June 5, 2020
Petroglyph, Lemon Sky Studios
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is a real-time strategy game developed by Petroglyph Games and Lemon Sky Studios, published by EA. The remastered collection bundles the 1995 classic Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn and the 1996 follow-up Command & Conquer: Red Alert together in one neat package. It also includes every piece of expansion content for both titles. Originally developed by Westwood Studio, the 1995 Command & Conquer game was a trailblazer in its genre. Both Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn and Command & Conquer: Red Alert helped popularise the RTS genre and were played all over the world. Both titles remain absolute classics to this day, despite the last entry in the series, Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight released in 2010, being considered a failure.
Perhaps a decade after the series’ last release seems like a good moment to transport fans back to the Command and Conquer glory days, and no studio is a better fit to do so than Petroglyph. After Westwood Studio closed down, a lot of Westwood employees ended up moving to the Petroglyph Games Studio, where their know-how was undoubtedly valuable for other strategy titles like Star Wars: Empire at War and the more recent Conan Unconquered.
Petroglyph Studios has certainly brought their strategy expertise and knowledge of the Command & Conquer series to the table when it comes to preserving what made the original games so great. For those who haven’t played either of the Command & Conquer titles included in the remastered collection before, the premise is relatively straightforward: in a campaign, you can choose to play as one of two factions on a dedicated map. Once you start the game, you’ll need to gather Tiberium (a resource you need to build structures and produce units), build up a base, and build up an army to eventually wipe out your opponent.
The gameplay premise hasn’t changed in its remastered version; on the surface, all the familiar elements are still there, but they have now been upgraded to 4K quality. Maps and units look better than ever before, and the game’s music, interface and cutscenes have all been given a polish and a facelift. The game’s animations, buildings, and units look incredibly detailed and players now have the option to zoom in on the map and see their units in action up close. The remastered collection also gives players the option to switch between 4K graphics and the legacy ones, giving veterans the opportunity to enjoy the original experience with better resolutions if they are so inclined. I found it particularly impressive to toggle between the old and new graphics to see how far things have come since Command & Conquer’s original release.
“Petroglyph has artfully crafted an edition of
Command & Conquer that […] honours the original
game’s authenticity one hundred per cent.”
When it comes to the game’s mechanics under the hood, most things have been reproduced faithfully in the remastered version. The only tweaks that have been made, have been made to streamline gameplay; controls have been made more straightforward with hotkeys, and it’s easier to select multiple units and vehicles in the middle of the action.
The user interface has been modernised too; the game now features a building queue, and it’s easier to find your units and vehicles in dedicated tabs. For hardcore Command & Conquer fans, a gallery with full bonus content and interesting behind-the-scenes material has also been added, giving fans a glimpse of what it was like when the games were created so many years ago.
At its core though, the gameplay mechanics have been almost completely preserved. While this is undoubtedly the game’s strong point, it also means that the game looks, plays, and feels like a game that’s over twenty years old. Strategy fans who are new to the series and who may be used to more flashy and modern strategy titles might, therefore, struggle with the old-school gameplay mechanics compared to more recent releases. That said, however, the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection isn’t aiming to provide a new flashy experience. Instead, it focusses on preserving a classic one, and it does so beautifully. Petroglyph has artfully crafted an edition of Command & Conquer that not only looks great but also honours the original game’s authenticity one hundred per cent. For a remaster especially, this level of dedication and attention to detail is commendable, and as far as remastered editions of classic games go, Petroglyph Studios has raised the bar significantly with the Command & Conquer Collection. It does the classic Command & Conquer titles justice, making it easy for new fans to see why many people are still raving about these classic RTS titles more than a decade on.
- Looks and sounds amazing
- Accessible price point
- Streamlined user interface
- Authentic remaster
- Outdated gameplay mechanics may not be for everyone
The Command & Conquer Remastered Collection offers players an authentic remaster of two classic games in the RTS genre to great success. Whether you’re a newbie wanting to try out a classic, or a veteran wanting to go down memory lane, Command & Conquer Remastered will have something on offer for everyone.