Graphics & Engine
Let's see the Eye Candy!
The graphics of TS are gorgeous. Units will be 3D, while terrain is also rendered in 3D with many levels of elevation. So what? Seems like every game these days blathers about 3D graphics. What's different about TS? In a word, voxels. The 3D graphics in TS are not created using polygons as in many of today's 3D games like Quake or Unreal. Westwood will be using voxel (pixels with height, width, and depth) technology, which is another way of creating 3D objects. This suggests that 3D accelerators (which are designed to render polygons) will not provide any kind of speed boost or graphics enhancement to the game as they would if the engine was polygon based. That part was kinda disappointing to us - there's a strange satisfaction with knowing all your expensive hardware is getting a workout. On the plus side it should be comforting for the 3D accelerator deprived gamers that they won't need to shell out bucks to see everything TS has to offer. It will still be possible however, to increase resolutions above standard 640x480, depending on what kind of hardware you have.
Westwood didn't just stop at 3D to enhance the visual experience though. TS will feature beautiful colored lighting effects. Sometimes battles will be fought at night, which negatively affects your range of vision; you'll need to deploy searchlights to scan the perimeter of your base and help spot incoming enemies. The two types of tiberium, normal green, and the more valuable but volatile blue tiberium, emit their own light, basking nearby troops or units in their colored aura. The laser walls of the NOD side also give off a dull red glow. One look at the screenshots, and you'll probably agree with us - the colored lighting creates a certain eerie mood for the player.