What's So BioWare About The Next C&C?

During my recent interview with BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, we talked about the obvious things like Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic. We also discussed Command & Conquer.

Why were we discussing Command & Conquer? More specifically, as I asked both men, why should we think of the upcoming Command & Conquer Generals 2 as a BioWare game? After all, wasn't Generals 2 in development at the former EA LA studio, which was known briefly as Victory Games? And wasn't that studio simply re-branded as BioWare Victory? Is there really anything BioWare about this game other than the name?

Should I be so cynical?

"I hope not," Muzyka said to me.

"We want to bring BioWare quality," he said. "We want to bring a compelling story to a real-time strategy kind of experience."

We're talking about a real-time strategy game that's part of a series that, if it was ever known for story, was known for cheesy live-action sequences starring hammy actors and once pro-wrestler Ric Flair being attacked by a bear. (To be fair, that was from the goofier Red Alert sub-brand of C&C games.)

Muzyka nevertheless sees a "really interesting opportunity to add more story into that space. We see that as an opportunity to kind of innovate and give people more." Vague enough, sure, but Muzyka does have the presence of mind to temper expectations, saying that story would be added "in a way that's appropriate for the genre. We want to make it more compelling, immersive experience for real-time strategy fans."

He and Zeschuk are both senior executives at BioWare these days. Neither is making games day-to-day, but their visions influence their teams. They sound as if they do respect the RTS genre for what it has been. Says Zeschuk, "Ironically, the original C&C is the first game we played in the basement when we were supposed to be working on BioWare." And Muzyka remarks that, "if you think about the combat mechanic in [early BioWare game] Baldur's Gate, that was heavily influenced by RTS mechanics."

BioWare games have always been about story and choice. It remains hard to see how those values would apply to or evolve a Command & Conquer, nor is it yet convincing that the BioWare Victory effort really is anything more than the application of a successful studio brand name on an existing crew of creators.

We'll hopefully see more of Generals 2 in the months to come. And with that, we'll get a sense of how BioWare the game is -- and whether that's something Command & Conquer needed or not.


Comments

    Has anyone read Nineteen Eighty-Four? As with anything with the"Victory" brand, this game is gonna suck.

      Yeah, let's call it before we even have many details about the game.

        you're pretty much the big brother of kotaku. you are everywhere.

          As long as you remember, 2 + 2 = 5, we'll get along just fine :)

    But I liked the goofy side of CnC! Don't make it less goofy :'(

      CnC Generals wasn't all that goofy, and neither will this be.

        What? Generals was -enormously- goofy. There were unit lines like: "I BUILD FOR CHINA!" and "Exporting Freedom!" from chinese constructors and US tanks respectively. "We need shoes!"

          I LOVED how polically incorrect the game was :P

    Anyone remember the awesome music from Generals?

    I don't think the EA games of c&c need more story, just less suck. So I say we remove EA altogether.

      Yeah, let's all blame EA, not the developers of the game, JUST EA. They're eeeeevil, so they must be the problem.

    what bioware quality? bioware losts its quality when ea picked it up

    “if you think about the combat mechanic in [early BioWare game] Baldur’s Gate, that was heavily influenced by RTS mechanics.”

    Wasn't combat heavily influenced by AD&D?!

    I tend to think that if EA had any faith in this game, they wouldn't have to try and pass it off as being made by a better studio. I guess we'll find out on release though.

    "nor is it yet convincing that the BioWare Victory effort really is anything more than the application of a successful studio brand name on an existing crew of creators."

    Yep.

    Generals was extremely goofy. Okay so there's no bears, but half of the enjoyment was sending out waves of units with loveable voice responses and over the top death animations. I mean, the game has a SUICIDE BOMBER, released during the Iraq war, who says "I LOVE A CROWD!"

    Never got into C&C games at all really, but the one thing I always liked about them were the cheesy live-action sequences.

    "“nor is it yet convincing that the BioWare Victory effort really is anything more than the application of a successful studio brand name on an existing crew of creators.”"

    Also this.

    The first C&C and C&C Red alert still is my favourite game, I loved the over the top characters I love how in the Brotherhood of NOD campaign after a few missions one of the higher commanders comes in from the side of the screen and shoots the guy giving you missions claiming he is useless.

    P.S. Who doesnt want to drive a stealth tank or have a tesla coil ?

    "What’s So BioWare About The Next C&C?"

    Launch day DLC.

      It's cute that you think BioWare is the only dev to do this

    “We want to bring BioWare quality,”
    Considering the last few BioWare games, I guess I wont be touching this.

    Didn't they make that shit NWN game?

    I wish they were doing another Dune game instead of C&C. It'd fit better with Bioware too.

    This will be amazing on the Frostbyte engine. Hopefully they make Battlefront Starwars on Frostbyte too. can't wait.

    But will we be able to romance our troops?

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