We were quite surprised with the announcement of Command & Conquer: Generals 2 over the weekend during the 2011 Spike TV Video Game Awards, largely because it’s a real time strategy title that will be exclusive to the PC, a niche that isn’t that profitable and not usually promoted during such events.Still, BioWare itself and the new BioWare Victory studio are convinced that this will be a glorious return to the roots of the Command & Conquer series, delighting not just longtime fans that already experienced the original Generals and its expansion, Zero Hour, but also bringing in new fans that were amazed by the stunning visuals in the trailer made with the Frostbite 2 engine.
Talking with IGN, Generals 2 executive producer and BioWare Victory manager Jon Van Caneghem revealed why the team chose to return to the Generals series with this new installment.
“We looked at each of the different universes in the franchise and thought a return to Generals was long overdue,” he said. “The original game is actually the best-selling game in the series and its one our community has been asking for. And when we took a closer look, we were really attracted to the near future time period and the themes we could explore and the project went from there.”
Caneghem quickly highlighted that the new game will see a return to the roots of the series, after the lackluster Command & Conquer 4: Tiberium Twilight, which swapped the traditional base building gameplay with a more dynamic one.
“One of our main goals is to bring C&C back to the roots that have made it one of the most popular and beloved properties in the strategy genre and that revolves around the core gameplay. The player is the General and it's up to them to create and take control of these huge, massive armies. We're definitely bringing some new elements to the table as well, but it's very important for us to bring C&C back to its foundation and that's through action-packed gameplay that also requires you to be cerebral.”
The new game, according to Caneghem, takes place ten years after Generals 1, with the world finally at peace and on the verge of signing a landmark treaty. Things don’t go according to plan, and a terrorist attack kills all the heads of state, leaving only their generals to assume command of their armies.
There will once again be three factions, but only the GLA (Global Liberation Army) returns from the original Generals, as the USA and China are replaced by Europe and a surprise faction that won’t be revealed just yet.
Last but not least, Caneghem also praised the Frostbite 2 engine, which was already used in the stunning Battlefield 3 shooter as well as in the Need for Speed: The Run racing game, saying it allows the team to deliver great gameplay and seamlessly transition into cinematic moments.
Command & Conquer: Generals 2 is scheduled to appear in 2013.