The Command & Conquer series helped launch the real-time strategy (RTS) genre. It combined a unique story with top-down gameplay that many played during the '90s. Initially launched in 1995, two games from the series are getting remastered and sold together in the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection. EA has worked on this project in the open for years, including talking with the community for feedback and sharing footage and insight along the way. Now, we're approaching its release date.
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection release date
What is Command & Conquer?
In case you didn't play the series when it was originally released, Command & Conquer is an RTS game that allows you to build, develop, and control combat units. There's a campaign mode, a mode that lets you play against AI, and a multiplayer mode in the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection. In the game, you build bases, troops, buildings, and vehicles to enact your strategies against your enemies.
Which games are included?
The Command & Conquer Remastered Collection includes remastered versions of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn and Command & Conquer: Red Alert. It also includes the three expansion packs to the games; The Covert Operations for Tiberian Dawn, as well as Counterstrike and Aftermath for Red Alert. The remastered titles include new 4K visuals, a remastered soundtrack, and some useful changes to improve gameplay. You can also play the games using their classic pixelated look.
The campaign modes have all of the original missions from the PC versions of the games, as well as the missions that were available in the console versions of the games.
Who is making it?
With Westwood Studios a distant memory, another set of studios had to take on the task of remastering Command & Conquer. Several people from the original Westwood Studios team are now part of Petroglyph Games, which is the studio behind the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection. Petroglyph Games partnered with Lemon Sky Studios to bring the old games into 4K. The Command & Conquer Remastered Collection will be released through EA.
In addition to several people from the original games working on the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, the developers worked with the community from the early days of the collection's development. The developers created a community council that regularly communicated with the developer team about the collection. The council includes modders and people from the Command & Conquer community.
Command & Conquer Remastered supports modding
In a blog post, the developers announced that Command and Conquer Remastered will support modding. The TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll source code are being released, allowing the community to go wild with modding the games. This decision was made as a result of conversations between the developers and EA.
How is it different from the original games?
The team behind the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection went through quite a bit of effort to make keep the games in line with the original titles, but there are some changes when compared to the original. As you'd expect from a modern remaster, there are large visual upgrades. You can play with either the original game's graphics within the collection or switch to its new 4K assets. Though, the mode that lets you switch to the classic graphics is not available in multiplayer mode. It also has remastered music and upscaled videos within the campaign. The developers highlight the upscaled full-motion videos that are part of the game's campaign.
There are also some gameplay enhancements in Tiberian Dawn that weren't in the original game. Most of these come from the community suggesting upgrades that came with the original Red Alert be brought to Tiberian Dawn. For example, you can now queue units. Tiberian Dawn also has an upgraded sidebar inspired by Red Alert. The sidebar within both titles has an improved layout that minimizes scrolling.
The developers rebuilt the multiplayer modes to meet modern expectations. You can create custom matches, join the multiplayer lobby, and compete on leaderboards.
In general, EA aimed to remaster the original Command & Conquer titles without straying far from the originals. While there are some improvements, based on the gameplay we've seen, anyone familiar with the franchise will feel right at home.