Command & Conquer: Rivals, the mobile spinoff of Command & Conquer, is now available for mobile devices, arriving with a new trailer. The game switches up the real-time strategy gameplay of the main series with a move into mobile gaming, with a faster pace to try and capture a different tone.
First revealed at E3 2018, Command & Conquer: Rivals immediately launched in a pre-alpha form for interested players. Gamers who were long-term fans of the franchise were a little skeptical, with the game's initial trailer seeing a negative reaction, but publisher EA instead aimed to hone the game with its fledgling community to deliver something substantial at launch.
Now, Command & Conquer: Rivals is finally available for all audiences. Coming in a free-to-play model, the title is live for both iOS and Android users, allowing players to pick it up and see just how different the game is from the larger Command & Conquer series.
When it came to development, Command & Conquer: Rivals clearly had a focus on trying to build a solid and competitive community. The title includes a Rivals Champions weekend event which focuses on players being included in a tiered matchmaking system, to attempt at the creation of a strong following. The end goal is for Command & Conquer: Rivals to be added to EA's competitive gaming roster, with Rivals Champions aiming to emulate other successful ventures including FIFA's Ultimate Team.
Part of this success will depend entirely on player feedback. "We’ve been playing Rivals every day with our community, working with them to make it as fun and balanced as it can be," stated Redwood Studios general manager Michael Martinez. This balance, again, works towards this endgame of having a competitive focus to Command & Conquer: Rivals, with Martinez reiterating that the developer's goal is to allow users to "bring out their true competitive skill."
Competition is at the heart of this game with Rivals Champions, an exclusive in-game weekend event available at launch. In Rivals Champions, players of all skill levels can compete in a unique matchmaking pool with different ranked tiers, and the better a player performs, the bigger the rewards. Next year, EA’s competitive gaming roster will expand with Command & Conquer: Rivals. Rivals Champions, modeled after the immensely popular FIFA Ultimate Team Champions in FIFA, is the signature competitive experience where the development team will work with the community to launch a multi-continent esports program in 2019.
The success of this project will entirely depend on how well the game manages to capture the essence of Command & Conquer, however. So far fans are not quite on board, and exactly how far Command & Conquer: Rivals will plunge the depths of microtransactions and loot boxes will make or break the patience of those hoping for something faithful to its franchise. After all, mobile adaptations have often given gamers plenty of reason to be concerned, particularly when it comes to properties that have lain dormant for a long time.