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Console RTS "still not close to PC"

Desktop dictating development, says EA.

Electronic Arts' Chris Corry believes there is still a long way to go before console RTS games can be as fluent as their PC counterparts.

"Console RTS design has come a long way, but I don't know if you will be able to lead design of a true RTS, which is so inherently reliant on the mouse and keyboard combination, on the console," the Red Alert 3 producer told Eurogamer.

"It's one of the reasons we don't do cross platform play - the way RTS' are meant to be played, the PC guys would be so much faster."

Numerous console ports of the Command & Conquer series have appeared on console, beginning with the original C&C on PSone and Saturn back in the 1996.

An increased console interest in the genre means more time and effort is being spent on it now, and Corry believes C&C3 expansion Kane's Wrath will raise the bar in what we expect.

"C&C3, by all accounts, did a great job of easing the management experience with a controller," he added.

"What our team has done with the new radial interface in C&C3 Kane's Wrath is leaps and bounds beyond that. It's still not close to a PC, but it shows we can keep improving and that's something our team is dedicated to continue to strive towards."

These "leaps and bounds" should be noticeable in Red Alert 3 when it's released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 sometime next year.

One of the areas Corry and his team will be brushing up on is multiplayer; not only will there be the jump-in co-operative campaign, but multiplayer will lie at the heart of the game engine.

"Multiplayer is something we're going to be focusing heavily on - we can't share a lot of details now on features, but we can tell you the SAGE engine's evolution and improvements aren't just about graphics or physics," continued Corry.

"We're making major improvements to the multiplayer technology resting in the heart of the game engine. This should lead to greater stability and connection reliability, not to mention fewer configuration challenges and problems from disconnecting cheaters."

Other fresh features will including base-building at sea, which will be handy for avoiding land-restricted tank rushes. There will be amphibious units, too, which will automatically adapt to the terrain they're on like clever little sausages, although they will be weaker than specialised land or sea units.

Pop over to our Red Alert 3 gamepage for plenty more where that came from.

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About the Author

Robert Purchese avatar

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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