What is Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour?
It’s the first expansion pack to the number 1 selling PC game of 2003. In Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour, you face off against military masterminds for battlefield supremacy. Become the ultimate modern warfare General as you command all-new, next-generation weapons
and armies while taking on elite commanders in the unique Generals Challenge mode.
What does the term “Zero Hour” mean?
Zero Hour is a current military term that describes the exact moment of a major conflict between two opposing forces.
Will there be any new challenges?
Yes! Here is your chance to defeat the greatest military minds in modern warfare. Zero Hour introduces all-new, diverse armies commanded by a wide assortment of military masterminds, each with their own personalities, taunts, and tactics. Defeat these elite Generals in one-on-one battles and then take their specialized armies online for multiplayer mayhem.
Will there be any new campaigns?
You bet! 15 all-new missions across three campaigns take modern warfare around the globe. Protect a nuclear facility in China, liberate occupied European towns from the GLA, and bring humanitarian aid operations to war torn regions.
What is the Generals Challenge mode?
The Generals Challenge mode introduces a new, fiercely competitive head-to-head solo mode for battlefield supremacy. Even the most experienced Command & Conquer Generals veteran must learn new strategies and tactics to take full advantage of—and learn to defend against—the next generation of the world’s most lethal weapons.
How long have the EALA team been working on the expansion and are thesame personnel involved in this new add-on?
We’ve been working on the game since the release of Generals last February. We went through an early design phase and then jumped into actual development. We’ve been indoors most of the summer trying to make a fantastic expansion pack that will satisfy the hardcore fans as well as the more casual players. We’ve done that by providing over 30 hours of solo play content through missions, Generals Challenge (plus Skirmish beyond that). Additionally we’ve been tracking the fan sites and have included known issues that we wanted to correct.
How will the Generals Challenge Mode work?
Generals Challenge is another way that we think all players alike will be able to squeeze more value out of the expansion. Money is tight these days so it’s important to us that player feel like they get a lot for their cash. Generals Challenge is a solo play mode set up a bit like a VS. mode in a fighting game. We’ve included 9 new General Armies that you can fight as. The Generals have their own „home“, like in a fighting game, and you pick a General that will fight on your enemy’s turf. The enemy General will taunt & provoke the player to „bring it on“. Once you beat one you move onto the next.
Who or what are the ‚9 distinctive armies ‚ players will be able to control?
Examples are Dr. Thrax, a maker of an extra potent Gamma Toxin and General Granger, a general that uses airpower above all else. Each General and their army has a few special units particular to them. The economies, build times, etc are designed to encourage the player to travel down a specific strategic path. We felt that players usually use specific strategies (like „turtling“) so we created Generals Armies that allow the player to more easily follow a preferred road.
How has the storyline and plot evolved in Zero Hour and how do the GLA, China and US factions fit into the storyline?
We’ve included embedded reporters that will report from the field before every mission. We also have plenty of references to events in our intro cut scenes that use the in game graphics. We think this will really help tie them all together much more than the main title.
We know there are Mediterranean scenarios and scenarios set in Cairo for the single player campaigns. What else can we expect?
We visit the US, Asia & Germany too. It should really help the player feel that there is a lot more environmental variety this time around.
What can you tell us more about the new units in the game?
We included over 30 new units, structures, upgrades, etc…plus the unique Generals Armies units. Perhaps the coolest is the new GLA Combat Cycle (which works a lot like an IFV from Red Alert 2), a USA Microwave Tank that can disable enemy structures as well as harm surrounding enemy infantry and a Chinese ECM (electronic countermeasures) Tank that makes enemy missiles swerve out of the way. It also has a beam that can disable vehicles.
Are you making any changes to the game engine for the expansion?
We’ve included several general optimizations as well as added snow weather effects. Along with these we’ve implemented something we call „Meta Impact“ that tosses tanks around like rag dolls. We use it on the USA MOAB, GLA Sneak Attack and in a few other places.
Like Generals, will all cut-scenes be in-game?
Not all… we’ve also got the embedded reporters that tell the player about the world events during the mission loads.
What type of new tilesets can players expect in Zero Hour?
Many of the same but we’ve added a lot of new art objects, etc so that we could pull of Crete and Germany well. Ruins, German style houses, etc
What other multiplayer enhancements can we expect to see in Zero Hour?
Based on player requests we’ve now added the ability to turn off your stats in Custom Matches. Along with this we allow a „starting cash“ variant, a „limit superweapons“ button and a „limit armies“ button. With regard to limiting armies we felt that some players would rather keep the game „pure“ with just the original sides – so we let game hosts lock out the Generals armies if they want. We’ve also worked on improving connectivity, etc….lots of optimizations.
Are you planning any special multiplayer game browser interfaceenhancements?
Just a few so we can accommodate some of the buttons noted above.
Have you received any further flack from the media regarding the game’s subject line? Especially with the ability to capture weapons of mass destruction which is rather topical.
Command & Conquer Generals was created and plays much like Hollywood style action movie (in RTS form)…and we think people are smart and get that. Zero Hour will have that same flavor.
How have you improved Skirmish?
We’ve reworked the entire mode to make sure that gamers play against a sly and crafty opponent. The new AI is really working well and I think players will really appreciate the upgrade. We’ve also reworked the older Generals multiplayer maps with new tech buildings and resizing. As it stands now there will be about 50 or so multiplayer maps to choose from. 25 are reworked and 25 are completely new.
Are there any other cool game features you would like to tell the readers about?
We have made a number of UI tweaks like allowing users to easily find their hero on the radar, a right click mouse interface and a „Double click destination attack move“ functionality. We’ve also opened up the right side of the battlewindow so that its lists all the generals or unit powers that players used to have to click the unit or structure to use. Makes playing it a LOT more friendly. No more hunting for the Radar Van to use the Radar Scan! 🙂 Lots of things that we think just make the game more polished and playable. These are relatively small but we think the hardcore fans will really appreciate them.
Will you release Zero Hour features in a patch for Generals?
We are reviewing this right now. We think it’s in everyone’s benefit to carefully choose items that will most benefit the fans. We’ll have more info on this really soon…but at this time we’re concentrating on finishing up Zero Hour.