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Command & Conquer: Rivals is EA’s ambitious attempt to capture the Clash Royale market with a free mobile ‘competition, skill, and strategy’ game.
The Redwood Studios will develop the title for release in the near future on Android and iOS platforms via the Google Play and Apple Store. It is currently available to Android users in the US and Canada as an early-access ‘Pre-Register’ to begin playing free as of 10 June 2018. The ‘Pre-Alpha’ will invite feedback from players before wide release across all platforms and regions, aiming to correct bugs and balance.
Studio GM Michael Martinez highlights a strong notion to user testing, preaching for ‘your help and feedback at scale’. He presents ‘two of the goals for the pre-alpha are to test combat balance and matchmaking, as both are critical to ensuring fun, fair, competitive matches’. Martinez states a focus on constantly updating gameplay and matchmaking systems directly from player and community feedback received throughout Command & Conquer: Rivals’ life.
Rivals will transfer the full Real-Time Strategy (RTS) experience from the PC version to the mobile as faithfully as possible. User Interface (UI) and unit controls will be accessible and familiar to the original RTS experience. Deploying combat units or Harvesters will remain simple, yet the complexity of each Player VS Player (PVP) battle quickly becomes clear as strategy between players increases. The UI makes it easy to see the state of your victory or defeat, indicating how you’re currently faring against your opponent. It’s hopeful to know that Redwood Studios is aware of the intricacy of RTS and trying to truly represent it in an enjoyable mobile PVP experience.
Creative Director Ian Hotu presented praise for the recent success of mobile strategy titles and marked titles like Clash Royale as powerful inspirations for Command & Conquer: Rivals. He reiterates, ‘it paved the way for real time matchmaking on the phone and bringing it to the mainstream’.
Command & Conquer: Rivals is the first title in the series since 2012’s Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, a web browser version of the series. The newest game follows the cancelling of now defunct Victory Games’ Command & Conquer, planned for a 2013 release. The title was to be released exclusive to EA’s Origin service, rumoured to be heavily microtransaction focused.
Hatu has said in-app purchases will be present in Rivals, matching a similar economy to the aforementioned mobile strategy models. Despite being aware of the criticism and pessimistic reception to EA published games with microtransaction options, Hatu has insisted the development team is determined to avoid related pitfalls.
We are pleasantly surprised to see a new Command & Conquer game come from the conference, not expecting anything from the series as per our predictions. If you’re interested in trying the Pre-Alpha, you can access it now through EA’s site and Google Play now.