At a recent EA press event, we had the quite surreal experience of playing a Command & Conquer 4 multiplayer match against Kane. In person. The unmistakeable pool-ball head of the Nod supremo gleamed from behind a monitor in the opposing bank, ordering his units around with less mad-villain intensity and more relaxed, arm-over-chair-back insouciance than we've been led to expect by 15 years of RTSC (real-time scenery-chewing). The roll-neck sweater and blazer was a new look for him, too.
Let's begin at the end, because that's what Command & Conquer 4 is: the conclusion to a sweeping PC favourite, the last entry in a classic - and convoluted - soap opera. Here, in a tiny meeting room at EA LA's headquarters, the team behind Kane's latest battle have spent the last few hours taking us through the entire narrative arc of the series. Now, they're going to give us a few hints on how they're about to finish it all off. "We didn't want to do just another sequel," says Sam Bass, the campaign and story lead for C&C4, a man who's voice seems to have at least four different accents swimming about in it, suggesting that he's possibly arrived from the future himself, and a time when national boundaries no longer have meaning. "We didn't want an enigmatic fade to white. We wanted to bring the story to a close."