‘Command And Conquer: Tiberium Wars’ is the official novel of the popular real time computer strategy game of the same name. Having played the game, I was interested to see what additional background information the novel contained. For those not familiar with the game, a strange and deadly substance was discovered in the river Tiber from where it got its name. Unfortunately, the Tiberium quickly spread throughout regions of the globe, bringing death and devastation. The surviving population of Earth split into two factions; Global Defense Initiative (GDI) who want to defend and maintain the old world order and the Brotherhood of NOD who idolise Tiberium. The Brotherhood of NOD is led by the mysterious Kane, a man who has an uncanny knack of avoiding almost certain death.
The first chapter deals with NODs unprovoked attack on the GDI space station Philadelphia which in turn leads to the general mobilisation of the GDI military. Chapter two onwards deal with two stories which combine towards the end of the book. The first story concerns the activates of Private Ricardo Vega who, after completing basic training, is thrown into the deep end with the elite 22nd division of the GDI United Peacekeepers. Ricardo is the son of a hero of the previous Tiberium War and has a lot to live up to. The second story thread involves Annabella Wu, a W3N news reporter sent to report on life in a ‘yellow zone’, which is fighting to keep the Tiberium infestation to a minimum.
As the third Tiberium War progresses, Ricardo Vega progresses through the military ranks and meets Annabella Wu when she is assigned to cover the exploits of the 22nd Division. In terms of story, that’s about all there is to it, although some unwanted visitors do arrive on Earth towards the end of the book.
I said at the beginning of the review that I was interested to see what additional background information there was and, to be honest, I was disappointed. There is no detailed explanation of Tiberium and no discourse on the beliefs of the Brotherhood of NOD. In effect, the reader is asked to just accept they are there as the limited descriptions describe.
I have no idea as to who the target audience of this book is. People who have bought the game will get very little additional information from the book. Readers new to the ‘Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars’ universe will struggle to maintain interest. After reading the ending ,which isn’t an ending they may be regretting the effort put into reading the book.
(pub: Orbit. 289 page paperback. Price: £ 6.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-642-9)
check out website: www.orbitbooks.net