After spending months at home in isolation, my group of friends started to boot up older titles to dive back into – seeing what works with Windows 10, what’s still playable online and even somehow getting multiplayer matches to work with online services that are long gone. One of the series we jumped back into was Command & Conquer. Remakes and remasters have been the trend of the industry for some time now, but none of them have had me more excited than the Command & Conquer remaster.
Command & Conquer has had a few rough releases before inevitably disappearing into the back of the publisher’s catalogue. The last major release for the series was Command & Conquer 4 which released 10 years ago. While there’s been a few side releases since then (and a cancelled title), the series has been absent for the last decade from the scene.
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection features both the classic title as well as Red Alert as well as all of its expansions. Both titles have been remastered with new crispy 4K visuals for the modern age – more importantly, natively supports the latest Windows. Jumping straight into the single-player campaign, you’re welcomed with the classic ‘often cringe’ FMV cutscenes before being thrown into your first mission, which is presented in its classic low-resolution OG visual state before the game prompting you to press space bar to switch to its newer graphics. Purposely done, this showed how much of an improvement the team at Petroglyph Games have made with the remaster, and it made me reminisce over how far video games have come since 25 years ago.
While the main attraction is obviously the visual upgrades, the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection features lots of extras. The soundtrack has been remastered by the original composer Frank Klepacki, which also includes unreleased and new tracks. Yes, the first thing I blasted was Hell’s March on the Jukebox. There are a few behind-the-scenes contents as well showcasing how some of the FMVs were shot as well as some facts into certain parts of the game – a great insight for those looking to learn more about the titles. You also have a map editor for the game meaning if you fancy creating some of your own maps, the tools have been provided to do so. Maps are Steam Workshop supported so you also have the ability to share and download user content.
The only gripes with the remastered collection are the AI and path-finding which has not been improved on since the original. Units are sometimes clueless and often get stuck and lost. Playing multiplayer with a friend, we ran into issues where our units would get stuck on each other and bunch up too much which causes ‘traffic jams’ on when they attack. The other issue is sometimes the AI is just not that good or has a lack of consistency in aggression.
When playing against the AI on hard, I found that they would attack fast and aggressive at the start only to drift off halfway because they couldn’t understand how to expand the base and retrieve more Tiberium. It was something we noticed when playing the original and remastered versions and while annoying can be easily avoided playing with real online players. Just before the launch, the developers announced the game will be open-sourced which definitely opens the door for mod support and potentially, someone out there might improve the AI and pathfinding.
For fans of the series or RTS, in general, wanting to relive the originals again – the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is an ode to a series or genre somewhat missing in the world today. Booting up the originals again in stunning remastered graphics while jamming to its brilliant soundtrack gave me a shot of nostalgia while reminiscing my childhood life of playing titles like this on my old Pentium PC as a kid. It’s something for the oldies, but for the younger generation – it may not be of much interest but the ability to visit a classic with modern visuals is an advantage. The Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is definitely something fans should check out and hopefully with open more doors to revisit the other titles in the series especially one of my faves: C&C Generals.
Command And Conquer Remastered is a release for the fans with lots of community input that helped piece together this fantastic collection. There’s lots of content to dive into and lots of bonuses included. It's a remaster done right for a game and series-long forgotten. Welcome back, commander.
Lots Of Content With Both Original C&C Games + Red Alert And All Expansions