Command and Conquer Generals features a brand new game engine, the Sage Engine, developed by EA Pacific. It builds on Westwood's W3D rendering technology. This technology was first used in C&C Renegade. The difference between this game and those of Command and Conquer's past is the full three dimensional game play. On top of the incredible graphics is fully featured lighting. The lighting is completely dynamic and is automatically changed depending on the time of day. The amount of detail put into the making of Generals shines when you blow up an explosive structure. The animation slows, the camera zooms in, and you get a quick pan around the building showing the pieces of shrapnel or debris. This effect entered into the Sage Engine gives you an almost Matrix-like view of the destruction. In addition to blowing up buildings, some structures sink and others collapse. Almost everything in the game can be modified. Trees, cars, people (including civilians), and light posts are no exceptions. In former games, the amount of possibly editable objects onscreen was around 200 – 300. Using the sage engine, it is believed to have up to ten times that amount.
To get back to the camera, we’ve seen that it's been highly modified from previous games. You can now pan around a point, and even zoom in on the slightest if details. About the only thing that’s not possible is tilting your angle of vision. There're many other camera controls as well, but if you don't even want to deal with them, you can just turn those controls off and go back to classic style navigation. In addition to a new camera, the AI system is much improved. It uses the same engine to develop plans of attack. When playing a skirmish, you will most likely find that the same thing doesn't always happen twice. The computer calculates the best ways to attack your base through sets of advanced algorithms that find your weakest point and target it. But don’t think that you'll be defenseless!