Command & Conquer Remastered Collection Announced (March 10, 2020)

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Electronic Arts today released a ton of detail on the upcoming Command & Conquer Remastered Collection. It looks like an absolute treat for fans of the classic real time strategy game series. For starters, they've included developers who worked on the original game at Westwood Studios 25 years ago to build around the original core. All of the assets have been upgraded to 4K quality and the user interface has been modified to modern standards. The classic full motion video has been upscaled to match, and they even got the original composer back to remaster the music! It's set for release this June and will only be $20 on Steam and Origin. Even crazier, there will be a couple of super nice physical special editions produced by Limited Run games. The $60 version includes a poster, enamel pins and a Tiberium Crystal that also includes the soundtrack. For $150, you can get all of that plus patches, a hat, metal mammoth tank replica, Obelisk of Light & Tesla Coil light-up mini statues, an autographed soundtrack and 100 page art book. Pretty wild!



It’s time for your first in-depth look at the Command & Conquer™ Remastered Collection, featuring both Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert along with their three expansion packs!

Here at the CIC, we've covered the happenings of the C&C series for many years. Most of the CIC Staff used to play Command & Conquer games together online back in the '90s when we just had dial-up modems. Although the style of play is vastly different than Wing Commander, there are several similarities: it was a series well known for its FMV, the developers were eventually both bought by Electronic Arts, their genres both largely went out of style in the early 2000s, and they both have "Command" in the name. Malcolm McDowell even starred in 2009's Red Alert 3 expansion, and they reused footage from Wing Commander 4 in the advertisements. These factors have led us to treat it as something of a sibling series to the WC franchise, but their paths over the past 20 years couldn't have been more different. Despite the overall downtown in the RTS genre, EA manages to come up with a new sequel every few years. Some have been canceled and some have been bombs, but time after time, the company is willing to go to bat and fund another Command & Conquer. We love C&C, so that's awesome, but we also wonder why the same hasn't happened for Wing Commander and dream about what could have been. And we'll be picking up this game in June so that EA knows there's still plenty of folks out there interested in stellar remasters of classic '90s hits!




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Original update published on March 10, 2020
 
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Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Malcolm McDowell is an easy pick - less obvious is Tim Curry who provides Melek's voice, at least in WC3, and portrays Premier Cherdenko in Red Alert 3. And there's also James Hannigan, one of the composers for the more recent C&Cs as well as Privateer 2. Though I'm sure they've been mentioned here before...
 

Pedro

Admiral
Back then prices were less internationally even, so as I recall I bought both Red Alert, Tomb Raider and Donkey Kong Country 2 on a trip to the states.
What a great time for gaming the mid 90's was.

I'd love to see EA do a similar project for Wing Commander; heck I'd LOVE to actually do it. That kind of porting project is always surprisingly fun; there's so much scope for simple improvements.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
The nostalgia with this games is so high, remembering those fun LAN parties where one of the C&C games would definitly be part of the night/weekend.

One part of me is "OMG I need this" while the other goes "Remeber the other times you played other older games again and you stop playing after a short while because you remember every mission?"

Can't realy decide if this would be a wast of money or not.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
It's so great they're doing this. I never really fell in love with C&C. I tried a few times, and found its gameplay disappointingly primitive compared both to their own earlier Dune 2, and to Blizzard's later Warcraft II. Regardless of my personal tastes, however, this is definitely one of the true classics of video game history.

I do hope, however, they don't end up making a mess like Blizzard did with Warcraft III. I think it would be so great to be able to point my students to this and get them to play a series they otherwise won't be able to even find.

Now, if only they could do the same with Dune 2, which is surely a thousand times more important to game history than C&C - but I suspect they'd probably need to pay for the Dune license again, and the costs would be higher than any possible revenue.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Now, if only they could do the same with Dune 2, which is surely a thousand times more important to game history than C&C

I don't even remember anyone talking about that; much less playing it. A quick wikipedia search says it did 0.25 million to C&Cs 3 million.
Do you mean how it influenced the genre rather than public awareness?
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Wait, no. It was the second one.
First one was EF2000.

I remember thinking EF2000 looked mindblowing graphically. Just checked it out on YouTube, not so much now 😁 Time ravages all.

Agree with @Pedro - the 90s was a cracking time for PC gaming.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I don't even remember anyone talking about that; much less playing it. A quick wikipedia search says it did 0.25 million to C&Cs 3 million.
Do you mean how it influenced the genre rather than public awareness?
Yes, I mean the genre. Dune 2 was Westwood's first RTS game. Heck, no - with all respects to weird console games like Herzog Zwei, Dune 2 was *the* first RTS game as we know them. It laid out a practically complete blueprint for the whole genre, to the point where it's possible to actually argue that there hasn't been any deep and meaningful innovation in RTS gameplay since then, that subsequent innovations have really just been tweaking around the edges.

Interestingly, Dune 2 for the PC originally had a button-heavy and shortcut-heavy interface, of exactly the kind that today we would describe as following the Blizzard pattern of RTS games (but again, not Blizzard - Dune 2 established everything). Subsequently, however, Westwood ported the game to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis console. And immediately they saw that the button-heavy and shortcut-heavy interface would have to be drastically revised to suit the consoles. So they did, and in doing so, they established the exact UI they would subsequently deploy for C&C. So, Dune 2 not only established the genre in general and basically defined everything about it, the game even managed, single-handedly, to establish two great traditions of RTS user interfaces.

