×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Command & Conquer: Rivals’: EA Takes on ‘Clash Royale’

“Command & Conquer” is coming back to mobile, though not in the way you’d think.

EA announced “Command & Conquer: Rivals” during its press conference Saturday morning, for the kick off the company’s third EA Play and the unofficial kick off of E3 week. It will be the first “Command & Conquer” game since 2012’s “Command & Conquer’s Tiberium Alliances,” and the first mobile game of the franchise since 2009’s “Command & Conquer: Red Alert.” And “Command & Conquer: Rivals” looks completely different than anything that the series has seen before.

The game is definitely an RTS in the classic sense of managing resources and units, but in play it’s clear that it has taken quite of a bit of inspiration from the recent spat of mobile multiplayer games like “Clash Royale.” And the developers gladly admit that mobile behemoth was an influence to them.

“Clash Royale was very inspiring for us,” “Command & Conquer: Rivals” Creative Director Ian Hotu said. “It paved the way for real time matchmaking on the phone and bringing it to the mainstream.”

Essentially in “Command & Conquer: Rivals,” players face off to control a number of areas on a map before a missile is launched. They use Harvester units to mine the Tiberium currency in order to develop and deploy more complicated units to send to these areas. Whomever has the least control on the map gets targeted by the missile. And, generally, getting hit twice by the missile means you lose..

Developers hope “Command & Conquer: Rivals” stands out from the mobile competition in two specific ways: unit control and streamlined games.

“We’ve done a lot of innovative unit control for the touch screen,” Hotu said. “A lot of other games, either you don’t have any control over your units once you create them or you’ve got cumbersome unit control that, if it’s anything, it’s more frustrating.”

They also wanted to condense the experiences down from the classic long RTS battles and make them more mobile friendly. Hotu said they tried to streamline the experience while feeling as much like an RTS as possible, including resource building and a manageable economy.

“We wanted players to go in, have a great RTS experience, and then back out again,” he said.

For all of those difference, my demo of Command & Conquer: Rivals, did feel like a more complicated game of “Clash Royale.” I played against Combat Designer Greg Black on a simplified map with two areas that we battled to control.

The UI and controlling the units were very intuitive, especially for those with RTS experience, mobile multiplayer experience or both. Sending out Harvesters and combat units was simple enough, but quickly as the game progressed, I understood the complexity that the game provides. Units have unique levels and the UI quickly indicates how your units stand against the ones they’re battling. Judging whether to attack areas for control, cut off an enemy’s resources by attacking their Harvester, or to attack their base becomes a inviting challenge. It’s similar to how a large-scale RTS forces you to weigh your decisions, but with the insensitive inherent in a three-minute mobile match.

And the tide can quickly turn. Just because you have multiple turrets out, doesn’t mean your opponent can’t send out a Rockworm to devastate your forces. That’s what happened to me, and though I lost. I was instantly curious to play more and see where my performance could improve.

“Command & Conquer: Rivals” will have player advancement outside of discrete battles. Players earn medals which unlock new tiers of content, more units, and more complex factions. Though the developers were adamant you can win any match with the initial content.

And, yes, there will be in-app purchases, with a similar economy to “Clash Royale.” Hatu said they were aware of the criticisms launched against games of that type and that the development team was determined to avoid similar pitfalls.

“You can play and unlock everything without ever spending a dime,” he said. “We really want to commit to never offering a player a battle that they don’t have a reasonable chance of winning.”

“Command & Conquer: Rivals” comes with franchise pedigree. Black has a long history developing titles in the series, beginning with 2001’s “Command & Conquer: Yuri’s Revenge.” Though he was initially skeptical about putting the series on mobile, playing it made him want to join the team.

“When I had a chance to play it, I was immediately in love with it,” Black said. “I thought it was a super smart way to get the thing on the phone right, which is really important to me.”

“Command & Conquer: Rivals” is EA’s first RTS mobile game, and it hints at where the company wants to set its sights in the future.

“What you’re seeing is EA’s commitment to big, great experiences,” Studio General Manager Mike Martinez said of EA’s first RTS entry into mobile. “If gameplay is driving the games that we’re making, players should be really excited. And that’s what you’re going to see across the board from EA games coming to mobile.”

Since “Clash Royale” has been a breakout mainstream success, it makes complete sense that EA would hope to get a share of that booming market.

The game will be available for iOS and Android, though only out on Android currently in what developers are calling a “Pre-Alpha” state. EA did not announce a release date.

More Gaming

  • Netmarble Operating Profit Nearly Halved in

    Netmarble Operating Profit Nearly Halved in 2018

    Korea’s foremost mobile game publisher Netmarble experienced a 43.5% decrease in operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 59% drop year-over-year, the company announced in its financial report. While Netmarble’s releases “Lineage 2 Revolution,” “Marvel Future Fight,” “Marvel Contest of Champions,” and “Cookie Jam” have steadily performed in North American and Japanese markets [...]

  • The Razer Game Store Is Closing

    Razer Game Store Closing Feb. 28, Less Than Year After Launch

    The Razer Game Store will close on February 28 at 1am PST, the company announced in a blog post. This comes less than a year after its launch last April. The shutdown is part of “the company’s realignment plans,” according to Razer. “It has been a privilege for us to recommend and deliver great digital [...]

  • GTA Online

    America's Biggest Labor Federation Asks Game Developers to Unionize

    A leading figure from America’s biggest labor organization penned an open letter to game developers encouraging unionization across the games industry. AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler took to Kotaku with a post that asks workers in the games industry to fight for adequate pay, sensible work hours, and against toxic work conditions. “We’ve heard the painful [...]

  • Take on the Demogorgon in 'Stranger

    Take on the Demogorgon in 'Stranger Things' Dungeons and Dragons Set

    Hasbro will release a “Stranger Things” inspired Dungeons & Dragons starter set this spring, according to a press release. The starter kit has everything players need to start playing Dungeons & Dragons: A “Stranger Things” adventure book, a rulebook, five character sheets, six dice, a Demogorgon figure, and an additional, paintable Demogorgon figure. The starter kit will [...]

  • Tencent Wants to Bring 'Apex Legends'

    Tencent Wants to Bring 'Apex Legends' to China (Report)

    Tencent Holdings is in talks with Electronic Arts to distribute the publishers’ “Apex Legends” in China as of Friday, according to a “person with direct knowledge of the matter” the South China Morning Post reported. Tencent, video game industry giant, already distributes top battle royale games “Fortnite” and “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” in China. While Tencent is [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

  • 'Minecraft' Mobile Just Had Its Best

    'Minecraft' Mobile Just Had Its Best Year Yet

    Last year was the most profitable year to date for the mobile versions of “Minecraft,” according to a report from Sensor Tower. “Minecraft” on the App Store and on the Google Play store pulled in $110 million through both purchase price of the app as well as in-app purchases. This is a 7% growth from [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content