Some gamers like to go in all guns blazing, immersing themselves in the action and dispatching enemies left, right, and centre. Others prefer to take a more hands-off approach, guiding their troops towards victory with a perfectly-executed strategy. Of course, there’s room for us all at this wonderful buffet table, and we love shooters just as much as the next gamer. Still, we can’t deny we’re definitely partial to a spot of real-time strategy.
With that in mind, it’s obvious we’re overjoyed that the first Command & Conquer and its sequel, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, would be getting remastered. EA announced these remasters back in November last year, and although we still don’t have a worldwide release date for them yet, we’re starting to get excited. There are plenty of reasons to look forward to these loving revisits of old-school strategy classics. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons.
The original devs are involved
In order to create the remasters of Command & Conquer and Red Alert, EA looked to the game’s original creators. Petroglyph is an RTS studio founded by many of the original staff who worked on C&C back in 1995. The studio has worked on RTS projects like Star Wars: Empire At War and Conan Unconquered, and now they’re bringing their years of expertise to bear on remaking their beloved classics from the ground up. Speaking of which…
These are faithful remasters
While it’s true that Petroglyph and EA are looking to tweak a few of the original games’ less savoury elements (Tanya’s pathfinding, anyone?), the devs aren’t interested in completely remaking either game from the ground up. Instead, EA’s Jim Vessella says the teams have access to a huge amount of the original source code and are assessing how much of it can be used to create the remasters. Fans will definitely get the games they remember, not a modernised version.
The community will be closely consulted
EA and Petroglyph say that they’ve assembled a “community council” which consists of thirteen hardcore C&C players. These thirteen people will closely advise the two studios on what needs to change and what needs to stay, so you know that if you’re a fan, your opinion will be listened to. The script, storyline, and gameplay content will be kept as authentic as possible, and since C&C fans are the clear target of these remasters it’s reassuring to know EA and Petroglyph have our best interests at heart.
The UI has been updated
Even though Petroglyph and EA aren’t looking to reinvent Command & Conquer’s extremely influential wheel, that doesn’t mean they’re above making important changes. The UI for the first game has been significantly improved, with some elements taken from Red Alert 2 and Tiberium Wars (namely the build tabs and improved sidebar). Honestly, if you think you loved the originals’ clunky UI, you really didn’t, so these are welcome changes.
All expansions are included
Every single expansion released for both Command & Conquer and Red Alert will be included with the remaster. That means you’re getting similarly remastered versions of C&C’s The Covert Operations pack, as well as Counterstrike and Aftermath where Red Alert is concerned. We make that a whole lot of game for what will likely be a not-too-exorbitant price. Let it never be said that Petroglyph and EA don’t do anything nice for their respective communities.
There won’t be microtransactions
EA as a studio has garnered something of a negative reputation for including lots of microtransactions in its games. It’s a relief, then, that EA has made it clear Command & Conquer won’t suffer from this same problem. You won’t be able to pay to win the game against online opponents, and you won’t be able to cough up real money for an advantage in single-player, either. We reckon EA has learned its lesson from some of the negative reactions to placing microtransactions in its other properties.
Command & Conquer and Red Alert are classics
While it’s true that you could certainly go back and check out the original C&C and Red Alert, at this point they’re probably not particularly accessible to modern fans of the genre. EA and Petroglyph’s work means an entirely new generation of gamers will be able to experience arguably the greatest real-time strategy games ever created. These games are stone-cold classics, and any attempt to retain gaming history and not let it fall to the march of technology is absolutely OK by us. We believe that if these titles are greeted with positivity, the entire Command and Conquer series could ultimately be remastered and that’s not to mention the next big step in the series; Red Alert 4.
The release date is a long way off
We know this doesn’t sound like a reason to be excited, but trust us when we say that it is. Petroglyph and EA’s reluctance to rush the game out in order to meet financial demand shows a respect for the property that’s admirable. They could simply rush out the C&C remasters and watch the money roll in, but that wouldn’t foster community faith, so they’ve decided to work slowly. We think that’s admirable. We do want to play the games, of course, but we’re willing to wait for perfection.