All that said, I would disagree with your assessment of the game's public success, too. Dune 2 was a floppy game from 1992, C&C was a CD game from 1995 - the scales of success were very different. Those 250,000 units were a significant success, and the reviews of the game were fantastic, which of course meant that probably several times as many people played pirated copies as originals. By contrast, C&C was an early CD game, so had lower piracy rates, and it was selling on a much bigger market as well, because 1995 was very different to 1992. If you didn't encounter anyone talking about it or playing it, I'm sure that's true for your particular surroundings - but I also think this says more about the gameplay interests in your surroundings at the time, than it does about Dune 2's success. The game was huge, and very universal in its appeal.

Suffice to say, when we installed it on our school network, everyone played it, from the school IT teacher down to annoying fifth graders who kept overwriting other people's savegames. When you entered the computer room at lunchtime, you'd see Dune 2 on every screen around the room. I had friends who bought C&C specifically because it was supposed to be like a sequel to Dune 2. Now, this is just the example of one specific school at the far end of the world, so this Dune 2 frenzy I saw doesn't mean there was a similar frenzy everywhere - but I think it's at least evidence of just how intensely the game appealed to anyone who did encounter it.

In short: Dune 2 is one of *the* most historically significant video games ever made. It's right up there alongside Doom. Its importance eclipses C&C, not in the least because C&C *emerged* from, and would not have existed without, Dune 2.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Dune 2 was awesome and I realy liked it. Ok I am a big Dune fan that might also be a reason for that.
I think it was my first RTS game.

@Quarto if you want to show the game today, there are free webbrowser ports that you could show and play.
Just googleing it I found this one for example: https://epicport.com/en/dune2
Also I think there was a better one but it still works.

Another game, also from the Petroglph guys, that I would like to see remade or continued is "Universe at War". Some quite unique units and with a bit more work also interesting factions. Sadly the camera was allways way to close but then it was also in a lot of the old C&C games.
I wonder if they changed that with the higher resolution that is more common today.

@ChrisReid My problem is less that I far that the remake wouldn't be good. From what I have seen it looks very well done. My point is that I have a lot of older games that I started playing again and then just drop them after a very short time because I know them. I need something new. There are only a handfull of games that I play again and again.
 

Panther1.0

2nd Lieutenant
I want to play C&C again, it was for me one of the best games released back then,

did you play Dune 2000 ? I remember playing it again a few years back, it was a bit updated not remastered, just updated for newer Windows version...
 

Pedro

Admiral
In short: Dune 2 is one of *the* most historically significant video games ever made. It's right up there alongside Doom. Its importance eclipses C&C, not in the least because C&C *emerged* from, and would not have existed without, Dune 2.

Couldn't you argue that:
In short: Wolfenstein is one of *the* most historically significant video games ever made. It's right up there alongside Command & Conquer. Its importance eclipses Doom, not in the least because Doom *emerged* from, and would not have existed without, Wolfenstein.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
did you play Dune 2000 ? I remember playing it again a few years back, it was a bit updated not remastered, just updated for newer Windows version...
Ugh, no. Dune 2000 was basically C&C reskinned into Dune 2.

Couldn't you argue that:
In short: Wolfenstein is one of *the* most historically significant video games ever made. It's right up there alongside Command & Conquer. Its importance eclipses Doom, not in the least because Doom *emerged* from, and would not have existed without, Wolfenstein.
I get what you're trying to say, and I understand the risk of praising whatever's earlier as being more influential, but here's the thing - you really couldn't make that argument. Doom would have existed without Wolfenstein. Yes, the two of them are a part of the same technological line, but given the range of other first-person shooters that were being developed at that time, Doom could easily have come into existence without Wolfenstein along the way. This is a very, very different situation than Dune 2 and C&C, where Dune 2 literally defined the whole genre from scratch. It is an absolutely uniquely influential title.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
How many of those others also only exist because of Wolf 3D? It does seem like Dune 2 is to Wolf 3D as C&C is to Doom in this example.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Even as I was reading this, I was thinking that while Wolf 3D may have been the 'progenitor' of sorts, Doom was what made the genre popular among the masses. In the same way, it sounds like the same pattern can be applied to Dune 2 and C&C. Honestly, I never even saw or played Dune 2... but then my childhood was quite limited when it came to games.
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
This is similar to the KillSwitch vs Gears of War when it comes to the cover-shooter thing.

While unfair, I believe the cultural impact is the only thing that counts. People like me might obsess over this and that thing and how brilliant, fresh, future-looking, innovative, new and the what-not it was but it the end, what usually counts is popularity.

Henceforth, I declare Dune 2 to be equivalent to Doom and you shall all follow this example and remain silent evermore because discussions are not what an internet forum was build for :) .

Sarcasm off, I think this is a pretty cool remaster but I cannot help but wonder with a better AI-upscaler could be found, this looks rough as hell. Kind of like they threw hq3x on it and that was it.
 
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