Go back to Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun

Written by: Rik

Date posted: May 7, 2007

Video cut-scenes have always been a part of the Command and Conquer games, and Tiberian Sun is no exception. In a first for the series, though, cold, hard cash has been used to lure some reasonably well-known acting talent in front of the green screen. The biggest name is probably James Earl Jones, better known as ‘Darthy’ (from Star Wars, not Pride and Prejudice) but the game also features Michael Biehn, aka the dude with supporting roles in Aliens, The Terminator and The Abyss (and lots of other non-James Cameron films) as well.

The famous duo are the main characters on the GDI missions, with JEJ playing a senior General type, and Biehn playing Commander Michael McNeill (ie you). They both take themselves extremely seriously, particularly Biehn, who spends most of his time scowling angrily, to the extent that you wouldn’t be surprised if he suddenly exploded on screen.

It’s all very well getting in some Hollywood stars to come and be in your game – let’s face it, even when they’re phoning it in they’re a cut above the usual dross you get in this type of thing – but if you’re not going to give them a decent script, it’s money down the drain. Once you’ve got over the fact that the GDI General sounds vaguely Vader-like, it could really be anyone talking, and as the old fella mindlessly autopilots through a dull list of objectives you’re sorely tempted to hit the Esc key and consult the text briefing instead. Biehn, meanwhile, gets to spout lines brimming with ridiculous macho bullshit, sadly without any irony, with the whole travesty of the McNeill character compounded by the fact that he seems to insist on wearing a brown leather jacket throughout – awesome!

On the whole, the Nod cut-scenes are better, at least in terms of remaining faithful to the spirit of earlier titles, with a variety of well-polished TV-movie no-marks hamming it up for good measure. Still, it has to be said that the story is all pretty forgettable: basically, the GDI won the last war, but Kane isn’t actually dead and Nod haven’t disbanded – so it’s a case of ‘as you were’. Clearly, there’s a little more to it than that, but to be honest, it’s pretty dull, and I stopped paying attention after a while.