Command & Conquer 4, recently announced as a PC-exclusive, isn’t an MMO. However, if your PC isn’t connected to the Internet, playing the game’s a no-go. No campaigns, no single-player bot matches – nothing. So what gives? Well, apparently, it’s all part of an ambitious new game feature called “player progression.”
“As of right now, you need to be online all the time to play C&C 4. This is primarily due to our ‘player progression’ feature so everything can be tracked,” the game’s community manager wrote. “C&C 4 is not an MMO in the sense of World of Warcraft, but conceptually it has similar principles for being online all the time. While some may be taken aback by this, we’ve been testing this feature internally with all of our world-wide markets.”
He also added that relative Internet speed won’t throw a wrench into non-multiplayer gameplay, so if your connection’s a dial-up dinosaur, its lackadaisical lumbering won’t cause your game to lag or anything.
And while we’re sure this all-seeing player progression feature has the potential to be the backbone of some ambitious new game mode, we can’t help but notice the light scent of piracy protection wafting from this one. Will gamers complain about it? Probably. But will they finally stop pirating games forever? Nope. We can’t in good conscience, then, sling too much vitriol at EA – especially if the developer’s at least trying to give us an interesting game feature for our troubles.