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Can Command and Conquer and Red Alert Remastered Bring New Life to a Classic Genre?

I can still remember my mouth hanging open in disbelief as I watched the announcement of Command and Conquer Rivals in 2018. To say that I was in the majority wouldn’t be an understatement, with the community slamming the decision by EA to take the popular and much anticipated series to mobile, especially after the woeful launch of the microtransaction-filled, Dungeon Keeper Mobile in 2014.

As an avid fan of the series, I remember the disappointment when Westwood Studios was officially closed down by Electronic Arts. The Command and Conquer franchise held a special place in my heart, and despite attempts by others to replicate similar effects in RTS titles, there has never been anything, in my opinion, quite as satisfying and entertaining as Red Alert.

This failure combined with the negative response garnered by Command and Conquer 4 (which still sits at Overwhelmingly Negative on Steam with 2,060 reviews) led many to believe that we were never going to see another entry into the popular franchise; however, with the recent popularity of remastered games showing that there is money in nostalgia and solidly established gameplay, EA have announced their aims to release a Command and Conquer and Red Alert Remastered collection with veteran studio, Petroglyph, leading us to ask the question: could this be enough to breathe life back into the stagnant RTS genre?

Initially released in 1995, Command and Conquer was often hailed as one of the fathers of the RTS genre, alongside Warcraft and Dune, having created many of the typical mechanics we now see in many of the titles that have followed. The release on consoles as well as PC helped to bring the genre to many gamers who were otherwise unaware of the series, and then, by splitting the franchise into the more serious Tiberium saga, and also the more tongue-in-cheek Red Alert series, Westwood Studios were able to cast a wide net, catching serious gamers with solid mechanics and story line, as well as fans of the camp and the eccentric with Red Alert’s hammy acting and over-the-top unit types (lines from the series are still often heard as text tones and messenger alert sounds).

My first experience of the series was with Red Alert on the PlayStation, after which I was hooked. I only recently revisited the old classics, and after much troubleshooting, have been playing my own personal favorite entry to the series, Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge. In honesty, the game took a lot of work to get running on Windows 10, but it was during these searches for patches and fixes that I discovered a thriving and positive community, such as the members of C&C online and C&C Net, eager to mod and support the old titles.

The feelings felt by myself, as well as much of the gaming community, are mixed. A return to form would be a fantastic thing to witness, but at the same time, in the age of microtransactions, season passes, and loot boxes, are we about to see something different from the classic we all know and love?

The gaming community seems eager to return to these classics and now, with the success of Remasters such as Spyro and the fantastic Resident Evil 2 Remaster (Which still sits at an impressive 91 on Metacritic) breathing new life into their respective genres, are we about to see a resurgence of RTS games off of the back of  Command and Conquer Remastered?

Personally speaking, as a long-time fan of the series, I can’t wait to get back into the fray and hope that it’s enough to get the message across that the RTS community is alive and well and can’t wait to see some new additions.

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  1. as a life long fan of the C&C, Dune, and Red Alert series, I eagerly look forward to the remastering of these classics. i’m just tempering my excitement with the possible turdstorm that it might become once EA execs go over this with their greed, microtransactions, and lootboxes or “surprise” mechanics….oh you want to have the mammoth tank? well, you need to play at least 20 hours in game and save up all your victory tokens to unlock it OR use $$$ to buy EA crystals slot coins to trigger C&C supply drops and hope you get that super ultra mega rare drop of a “Mammoth tank” legendary exclusive……and now I’m depressed all over again

    • Sigilstone17 on September 2, 2019 at 1:34 pm said

      IIRC, Petrogylph has already stated no microtransactions of any kind and this studio is made up of pretty much all the former employees of Westwood

    • I can’t wait to see this remastered version. If they don’t mess it up like they did with the first decade release. One of the main reasons I got a PC back in the day was for red alert.

  2. Yea, i mean we all know the big companies have run out of new ideas, creativity and anything we would want to experience in a game…

    But this time I’d be happy for them to just provide the whole back catalogue with an interface and graphics update to run on newer/current systems.

    But like everyone else, I just don’t trust the bastards not to royally fuck it up the way they did with C&C 4…

  3. I don’t know about that. Any title released by EA is corrupted at this point, so I have no hope that there will be a revival. They may pull an Activision and release a proper remaster to rekindle nostalgia and then put microtransactions in the next game. EA are on my boycott list, so I won’t be buying it either way.

  4. I have been a fan of C&C since the late 90’s, and when it was announced that Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert would be remastered I was excited. However, I’m primarily holding out for an “eventual” remaster of Tiberian Sun and Firestorm. That game (and it’s expansion) had the most “mature” setting of any of the C&C games. It was obvious that after Red Alert 2 came out, the two branches of C&C split. The Tiberium side was the more dark, grim side, and the Allies & Soviets was more light-hearted. Now the original Red Alert I do believe tried to keep that seriousness about it, posing a very plausible universe if Hitler was “erased” after his release from prison. But they shifted at some point down the line, probably due to EA’s need to interject. Tiberian Sun had no EA involvement in direct development, which gave Westwood reigns to dictate the story and mood. But when the next title came up and it was a sequel to Red Alert, you bet EA wanted to set some terms.

    Ultimately EA needs to release the IP rights of C&C and throw it back to Petroglyph, as it was stated, the majority of the original crew from Westwood work there now.

  5. Home world 3 is happening too 🙂

  6. As a fan of command and conquer and red alert i really hope they willl realease it for xbox one so i can play it

  7. Red Alert was my all time favorite RTS.
    However in this day and age, I keep all hype at 0 from anything that has EA’s name attached to it. When it comes out, if the user reviews are good and it has been at least a few months and they have done nothing shady to it, then I may check it out… I just have zero trust when it comes to EA,Activision, and Bethesda

  8. “A little C4 knockin’ at your door”

    I can fondly remember making all of my family and friends scream in anger at me when we would do LAN parties playing Red Alert 2, as I would send horses of seals and demolish ever key building they had. Glorious. Hopefully I get to e joy that glory again soon enough!

  9. Hordes****

  10. Yes Remaster Tim Curry Saying he is going to the one place that hasn’t been corrupted by Captialism.

  11. twilightarcadia on September 8, 2019 at 9:27 pm said

    I will wait and see, but this is EA we’re talking about. I trust them as far as a soyboy can throw Boogie. Won’t buy till I get a thumbs up from my fellow geeks here…not some bought off games urinalists.

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