It’s been a good while since a new Command & Conquer instalment saw the light of day, with the popular real-time strategy series lying dormant since the release of 2012’s browser-based offering Tiberium Alliances.

That all changed at E3 2018 when publisher Electronic Arts announced that the franchise is about to invade mobile territory with the launch of Command & Conquer: Rivals on iOS and Android. Developed by EA subsidiary Redwood Studios, the game is a 1v1 real-time multiplayer strategy title in which players position units on a small map, fight for control of various tiles and attempt to destroy each other’s bases.

EA

There were a wide variety of military units on show at the expo and players appear to have direct control over them on the battlefield, giving Rivals a tactical edge over much of its mobile competition, but the reaction to the game on social media has been brutal.

The C&C diehards have sent EA a clear message: they don’t want the franchise to return as a free-to-play mobile title, they want a full-on PC comeback. Some have expressed concerns that the game will be bogged down by paywalls and in-app purchases, while others have accused EA of launching a cynical bid for a slice of the lucrative mobile pie.

When Rivals’ trailers hit YouTube, the naysayers scrambled to downvote them, but it isn’t all doom and gloom. The game is already in pre-alpha testing on Android devices in North America, and the early reaction from those who have actually played it is generally positive.

Command & Conquer: Rivals launches on Google Play and the App Store worldwide later this year, and it might be an idea to actually try it before writing it off, since it’s free to download. Check out the E3 trailer below.