GregoPeck gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
GregoPeck gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Command & Conquer (C&C) is one of the very first real-time strategy games. It was released in 1995, although Dune II actually came out a few years before it. C&C, however, made vast improvements and additions to the genre and was perhaps most famous for its full motion videos (FMVs). The acting, music, and gameplay were all great and lead to a very successful series that lasted over a decade. This success led to the game actually being retitled as “Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn.” After the success of C&C and it’s expansions, a new game was released called Red Alert (RA). RA takes place in a different timeline in which Einstein creates a time machine and removes Hitler from history. This put the Allies against the Stalin led USSR. Like C&C, RA was followed up with some expansions and sequels. I still own the soundtrack to RA that I got many years ago. I’ve really loved pretty much all C&C/RA music.

Most recently, some of original developers of the games decided to create the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection. They actually found old tapes of the FMVs and were able to remaster them, making them look much better. You can check out Jon’s post (link below) to see a video about how this collection was made, it’s worth watching if you’re a C&C fan.

One of my first reactions to the collection was that I was surprised that it’s priced at only $20. Maybe, I was expecting it to be a little more expensive. However, Limited Run Games did have other, more expensive, copies you could get that came with a lot more extra material, such as the music on a USB drive. I still think $20 is a great price tag for this collection.

The first bug I actually ran into may have been changed by now, but it was difficult to disable subtitles. For some reason, you had to click around the button instead of on the button. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this, though. I ran into another bug that was actually just a typo in the description of a photo from the bonus material.

The games didn’t just get a graphical overhaul, but the music and other elements were overhauled as well. One of the interesting graphical features is that you can press the Space Bar to switch between the classic and remastered graphics. This gives you a nice view of how the game has been remastered. The collection includes bonus material that is unlocked after completing a mission. Most of it is just videos showing green screen takes of the actors, which I didn’t find to be very valuable. However, you can also unlock bonus music tracks, which I found to be much more valuable.

Speaking of the music, I ran into what I thought was a bug. You can go into the game’s Jukebox, which you can find in the audio options on the main menu or in the menu during a game and create a playlist. It has some good options such as including or excluding original or remastered tracks, bonus tracks, C&C tracks, or RA tracks. One part of this confused me and that is the shuffle feature. I assumed this meant that the game would play a random music track if this was enabled, however this wasn’t entirely correct. What happens is that after adding tracks to the playlist, the game then shuffles them around and then seemingly saves that playlist. It then plays the exact same songs in the exact same order in pretty much every mission. This seemed to persist for almost every mission, although I think it actually changed some times. You can easily switch tracks w/ the “-” and “+” keys, though.

Just like in the original, sometimes there are often multiple areas you can select for the next mission after completing one. In the original games, this meant that you’d probably miss out on one, but this collection has a Mission Select menu option. Once you finish a mission, you can click on the “Main Menu” button. The game will then tell you, pretty much, that your progress is saved and you can select missions from the main menu. This way, you can play every mission. It’s very handy and helps expand campaign gameplay. You can also unlock the secret missions for both games. I couldn't remember how to do this, so I just used Google to find out how.

I was working on Steam achievements, but ran into another issue, which may just be something I was doing incorrectly. One of the achievements requires you to play 10 multiplayer matches, but includes “comp stomp,” which I presume to mean you versus the AI, pretty much like the Skirmish option. However, I couldn’t get this to start and am waiting to hear back about what I may have done wrong with this.

After finishing the C&C part of the collection, I started playing the RA part. RA included a new snow environment, which I liked very much. It also included new units including spies and naval units. One thing I liked was that if you lose a naval unit, the game will specifically tell you, “naval unit lost.” After switching from the first game to RA, I immediately began to notice how it was an improvement over the original game. For instance, in the original game, it was difficult for a tank to shoot at an infantry unit and it was just easier to run them over. However, tanks seem to have gained anti-infantry accuracy in RA. They also seem to have gotten a speed boost. You may also hear the male voice of EVA and think “oh, that sounds like Jarvis from Iron Man,” but I can tell you that they are not the same actor. They most definitely sound alike (to me and some others) though.

