EA have now officially announced their Command & Conquer remasters, and they look to be in good hands. Several of the strategy classics’s original developers are returning, including talent from ex-Westwood folks Petroglyph and original composer Frank Klepacki. Together, they’re polishing up the original Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn, along with its alt-history cousin C&C: Red Alert, plus all expansions for both games. Preempting the cynics amongst us, EA have also confirmed that there’ll be no micro-transactions. The devs announce the news below.
EA producer Jim Vessella made the full announcement on the Command & Conquer Reddit page, where he’d previously teased it in October. Calling it “the first offering”, the first two C&C games plus all expansions released as “one remastered collection”. Right now, nothing is set in stone, and both EA and Petroglyph are reaching out to players for feedback on what they feel needs to be retained or improved. They’ve explicitly stated that that this would be a “remaster” instead of a “remake”, but they do admit that the terms are fuzzy around the edges at the best of times.
My feelings on this are complicated. While I’m glad to see stuff updated to work better on modern machines, I feel both the original C&C and Red Alert are from such an early, clumsy stage in the genre’s evolution that they need more than just polishing up. It (arguably) wasn’t until the release of StarCraft that the genre really hit full stride, turning the genre into the twitchy, competitive thing we know today. Command & Conquer’s endearingly goofy FMV side holds up thanks to our unquenchable millennial hunger for kitsch, but I reckon its systems could do with a tune-up.
I do think that getting Klepacki on board is the right call, though. I’d trust nobody else to update Hell March to modern spec. Right now EA and Petroglyph seem to be in the early stages of development. I doubt we’ll see much of these remasters shy of mid or late 2019, if not later. Still, good to see the old crew back together. In the meantime, those wanting to play C&C and Red Alert on modern PCs could do far worse than open source fan-remaster OpenRA.