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Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour

“Generals” – of course everyone knows. The caustic and somewhat fair criticism from “experienced strategists”, accusing the C&C series of primitive game mechanics and the lack of conceptual progress – does not prevent him from remaining incredibly popular and in demand by the broad gaming community of the whole world. What is not surprising – once found a miraculous formula over the years does not fade at all, but requires an ever new, more and more technically perfect form of embodiment. And if some of the gamers get tired of the formula over time (especially since the market is now full of the most varied RTS for every taste) – well, the generations growing up under the conditions of total computerization more than compensate for the decrease in the ranks of users of “arcade-style strategies”.

Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour
In addition, it is difficult to deny that Generals is the most beautiful, vibrant and technically advanced real-time strategy to date.

With its magnificent landscapes, outstanding designs and powerful special effects – it is a vivid sight that already entertains by itself. And the presence of many upgrades, subtleties and parallel development paths – nevertheless presupposes a certain depth and a certain variety of strategies.
It is precisely on deepening the strategic and tactical diversity that the Zero Hour supplement is primarily aimed. Its main “feature” is to introduce new military styles into the gameplay by highlighting in each of the three main “forces” three additional “sub-forces” (something similar at one time could be observed in Dune: Emperor). These “forces” are called “generals” (the game finally clarified its name). If you choose to play not for the main force, but for one of its generals – you get certain advantages, but also suffer from some restrictions. Accordingly, your strategy is fundamentally undergoing changes.

Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour
So, for example, none of the US generals can use standard heavy tanks – but in return the Laser General has a unique laser tank and a laser protective turret, and the Aviation General has stealth helicopters and improved and cheaper aircraft. The tank general of China can build a monstrous tank Emperor, Infantry – commands machine gunners firing at both ground and air targets, and Atomic – can use atomic shells in his artillery, flying and ground vehicles (these are only the most obvious, but not at all all the possibilities of the generals). For terrorists, the generals are called – Toxic, Destruction, and the General of Stealth. The balancing of the generals was done very carefully, and it cannot be argued that someone is overly strong, and it is impossible to play for someone. Since you can choose your own “main strength” – the total number of “armies” increases from three to twelve.

Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour
There is, of course, some minus in the fact that the “generals” are much more specialized – and the opponent playing against the “general” will know what to expect from him – but no one bothers to put “random” in the corresponding column, and you will remain a mystery for the enemy before the first active skirmishes or serious intelligence (of course, in this case you need to be able to play by everyone). But a new single-player game mode was discovered – like martial arts games, you need to defeat six randomly selected generals in succession (moreover, you start from the same building, and they have a protected base already reflecting their combat specifics), and then fight with the “supergeneral”, who has the whole set of “special weapons”.

A remarkable find of the developers was the “individual voices” of the generals – that there are forces drawn in front of you. They scoff at your mistakes, comment on mistakes, threaten and insult – however, as soon as you get closer to victory, arrogance is replaced by panic, and arrivals – requests for mercy. Nicely 🙂

Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour
The second noticeable improvement of the game is … its general improvement, based on the vast experience gained by thousands of players who have been tormenting Generals in all possible modes for eight months: optimization of the main aspects (in particular, complaints about interface features have been eliminated, graphics have been accelerated), improving the expansion balance . All “main forces” received new units, structures, and “general forces.” So, the Americans acquired robots scouts, a propaganda department and a microwave tank, “burning out” buildings filled with infantry (which always represented the headache of tank armada), and “stunning” enemy armored vehicles (with the possibility of intercepting them). The Chinese also got something similar, plus a colossal bomber helicopter, almost a flying tank. Plus a mobile stealth unit detector. And also an Internet center for left-wing income. However, the new building of the Americans is even more useful – this is a powerful defensive structure, which they obviously always lacked, given the brute armor of China.

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