Command & Conquer is coming back, or at least the originals are. And for the first time since EA announced the classic RTS games were getting the licensed remastered treatment, we’ve got some gameplay.
EA has pushed out two teasers of the work-in-progress remaster from Petroglyph Games, the ex-Westwood Studio developers who made Grey Goo and are bringing C&C back to life.
It goes without saying, of course, that the C&C series has been very well served by the OpenRA fan project, which now supports the superb Aussie RTS Kill, Krush ‘N Destroy. But seeing EA back a proper C&C remaster is nice, and hopefully a harbinger for some of the other bangers sitting in the company’s roster (hello, Command & Conquer: Renegade).
For the record, the remaster will include the original Command & Conquer, Red Alert 1, and the three expansions for both (Covert Ops, Counterstrike, Aftermath). Arthouse Lemon Sky Studios has also been brought onboard to help Petroglyph remaster the games into 4K, and EA confirmed in a blog post that the games would retain the original 2D artstyle.
“When we recovered the source code to C&C Tiberian Dawn and C&C Red Alert, this gave us a viable avenue to accurately match the core gameplay, feel, and signature look of the legacy titles,” EA creative director Jim Vessella wrote. “We felt the 2D style was the best way to bring all these elements together, and ultimately achieve the authenticity we were looking for.”
There’s no footage available yet of a full match, but already we how the textures have been cleaned up across the board. The classic management sidebar has already been updated for modern systems and monitors, so people playing C&C in 2020 will have a lot more visibility than those in the ’90s. And just like Starcraft Remastered, you’ll be able to switch from legacy/classic graphics to the remastered visuals with the flick of a button.
There’s a few things that’ll probably get reworked now that the textures are a lot sharper. The shell from the tanks looks a little like a potato, now that the game doesn’t have the blur or blockiness inherent with that older pixel-art style, so some kind of blur effect will probably be added to mask over that. And that’s part of the nature of remasters — not everything holds up when it’s given a sharper coat of paint, so you have to find new solutions to paper over the things that don’t fit.