What To Expect With Command and Conquer Remastered

I’m a sucker for strategy games. Those, along with first person shooters, are what I grew up on as a kid and I’ve been playing them all my life. I am certainly not the best at, or probably not even good at most strategy games, but the hours I’ve lost invested in short-term skirmishes and long-term campaigns are incalculable. However, this genre definitely reached its creative peak in the 90s and early 2000s, and I tend to find myself investing a lot of time in games which aren’t new at all, but rather games I install on my laptop off of 20-25 year old CDs, and among these games are many of the earliest entries in the acclaimed and ill-fated Command and Conquer series. Games such as Tiberian DawnRed Alert, and Red Alert 2 are some of the best RTS games ever developed and put to market, and so when news of a 4k remaster of Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert hit my screen sometime back in the summer, I was initially ecstatic- a high-definition, multiplayer-capable remaster of these two games for the series’s 25th anniversary? What’s not to love?!

But then I started to think, and it dawned on me- this remaster, unless it is the start of a revival for the series, is too little over a decade too late. Don’t get me wrong, I think this remaster is going to be great fun, and I’m absolutely going to pour my heart into this game, and it does look beautiful to be sure, however ultimately this remaster signifies either the bedazzling of the final nail in the series’ coffin, or the start of a process to get the mutilated corpse of this long-beloved series out of the grave and resurrect it, and I’m skeptic either way. Electronic Arts, by pulling some former Westwood developers from their studio at Petroglyph Games to work on this remaster, has shown a willingness to try to rebuild formerly burned bridges destroyed in the fallout of the liquidation of Westwood which ultimately led not to the collapse of the real-time strategy series. However, the failure to use these resources to create a new concept within this massive and lore-rich IP is, to me at least, not enough to fully restore my confidence in the future of the series. Additionally, the releases of absolutely atrocious mobile phone exclusive Command & Conquer: Rivals in 2018 and browser-based Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances before that all the way back in 2012 have done little to convince me that EA can make a good Command & Conquer entry without the support of the Petroglyph Games team.

These two most recent releases, along with EA’s past of cancelling promising games in the series such as Westwood’s original Command & Conquer 3 and the scrapped tactical shooter Tiberium, has convinced me that EA simply cannot be trusted alone with the rights to the series. Therefore, I believe that while the Command & Conquer remaster MAY be a step in the right direction, failure to continue the partnership with Petroglyph Games to create a new, novel entry in the series means that this remaster will be little more than placing some jewels atop the sarcophagus this series has been sealed into. What do I think needs to happen after the remaster? The resurrection of the Tiberium project in conjunction with the developers at Petroglyph Games and the developers of the fan-made FPS game Command & Conquer: Renegade X, but also the development of a PROPER send-off to the Tiberian storyline which completely ignores the events and story of the made-for-mobile 2010 “game” Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight co-developed between EA and Petroglyph. Additionally, I think that Jon Van Caneghem of Might and Magic fame should be rehired to lead the development of an online-optional, story rich sequel to Command and Conquer: Generals as he was slated to do back in 2012.

Until this happens, I will buy and play the heck out of this remaster, but I’ll run from playing any further entries in the series afterwards like heck.