Command & Conquer Remastered Collection marks a refreshing new direction from a publisher that often seems tone-deaf.
Over the last decade, EA has sparked controversy among players with its implementation of microtransactions, divisive handling of the Star Wars game license, and sports games some don’t feel evolve enough to justify a new purchase each year. In 2018, EA announced Command & Conquer: Rivals, a mobile game spin-off of the long-dormant real-time strategy Command & Conquer series that met with universal dismay from fans who wanted something more robust.
That controversy seemingly inspired EA to remake the two games in the Command & Conquer series —Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert — with Petroglyph Games, a studio made up of many former Command & Conquer developers. Command & Conquer Remastered Collection had the same military-inspired strategy gameplay of the originals, with a fresh coat of paint for modern hardware.
The impetus behind this remaster was clearly to please angered Command & Conquer fans that have long felt underserved. The revamped visuals, extensive included content, and development tools made the few hours Inverse spent with Command & Conquered Remastered extremely enjoyable. If you’re a true fan of Command & Conquer, there is no reason to pass this up.
A fresh coat of paint — Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is a more detailed, fully realized version of what Westwood Studios was trying to accomplish with Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert back in the 90s. The team “re-concepted, re-modeled and re-animated every gameplay asset from scratch” according to an official blog post, and it paid off.
The game runs incredibly smoothly in widescreen 4K, and players can even toggle between the old and new graphics at any time by pressing the spacebar. Menus have also been reworked so building structures and units and commanding them is a bit easier. The only part of the visuals that didn’t always receive the same treatment were some of the live-action and animated cutscenes that still look a bit outdated.
That’s because the developers couldn’t find the source code for the originals, and had to make do with the low-res versions available. Still, knowing that the team tried to make them better shows the passion behind this project. Command & Conquer Remastered Collection retains the satisfying gameplay of the originals, so from that standpoint it should appeal to anyone who adored the classics.
The complete package — Enhancing its appeal to fans, Command & Conquer Remastered Collection also packs in all the official expansion content released for Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert. Every main mission and DLC level from both the PC and console versions is here. While the console levels’ designs still show the limitations of their platforms, it’s awesome to see them realized in PC Command & Conquer style.
The collection even includes a couple of famous mods as well as some new levels. These can all be accessed from a new mission select screen. Command & Conquer Remastered Collection also has a bonus gallery for cutscenes and some unreleased footage as well as a jukebox to listen to the original and remastered music. It’s really the ultimate Command & Conquer experience for those looking to dive back into the series.
Super Command & Conquer Maker — EA and Petroglyph Games have created a solid, microtransaction-free remaster that’s sure to please fans. Surprisingly, they went a step further by including an easy-to-use level editor that lets players create their own maps and levels. It’s less intuitive than something like Super Mario Maker, but for the fans that want to create mods or their own levels, this is insanely helpful.
On top of that, they will also be releasing the source code of both Command and Conquer: Tiberium Dawn and Red Alert. The developers believe this will enable amazing community projects for years to come” as it was something the community had consistently asked for. It also has a Steam Workshop page already up and running.
Because of this, Command and Conquer Remastered Collection is probably going to have an awesome modding scene, something we haven’t seen from an EA game in years. It’s an initiative other companies’ re-releasing games should take note of.
While games like Final Fantasy VII Remake might make you think that full-on recreations are the only true way to redo a game, Command & Conquer Remastered Collection proves that a really thorough remaster can be just as enticing. This is a welcome, pro-consumer precedent for EA to set.
As this remaster has the potential to make the series relevant again, hopefully, EA will continue the Command & Conquer series with Petroglyph Games from here. If that does happen, then EA needs to retain the values that clearly inspired this project in mind going forward as its part of what makes this game so enjoyable.
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is now available for PC via Steam and EA Origin.