In an unprecedented bout of ridiculousness, we have here a PC-only title that is even more consoley than most ports are! I believe the method behind this madness is that the developers are lazy and so minimized the amount of work they have to do to adapt the game to the Xbox and/or PS3. Don’t kid yourself – C&C 4 will almost certainly appear on other platforms in a few months or so, just like Red Alert 3 did.
Unlike C&C 3 and RA3, which went back to the sidebar control panel characteristic of early games in the series, this one employs a ginormous UI
that takes up pretty much the entire bottom 1/3 of the screen. I don’t mind the usual RTS style of interface, but the developers (EA and most others) could stand to learn a thing or two about minimalism. Even if they didn’t pare it down and/or remove all of the wasted space, they could’ve crammed it onto the side and left a more spacious view open (a full 4:3 on a widescreen) rather than a skinny rectangle. Combine that with the super close-up camera and disproportionately large units and you get a seriously claustrophobic experience. But hey, at least you can see everything from across the room!
The overly restrictive population cap, focus on smaller scale conflict, and removal of base building are all things that make things easier to manage on a console
. I do hope that it wasn’t the driving force behind these changes, but I wouldn’t be surprised. They had to put a limit on buildings how many turrets and whatnot you can build because the only resource you spend on producing them is time. The worst part is, they don’t have the balls to tell you directly that you can only make X number of units or buildings. Instead, they say you have 50 “command points” to spend, with each thing costing 3 or 6 or 8 of those. It seems to me that they realized how stupidly low the pop cap is and wanted to make it appear to be higher than it really is.