Game Review: Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection (Steam)

Aren’t we getting sick of remastered collections and definitive editions that under-deliver? That’s certainly not the case with the Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection. A packed collection that features remasters of the first two titles with vastly improved 4K graphics and sound. As well as featuring the expansion packs and content that had been exclusive to console ports. If all of that wasn’t enough, the FMV footage has been upscaled, the sidebar has been enhanced, it has modern online features and an unlockable gallery of unused and “making of” content.

There can be no complaints about what we get with this collection but to make this even more impressive, it has built in modding support with the source code out there for anyone to use.

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If, by chance, you’ve never played Command and Conquer or Command and Conquer: Red Alert then this is the only version you should ever consider. A long-running real time strategy game series, the series started hot and it’s arguable that Westwood Studios has never been able to match the quality of those first two games.

The original Command and Conquer has you choosing either the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) or the Brotherhood of Nod side of the war. Across a ton of missions, your goal is to crush the opposite side and either save the world (GDI) or take over it (NOD).

Set in an alterative world, a meteor crashed near the river Tiber in Italy and from it, grew an alien substance that was named Tiberium. Toxic to plant life, humans and animals; it is quickly established that Tiberium can be harvested and refined to incur great wealth. It is this that has allowed the Brotherhood of NOD and their leader, Kane to rise to such prominence. Enough so that his terrorist group now threaten the world. The Global Defense Initiative, an anti-terrorist organisation, sets out to try and put a stop to NOD and Kane, once and for all.

Command and Conquer features classic RTS gameplay. Build and expand a base of operations, gather resources, produce troops and wipe out the enemy on the map. As the game progresses, maps become bigger, more options become available and the tasks get harder and harder. Command and Conquer perfected this and this Remastered Collection refines it to be an even more enjoyable and nostalgic experience. Ignoring the updated visuals, sounds and UI, this 1995 game still holds up. RTS at its simplest but also its most enjoyable, it is still one of the best RTS games ever made.

Although that claim is often disputed by fans of the sequel, Command and Conquer: Red Alert. For good reason too as this game, released a few years after the original, was more than just your average sequel.

This time, Red Alert plays around with the idea of what might have happened if Adolf Hitler had disappeared after his release from Landsberg Prison. Would the world have known peace? Apparently not as a new timeline is born and it’s the Soviet Union that rises to power under the rule of Joseph Stalin. His vision is a Soviet Union that stretches across the entirety of Europe.

To battle Stalin and his Soviet forces, the countries of Western Europe (including Germany) have joined forces and formed the Allied Nations. War… war never changes.

Familiar RTS gameplay but different in almost every other way, Red Alert added many elements that improved gameplay. Such as queuing commands, create unit groups and the ability to control numerous units at the same time. These features weren’t in the original game but have since been included with the remastering.

That doesn’t change just how ground-breaking the game was with the campaigns for both the Allies and Soviets being bigger, deeper and more varied. Missions are diverse, some even take place inside buildings and the challenge is enjoyable enough to keep you trying again and again should you fail.

It’s another triumph of RTS gameplay and a worthy sequel to a game-changing series. Although, if you were to nit-pick, the remaster of this game is slightly less impressive. Also, the ‘indoor’ missions are some of the worst in the Command and Conquer series over all. Something that would get worse in the expansion pack, Retaliation.

Small complaints though as it’s just great to have even more Command and Conquer to play once you’re done with the main campaigns of both games. Retaliation, Covert Ops, Counterstrike, Aftermath, It Came from Red Alert… they’re all here. Be prepared to spend a lot of time with this game.

The bar for remastered collections has been set. Command and Conquer: Remastered Collection is a must play for anyone who loved the original games and loves RTS gameplay.




Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection (Steam)
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