Opinion C&C Remastered Review

Rush

Administrator
Staff member
Mar 12, 2020
249
84
28
About the reviewer: Paul Younger has been reviewing games for 25 years and was the founder of IncGamers and PC Invasion. He's also covered games for the UK printed press including The Scotsman and The Times.

Command and Conquer was a revelation when it was released. On the back of Dune 2, Westwood pushed the strategy genre forward. C&C was a stunning game for its time. Then came Red Alert, more of the same with a new story and new units. Both games were outstanding.

Currently, we are seeing a stack of remasters appearing. Original ideas are hard to come by in the gaming space these days so it's not a huge shock that publishers are digging through the archives to see what can be remade to modern standards.

shot-1.jpg

Now there's good remasters and then there's the Warcraft III remaster. Blizzard cocked that up royally. It certainly made a few gamers sit back and wonder whether a remaster is worth the price. After all, they have probably already paid for the same game two decades ago or perhaps even still play the original.

This C&C Remaster comes with two releases, the first two games in the series. Not surprising because they are pretty similar. The question is, has Petroglyph managed not to screw with the winning formula too much and created an authentic modernised experience?

Throughout the remaster development process, the development team has worked closely with the community to find out what should and should not be tampered with so full credit to them for doing things the right way. There are still many gamers who play the originals online so whatever was being remastered had to fit with players' expectations.

shot-3.jpg
As soon as the remaster fires up you're taken back to 1995, the team has included the old installation screens with a twist. The intro plays back the settings screens for visuals and audio exactly as they were at the time but now they slowly reveal the visual and audio improvements in front of your eyes. This is a genius move as it brings back a flood of great memories. Remember when you had to set your IRQ number for soundcards? Ah, the good old days when installing a game could be a challenge.

This remaster comes with all the missions from the original games so you can play through both games from start to finish. There's also online multiplayer which is essential. No C&C game would be complete without it. The only thing that's missing is a LAN option. Still, by no means, a deal-breaker as the majority will be playing online. Also worth mentioning there's a points-based multiplayer ladder too which is fantastic to see.

points-ladder.jpg

The key element of this remaster is the visuals. The team has recreated the original models for higher resolutions. This makes the buildings, units, and vehicles look sharp and modern. In fact, C&C has never looked so good. If you've been playing on CnCNet for free all these years then you're in for a real treat. Gone are the pixelated vehicles and men and in come crisp updated units that move around the map effortlessly.

graphics.jpg

I've been testing this in 2K and it looks gorgeous. Players can activate windowed mode, borderless window, vsync, and unit smoothing. There's nothing too fancy in the video options but there doesn't need to be because that would be overkill.

The developers have also recognised that players like to play in different ways so there is a legacy mode that allows players to toggle features on and off such as unit queuing. This was a feature I was pleased to see because I like to play the game exactly how it was in the original, building one unit at a time. For those that like to keep the build queue moving then you can do that too. The same goes for right-clicking or attack to move. You can zoom in and out too with the mouse wheel but that's probably not going to be used much. They have all bases covered no matter how you like to play the game.

options.jpg

There is one niggle I have with the interface. The up/down scroll interface from the original is no longer available. Instead, each type of build option is in its own tab. This I find more annoying than scrolling up and down and I'm not sure why that wasn't added as a legacy option. It's a minor issue that's purely down to personal preference but worth mentioning.

For Red Alert players, all the units from the Aftermath expansion are part of the core experience now. This is just as well because there's nothing like sneaking a few MAD tanks around the edge of the map and wiping another player out.

It's worth noting that all the maps from the original games are here, including the Red Alert Aftermath maps. These are split into groups based on the number of players so it's easy to find a map of a suitable size. The ultimate map is still Super Bridgehead in my opinion so I was extremely pleased to see it sitting there waiting to be clicked. I must have played thousands of games on that one map over the years.

maps.jpg

Let's also not forget modding. The source code was released a few weeks ago and on launch day there are 244 mods in the Steam Workshop and it's only going to get bigger. A sound move that will keep players trying out new things and no doubt new crazy community created units will appear.

For real fans of the franchise, they won't be disappointed with the work that's been done on the cutscenes. Everything has been remastered and sharpened up. Watching Joe Kucan in action as Kane is always a joy. He's not mean in real life though, he's actually an incredibly funny guy so it's great to see him back on screen. Then there's the audio which sounds great. Both these games had some of the best music tracks of any game franchise and it's fantastic to hear them again. There is an option to turn the audio back to legacy audio if you don't like the updated sounds. It's this attention to detail that helps make this remaster shine.

shot-4.jpg

Is it worth writing lots more words on this? No. You see, the development team has gone down the road of if it's not broken don't try and change or fix it. What they have done is create an excellent worthy remaster of two games that were absolute classics. This C&C Remaster will make a lot of fans very, very happy. I can't fault it. I've been playing both these games continually for more than two decades and this has been lovingly remastered and sold at a reasonable price that won't stop fans from buying it.

PureDMG Score: 10/10
 
Last edited:

PCGeek

Member
May 15, 2020
32
1
8
Thanks for the review. Awesome! I'll pick this up tomorrow for sure. Unit Ready!
 

glimp

New member
May 26, 2020
14
0
1
Grabbed this for launch and it's an awesome remaster. Loving the quick matches at the moment.
 

Grux

Moderator
Dec 24, 2019
70
7
8
Beeen playing through the C&C missions again and it's been a blast. AI is a bit rubbish but that's to be expected :)