I generally do not like expansions. They used to be additions only very successful games got to have. Nowadays they are mostly the...other half of the game the publisher withheld when selling us half the original for $50! C&C:KANE's WRATH is a rare exception that brings new dimensions to an already great game!
Story-wise, although an expansion, this is somewhat of a prequel to C&C3-TIBERIUM WARS, as it is set on the history of NOD, starting off just after the 2nd Tiberium War and continuing well past the 3rd.
There is a big campaign comprising of 13 single player missions, new units and upgrades and a new (a la RISE OF NATIONS) Global Conquest mode, that can turn C&C3 into a Turn-Based game! What make this REALLY interesting are the six subfactions, each with its special units, strengths and weaknesses. Not to worry, all GDI, NOD and Scrin get their own off-shooting factions.
On the opposite ends of the spectrum, there is Reaper-17 (a Scrin sub-faction): with hard-hitting and powerful offensive options; and then there is Traveler-59 (also a Scrin offshoot): a much more devious faction that relies on mind control of humans (remember how much fun Yuri's Revenge? was). In between, GDI's (retro) Steel Talons and (futuristic) ZoCom and NOD's (mind-benders) Black Hand and (cyborgs galore) Mark of Kane.
Production of the new epic-units can tip the battlefield scales dramatically. Most are not only devastating but are pretty hard to take down too. GDI gets the MARV [Mammoth Armed Reclamation Vehicle], a souped-up triple-barreled tank; NOD gets the Redeemer, an augmented killer avatar; whereas, Scrin get the Eradicator Hexapod, a impressive six-legged mech.
Revamped units, such as the Shard Walker or the Reaper Tripod, or back-to-the-drawing-board units, such as the Prodigy or the Ravager all add to a renewed experience. Moreover, as a long-time C&C fan, I particularly enjoyed the reappearance of good-ol' units such as Titans and Wolverines on the side of GDI!
The graphics are beautiful, the physics detailed and the explosions and beam-weapons spectacular! Don't forget to turn on the volume on those speakers, because this is a total immersion experience.
As with the original: it misses the 5th star for fun because one cannot hold a battle formation while moving. As most units move at different paces (and although the AI has improved they keep bumping on each other), this results in the more agile, yet vulnerable, units having to face the enemy first - a short-lived sight... May be the next C&C (say, RED ALERT 3) could have some TOTAL WAR infused into it, with battle formations options.
Finally, be advised that this is an expansion and, yes, you do need the original C&C3: TIBERIUM WARS to play it. If you do not have it, take note that there is a pack available, including both original game and expansion (the prices fluctuate so make sure to get the best deal).