On Wednesday, EA Games released the first gameplay footage of Command & Conquer: Remastered. It’s a brief 30-second clip that begins in the game’s original fuzzy resolution, before transitioning to the crisp new reworked designs for modern screens. It’s bringing me back to the person I was when I first played C&C, and I’m scared of that person. He was a menace.
When it comes to real-time strategy games, the Command & Conquer franchise doesn’t hold the same revered status as, say, StarCraft. Instead, it’s become more of a cult fave, famous for its cheeky, low-budget cutscenes full of hammy acting and ridiculous plots. I, however, loved them—probably because that was the game we had in my house, not StarCraft.
Either way, the Command & Conquer games were perfect for making me a young strategy cornball. Playing with my cousin on the weekends, we would infuriate each other with truly bad ideas that would never stand for even a minute if we took them online—which we tried, and got sent packing. We would send each other cheap infantry units in single file, endlessly. We would bum rush each other with our starting squads, racing to build bases in the same corner of the map. We would build an incredibly large army and just sit there, waiting for the other to come, until they never did and then we had to log off.
We didn’t have the word for it then, but I guess we were a couple of knucklehead trolls.
I’m not sure if there’s something specific to Command & Conquer that encouraged this kind of buffoonery—every game has its cheese, you know? But Command & Conquer definitely made it satisfying to pull off. The ridiculous, catchy music, the simple interface, the light sci-fi elements that made everything kind of comic-booky but only a little bit—if you were young enough, like we were, you could lie to yourself and say you were an Actual Badass General of a totally realistic army.
It’s probably worth apologizing in advance for my behaviour when this remaster drops. I doubt I’ll be any good, but I’ll be annoying as hell.