, giving feedback on units and how to improve and so on. The only thing I truly miss are other modes in this game. For now there are only one mode, the one with the warhead. But what if the warhead ain’t there, and the only way to win is to attack the base? Other option I miss, is a PvE mode. For now there is only PvP online, or against your friends.
I do think Rivals has a lot of potential to be great by adding more content, because the gameplay mechanics are there. I use a Asus ZenPad 3s tablet to play on, and the graphics is a bit blurry on this version, or to to say it another way. It’s like watching a 360p video on YouTube instead of the glory 1080p (or higher). And of course the minitransactions are there, sadly this is a factor for mobile games. But for now the progression and reward system feels fair, and the grind isn’t that big.