If you liked C&C and RA, I would definitely suggest picking this up. I enjoyed being able to play these games again, especially after being remastered. I (along with others apparently) would really like to see more of the C&C/RA games get the remastered treatment. I have these games on a DVD collection known as "Command & Conquer: The First Decade," but the earlier games aren't completely compatible with today's modern PCs as they were designed for 32-bit CPUs. However, with a bit of research and some extra steps, you can get these games to work and stay stable. I've been able to get Tiberian Sun working and am playing it again.

If you have thoughts you want to share about this, please feel free to do so in the comments!

Check out this post by Jon: https://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/4466/the-remarkable-story-behind-command-conquer-s-remastering

Will_Ball   Game Mod   Super Member wrote on 10/06/2020 at 11:18pm

My CE of this should be showing up in a few weeks!

jdodson   Admin wrote on 10/07/2020 at 10:26pm

I agree that the digital price of the C&C collection is an incredible value. Red Alert is the stand out game to me in this collection and I am VERY eager for Red Alert 2. I think the best part of these collections is making the games much easier to play given that running these old titles involves a lot of hacking.

I want to play this, I'm not sure when that's going to happen though? Prob around the time I complete the recent WarCraft III remake 🤣

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 10/08/2020 at 12:57am

I may have forgotten about WarCraft III. I don't have it, yet. It'd be cool if they remastered the first two. These games (WarCraft and C&C) came out about the same time.

Will_Ball   Game Mod   Super Member wrote on 10/08/2020 at 03:51am

Give me Dune 2 or go home!

jdodson   Admin wrote on 10/08/2020 at 03:55am

You can get the first two Warcrafts on GOG. They seem to have put enough effort in to make them run on modern Windows, which is really nice.

https://www.gog.com/game/warcraft_bundle

jdodson   Admin wrote on 10/08/2020 at 03:56am

> Give me Dune 2 or go home!

I didn't know that wasn't available digitally anywhere. Shame.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 10/08/2020 at 05:57am

Oh wow I didn't know about the WarCrafts on GOG. As for Dune 2, man I enjoyed that game! I tried to play Dune 2000 recently and ended up doing a "rage quit." I actually finally did the same thing to Tiberian Sun, because I felt like if I have to watch a video to see how to do every mission, then I'm not really enjoying the game. I only watched videos for a few missions in the Remastered Collection. I admit my strategy was simple and usually effective, though repetitive. I still had fun though! Now I don't know how I played these games w/out YouTube. Shoot, I barely had Internet service in the Dune2/C&C/Warcraft days, though I had friends playing them, too.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 10/15/2020 at 09:45am

After a small break, I returned to Tiberian Sun. It was odd that the mission I stopped on never came back up, since I restarted. I just finished the Firestorm Nod campaign, so I'm done w/ the all the campaigns. It's good that it's playable, once you figure out how to get it to work properly, which isn't too difficult. It could use a "fresh coat of paint" or remaster like C&C and RA, but after about 20 years it's still not bad, or that's what I think anyway.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 10/16/2020 at 08:26am

I've now moved on to Red Alert 2 and found out that my version that came w/ C&C: The First Decade works just fine w/out any tinkering. My native and max resolution for my monitor is 1920X1200 and that's what I'm used to. However, I've decided to keep the game at the minimal resolution of 640X480 (16 bit only available). This is because the game play itself looks a bit better when increasing the resolution, but I don't want to be zoomed out too much where my units look too tiny. Also, if I use 800X600, the main menu looks fine and normal full screen, but movies or cutscenes get a black border around them, which I don't like. Increasing the resolution beyond this point puts a border around the menu and increases the one around the movies. You can get "hi-res" to work and it's not hard, but nothing I found made the movies stretch. There are settings for that, but they don't work. I tried the Origin version and while it appears to be the same version number, it doesn't behave the same way. If you change the resolution on that one then colors get inverted and the menu gets put into a smaller box in the upper left hand corner. There are compatibility fixes for this game and you can enable some compatibility options by selecting them in the properties of the .exe files, especially "run in compatibility mode for Windows 7" or XP or 95, run it in 16 bit color, since it doesn't go above that, and "run as administrator." To me, it was just a quick simple search on the web of how to run RA2 on Windows 10 and instructions weren't very complicated. Still, I don't think it looks too bad and I think I've forgotten over the last two decades just how fun this game is.

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