Command & Conquer is a real-time strategy (RTS) game developed by Westwood Studios and published by Virgin Interactive. It originally came out in 1995 for the PC and was later ported to home consoles and for once I will be reviewing the original PC version of a multi-platform game.
The game starts off with an opening cut-scene that honestly feels like a man flipping through channels on his TV. We get several news broadcasts to introduce us to the world with some added bits mainly played out for comic relief. Like this infamous bit:Man:
At least your mother tipped well!Woman:
The opening intro ends with a screen of static with the symbols of the two primary factions fading in out and on the screen for the player to choose from. These two factions are the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and the Brotherhood of Nod. GDI is a military branch of the UN tasked with defending the world from global terrorism. The Brotherhood of Nod is a religious based terrorist group led by its charismatic and enigmatic leader, Kane.
The plot centers around the arrival of a new energy source named Tiberium, a green crystalline substance that is both dangerous to humans and is your army's main source of currency in order to cover the expenses of making military bases and training troops, which we'll get to in a minute.
After you select your faction of choice you cut to a briefing by your commanding officer. These scenes are live-action and performed by trained actors. They're done from a first-person perspective in order to make it feel like they really are talking to you, and as such it's easy for the player to feel like he or she really is commanding an entire army and sending them into battle. After the live-action video play we get a CGI scene for the outside areas but still possesses the inclusion of real life people in the place of the soldiers.Controls:
You move around the map with the mouse using the left mouse button to select and the right to unselect. Double click the left mouse button when highlighting the Mobile Construction Vehicle (MCV) to build your Construction Yard in order to start building your base and train troops. Hold down the same button while moving the mouse in order to highlight multiple units to move across the map.
To get power to your base you need a Power Plant, in order to train troops you need to build a Barracks for them to train in and then a Refinery in order to harvest Tiberium in to raise your money so you can afford to create new buildings and train more units. As you progress through each campaign you will have access to more buildings and units and while GDI and Nod both have their own unique styles to them, it's roughly the same format for both.
The game is also packed with a pretty good soundtrack that you can listen to while playing the game. Given its genre Command and Conquer is as much about patience and picking your spot as it is about destroying your enemies. You're going to want to build your base, train your soldiers, march out into battle and have a game plan going in, and then a backup game plan for when that plan blows up in your face. It's a lot like chess in that aspect. Now enemies can sneak up on you and some time you have to target them with the mouse in order to get your units to attack, but most of the time when they get close to your guys your guys will start firing at them automatically.
One of the things that Command and Conquer stand out for when it first came out was the explosions in the cut-scenes and the fact that in one of the live action scenes we see a man shot point blank in the head by the leader of the Nod faction introducing Kane to the player, and back then something like that still wasn't all that common in games as we were just coming out of the 2D era. CnC probably has one of the most underrated stories in video games, going from a modern time military game to a SciFi adventure as soon as its sequel Tiberium Sun came out. And even in the first game the struggle between Nod and GDI is seen throughout, fighting over Tiberium and there is even betrayal inside the Brotherhood that is handled swiftly by their leader Kane who seems to always be one step ahead no matter what.
The game can be a bit dated, but it was designed with Windows 95 in mind. And depending on your specs it may not play as well as it would on other computers. It's also not that easy to find unless you look for Command and Conquer the First Decade which has the game and all the others along with their expansions from 1995 to 2003. The gameplay is enjoyable even while being dated and the story is a lot of fun. If you can look past how old it is then I would recommend the game to any RTS lover out there wanting to give it a try.
This is ToriJ signing off.Great shot! Return to base immediately.