Developer: Petroglyph, Lemon Sky Studios
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Command & Conquer is probably one of my favourite real strategy games (RTS) of all time, it has a simple but intuitive play style mixed in with lots of action and thought required. The Command & Conquer remastered edition brings back the original game Command & Conquer and Command & Conquer: Red Alert back to life with upgraded graphics (4K), a remastered soundtrack, updated HUDs and lots of extras too. The remastered version doesn’t affect the gameplay which is identical to the original. The Command & Conquer story is based on two opposing entities battling each other, the Global Defence Initiative (GDI) and the Brotherhood of Nod (NOD). Command & Conquer: Red Alert is a prequel to Command & Conquer where the Allies and the Soviets are battling it out which would align to the cold war. The premise of Red Alert is that World War II never happened and the fallout of this event. Command & Conquer was released in 1995 and Red Alert in 1996. The remastered version is a combination of nostalgia and two fantastic RTS games.
Both stories revolve around the battle between good (GTI, Allies) and evil (NOD, Soviet). Whichever side you take will drive the side of history you are on and what infantry and machines you can build. A core concept in Command & Conquer is that each side has its specialty items such as infantry type, building types, and machines. Depending on your style of playing the game you may prefer one team over the other. If you are like me, you will play with both sides to see both endings to the game.
When Command & Conquer was released it fused all the elements of RTS and improved them, it also combined full-motion videos and a narrative. The gameplay is a mixture of building forces and then attacking a huge base and watching chaos ensue. Other scenarios are where an elite squad must penetrate a base or extract a high-value target. A mixture of vignettes and war-like newsreels with now-dated cinematics in between each level to help drive along with the story. Many parts of the game are dated but that is understandable it is 25 years old. The strategic elements of the game are fantastic and challenging, for me it was a throwback to my youth, and this was the first RTS game that I loved. I find the controls somewhat clunky; the updated visuals do improve the look and feel. I found the videos a bit corny and dated but were amazing back in the day.
This is a fantastic game and it’s wonderful to relive a game of this magnitude so many years later, for me it shows the parts of RTS I love and enjoy. The breakup of gameplay with story and character does add to the mix. It’s just great fun and addictive, building up a huge army to face another army, then trying to outthink your opponent. Command & Conquer is fantastic and is a must for any gamer.