Game of the Week: Battle for nuclear supremacy in Command & Conquer: Rivals

Command & Conquer: Rivals is worth checking out if you're a fan of high-paced, RTS gaming.

Update Aug. 31, 2018: Command and Conquer: Rivals offers competitive PvP action based on the iconic franchise's RTS formula.

Command & Conquer: Rivals

The GDI and Brotherhood of NOD are at war once again in Command & Conquer: Rivals, the latest in the iconic real-time strategy franchise that brings the series' futuristic warfare to mobile audiences for the first time.

Those of us who played PC games in the 90s surely have fond memories of some of the great Command & Conquer games over the years, but the reaction to Rivals' announcement at E3 was lukewarm at best. For example, the official reveal trailer on Youtube has just 2,000 thumbs and a staggering 58,000 thumbs down. Yikes.

The outrage is understandable to a point, as Command & Conquer was a cherished franchise that revolutionized the real-time strategy genre with rich single-player campaigns and great multiplayer action — but that was long before EA bought out Westwood Studios and subsequently ruined the series by most accounts. Critics view Command & Conquer Rivals as EA's latest attempt to cash in on the Command & Conquer brand with a shallow mobile title designed to push players towards in-app purchases.

The battlefield is simplified and scaled down to fit on a smartphone, but it works.

Of course, most of these opinions were cemented well before anyone had a chance to play the game. Having spent a ton of time with Rivals through the pre-alpha release phase on through to its official release this past week, I've experienced all the highs and lows that this game can deliver and it's a competitive title that rewards strategy and skill over anything else. The battlefield is simplified and scaled down to fit on a smartphone, but it works. With each match, the player can hold down three rally points that allow the majority to launch a nuclear warhead — leading to intense counter-attacks and satisfying finishes. The GDI and NOD factions are represented with unique troops and generals that rewards experimentation and strategic play.

Yes, there are in-app purchase and crates that deliver coins and upgrade cards for your troops, but it's hardly a game that I would describe as pay-to-win. It might not be the Command & Conquer game that diehard fans of the franchise wanted, but Rivals is a competitive PvP game that looks and plays well for a real-time strategy game you can play on the go.

Download: Command & Conquer Rivals (Free w/IAPs)

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