Command and Conquer – Remastered Collection – PC Review

Command and Conquer – Remastered Collection – PC Review

Genre: Real-time strategy
Developer: Petroglyph, Lemon Sky Studios
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: June 5th, 2020
Edited by AlexKnight2005

Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is the remastered version of the classic RTS Command & Conquer from 1995 and its spin-off, Red Alert, back in 1996. C&C is near the top of the list of games that helped make real-time strategy a thing. C&C with the help of the game Dune laid the foundations of what one should be like how Super Mario did for platformers. The hit game still holds up today in both gameplay and story as it helped create a long history that has seemingly of late has died out. The launch of the Command and Conquer Remastered does more than just another re-release, but to try to resurrect and bring a long-loved series back to the forefront. The music was done by the long-loved composer and audio director Frank Klepacki. He was responsible for the music of most of the C&C series. He has even returned to compose the remasters and remixes added in this remaster. If that wasn’t enough they even took popular songs from the C&C and Red Alerts series to add in this game. You can even create your own playlist or listen to the classic music of the game or the remixed version of the song meant for the mission. Graphics was the other large overhaul with being able to switch from the HD graphics back to the pixelated original form by just hitting the spacebar in real-time, no menu, or no loading. This was a fun addition to mix up at will but what they went above and beyond besides the music that was added all the missions from all versions of the games. C&C and Red Alert were released on consoles after the release and both had expansion as well. This is the first game that contains everything that was created for both games into one. As a long time fan and lover of the Command and Conquer series, I love this return to the series. One hallmark of the series is using actors and live-action cutscenes between missions. You will still get 90s CGI but the actual story is told through the actors and cutscenes. The series then continued to do the same sort though the series through all the games and is one of the few game series to still do live-action cutscenes. Accessibility opinions are nice but mostly help in reading as it supports test-to-speech and larger fonts.

Command & Conquer takes place with the two main factions battling to control an alien resource that is spreading across the earth called Tiberium. The United Nation’s back Global Defense Initiative (GDI) fight the terrorism and spread of a military cult called the Brotherhood of Nod (NOD). Each campaign you play as either faction gaining control and spreading their influence. The GDI forces lean more on power and toughness while NOD specializes in lighter agile units. Both have similar basic units and buildings but besides that, they are vastly different in how they go about their forces. This is best seen in their more “ultimate vehicle” with GDI’s most expensive unit is the mammoth tank, which is a large tank with twin barrels with missile launchers. NOD’s is a stealth tank that is invisible unless its firing its deadly missiles at the enemy.

Missions vary from building your base to take out the other base or complete the objective with limited resources. The gameplay and missions are the exact same as the original C&C was. This can be seen as simple to many compared to many RTS games with multiple resources or units with special abilities attracted to them. The resource Tiberium is in pockets with a focus on controlling the map or areas like the ones you build by will quickly run out in a prolonged fight. The layout of the maps gives a sense where you can’t just protect one side. Most negatives that I can say of Command & Conquer come from the limitations of the time and odd coding. Many times units will get stuck or look as if they are confused if you command them to go long distances. Some bugs still exist from the original coding that I was able to duplicate. The limited number of units and buildings may seem limited to many but each unit has an exact purpose where I feel none are useless. This mixed with the limited resource you collect put weight on what to build and feel a crippling feeling when your attack on the enemy base fails. I feel it was simple but done right.

The spin-off that was released a year after the original Command and Conquer was C&C Red Alert. In Red Alert, you play an alternative timeline where Albert Einstein went back in history to delete Hilter from time. Doing so changed the timeline but still brought about a world war in Europe between the Allied Forces and The Soviet Union. At first glance, you may believe its a more realistic Command & Conquer but this is quickly corrected in the first mission of the Allied Campaign. You use a civilian commando called Tanya. You use her in a mission to rescue Einstein guarded by giant tesla coils that shoot electricity to fry foes. Through both campaigns, you still have a mix of realistic and unrealistic units to battle the Allies or the Soviets. It still is grounded in more realism than the original, but they had a fun romanticized flare. Red Alert still does small GCI cutscenes and tells the story through live-action actors. Most mechanics are the same but Red Alert adds in naval ships to control and build as well as minelayers. The best part is I don’t think you miss out on playing either side or either of these games first, I don’t feel you miss out as each does things in a familiar but different way. They didn’t change most to C&C to Red Alert and it worked in their favor. This includes the units as you will feel familiar with many of the infantry and vehicles. Playstyles of the Allies mimic NOD’s as the Soviets mimic GDI’s.

The craziness starts to unfold through the DLC missions as it feels the devs wanted to have fun with it. Each of the DLC missions adds different units and make it a challenge. When it isn’t a challenge it’s silly like fighting dinosaurs or giant ants. Some of the units from the DLC even appear in later series such as the tesla tank and trooper from the Red Alert Series. The map editors are also in the game to make your own maps for fighting the computer or others online. A big surprise to me was the addition of the Steam Workshop support. The game has full mod support and I was shocked that this was something coming out of EA. Then again the addition of this game and others coming to Steam is a big sign to me that they are correcting some mistakes.

I’m a big fan of the Command & Conquer and I was happy that its remastered did the remaster right. The music above and beyond the call of what I suspected to be redone and I do encourage others to look up the soundtrack even if they may not want to play the game. This gives me hope to one of my favorite series I thought died. I hope more gets remastered in the series and if its the same treatment as this, I would be very happy. Remastered games, in general, have been making me feel they are just a cash grab but, this was one game that I felt that was done in love and care. Not to just up the visuals but to add more to the game as they combined the features from other releases into it as well as adding more music. The good things far outweigh the bad even though the bad feels dated compared to how things are done now. The sound effects wouldn’t feel right if they were changed from the originals. The full price of $19.99 was a great deal for both these classics in one.

Pros:

  • Classic and amazing RTS
  • Amazing soundtrack
  • A remastered done correct

Cons:

  • May feel too dated to some
  • Some may not like the Sci-Fi over the realism of it

FoxieEXE gives Command & Conquer Remastered Collection a Drastik Measure of 8.4 (84)