Want to see what the future of the C&C franchise looks like? Then you can grab it on your phones, right now.
The game is available for download on Android phones in Australia right now, through Google's equivalent of their early access program. Update 1730 AEST: EA has just sent out a presser noting that it's now available for iOS users as well.
If you do decide to give EA's attempt at converting an RTS to the small screen (by way of microtransactions and RPG elements), and my prior preview hasn't warded you off, here's what you're in for. The tutorial will take you through the GDI side of the equation until you hit level 4, after which point you'll unlock NOD and the first handful of NOD units.
There was plenty of scepticism when EA announced that the C&C RTS franchise was getting a mobile revival this year, and understandably so. Free-to-play mobile games have to walk a fine line, one that balances fairness with the financial realities of development. Too often games veer on the wrong side of that divide, funnelling players through systems that either tacitly or openly encourage them to spend money to stay on the right side of the power curve.
You'll still be level 1 by the time you finish the tutorial. You also won't be able to deploy more than one harvester in the early levels, and it's worth noting that the game isn't super smooth at this stage. Still it's free, even if your time isn't.