Thanks to EA for giving me the oppurtunity to release this game.
Generals takes place in the late 2010s. Players are given a choice of three factions to play rather than the two in the early parts of the Command & Conquer and Red Alert series. In Generals, the United States and China are the world's two superpowers, and are the targets of the Global Liberation Army, a generic Middle Eastern terrorist organization with an unclear agenda and the arsenal/hardware of an illegitimate military/Irregular military force accompanied by the fanaticism of al-Qaida. Both the United States and China are depicted as the protagonists in the series, and frequently co-operate with each other throughout the storyline. The three factions are thus engaged in a war similar to that of the real-life War on Terror.
The player can play any of the three sides in any order, with each side's campaign consisting of seven missions. For the storyline to make sense, the proper order to play is China first, then the GLA, then the USA. In this order, China retaliates for a devastating GLA nuclear attack on Beijing, eventually completely crushing the GLA cell masterminding all Pacific rim operations. (Events such as the destruction of the Three Gorges Dam and the use of China's nuclear arsenal are part of this campaign.) The GLA campaign then begins, with the organization trying to recover from its recent setback at the hands of the Chinese, by raising funds and instigating attacks against their American and Chinese antagonists, eventually culminating in the overtaking of the Baikonur Cosmodrome for the firing of a Soyuz launch vehicle bearing a biological MIRV at a nondescript city. At this point the American campaign begins, in which the USA engages the GLA across several locales, including Baghdad and the Caspian Sea, before defeating a rogue Chinese general supporting the terrorists and tracking them back to their base of operations in Akmola, Kazakhstan.
Spoilers end here.
Each of the three factions are depicted in a different manner: the United States uses expensive state-of-the-art technology such as airborne drones and laser defenses, while China uses older combat-proven technology such as modernized napalm and gattling guns. (China's strength also rests in its sheer numbers - "horde bonuses" are given to large groups of units). The GLA, being technologically disadvantaged, often resorts to guerrilla warfare to achieve victory in the battlefield.
Unlike Tiberian Sun or Red Alert, Generals has no major characters other than that of the in-game heroes (where they only play a minor role) and the player, portrayed as a general in whatever army is being played. The player earns Generals Experience in order to rise in rank and receive new abilities, such as the ordering of airstrikes or the immediate repair of units in a certain area.
Despite the generally positive spin on China in the series, the Generals series is banned in China. Throughout the Chinese campaign, the player is occasionally made to utilize heavy-handed tactics such as leveling a Hong Kong convention center after it becomes a GLA base and destroying the Three Gorges Dam to release a flood on GLA forces. Chinese forces also use nuclear weaponry in-game, albeit restricted to the lower tactical nuclear weapon yield range.
The Generals story is continued in the expansion pack Command & Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour.
Generals presents players with a separate musical score for each faction. The game's opening and ending theme music during the China campaign features China's national anthem, March of the Volunteers. The United States' theme music consists of epic, militaristic scores composed by Bill Brown. The GLA faction's theme soundtrack can be described as a combination of Middle Eastern sounds coupled with heavy metal music, similar to the music in the Somalian sequences in Black Hawk Down.