Tiberian Twilight: The Case for C&C 4’s new subtitle

3 09 2009

Almost two weeks ago months of speculation ended when EA announced the winning subtitle of their naming contest for Command & Conquer 4. To the delight of many and the ire of just as many, they picked “Tiberian Twilight” which was apparently overwhelmingly the majority of entries sent in to EA. The ire mostly comes from that pox upon vampire fiction and literature in general known as Twilight, which some people claim is what motivated the name choice. The ire from others comes from the fact that, despite the contest being partially judged on Originality, the name “Tiberian Twilight” is not original.

However I still believe that this is the right subtitle for this game, and I’m not just saying that because I was one of the many who wrote it in as a contest entry.

You see, Command & Conquer was the first RTS I ever played. I must have played the 3-mission demo almost 100 times before getting the full game. There was just something about it, back in 1996, that was so amazing to me. Probably the Mammoth Tanks, but also probably the wisecracking commando. Making him the focus of the third demo mission was a great move on Westwood’s part to generate interest. My point being that C&C has a special place for me. My best friend and I used to make maps in C&C Red Alert and then square off against each other. I was also one of the few people who thought Tiberian Sun was a good game and I also consider Firestorm to be the best expansion pack I ever played. At about the time Renegade was coming out PC Gamer ran a few featuers on the C&C universe as a whole, and I saw that “Tiberian Twilight” was the rumored third and final game in the trilogy. I was excited for the possibilities presented by such a game. Unfortunately EA bought out Westwood and Tiberian Twilight was cancelled. Instead we got Generals and Zero Hour, which, while good games, were not what I wanted. They were not “Command & Conquer”. It also didn’t help that I felt EA was killing the mythos when they put out C&C Red Alert 2. See, the first Red Alert game had been a precursor to the entire Tiberium series, and it actually explained and created the whole alternate world that those games took place in. Then Red Alert 2 basically said that the Red Alert series was its own separate canon, which was crap in my opinion. Naming C&C3 “Tiberium Wars” didn’t really help my feelings either.

So that brings us to now, and EA’s decision to listen to the fans and give the presumed final chapter in this saga its rightful title. It’s not like some of the other people who sent in names that didn’t get picked are being screwed over either. All of them get into the Beta just like the winners do. Personally I don’t see why the name is such a big deal. Twilight is representative of humanity’s last hopes of survival on a planet covered in toxic Tiberium, and the curtain will fall for the final time in this game. At least, I hope it will. So naming it as it is serves both as a nod to the original conventions of C&C, which I feel is something EA needs to recapture.

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