A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is an updated version of two classic real-time strategy titles Command & Conquer and Command & Conquer Red Alert for Windows PCs. Released 25 years ago, these games basically gave birth to the real-time strategy genre. There's violence, but it's not overly gory (screams from vanquished enemies and all sorts of explosions). The full-motion video will look corny to younger players (and several older ones), but there's nothing offensive in it. There's occasional use of mild foul language ("hell" and "damn"), and one female character plays a commando who, curiously, wears a midriff-baring shirt.
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What's it about?
In COMMAND & CONQUER REMASTERED COLLECTION, both games focus on the battle between the Global Defense Initiative (GDI), a futuristic version of the United Nations, and a diabolical group known as the Brotherhood of Nod, led by a charismatic leader known as Kane. At the center of their fight is a toxic but powerful energy source known as Tiberium. Players will fight a series of battles, deploying troops and vehicles to achieve objectives (which can range from defending a base to destroying bridges to wiping out enemy camps). They'll also build bases and manage funds to reach the battle's conclusion -- and weigh the deployment of resources in both an offensive and a defensive capacity. The games also feature an online component, letting you play one on one against friends.
Is it any good?
This series set the bar for real-time strategy titles, and while the genre has advanced in 25 years, there's a strong nostalgia factor with these games that its many, many fans will embrace. Both games in the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection have a little rust on them -- and show their age (especially with the full-motion video cutscenes that feature painfully bad actors) -- and they could desperately use some instructions or a tutorial. But despite all of those flaws, the core game mechanic is as strong as it ever was.
The games have just the right number and types of troops, buildings, and weapons to keep you hooked without overwhelming you. Younger players, even teens, might have trouble looking beyond the video and bare-bones graphics (even with the remastering, the games' graphics fall short of modern standards). But C&C was never about the graphics. Players who focus on the game itself will find themselves drawn in and appreciating the work that went into bringing this classic back to life. There's also a large number of bonus items and videos to flesh out the experience, and the option to create your own levels when you complete the game. For fans looking back at the nostalgia of real-time strategy games, or newcomers to the franchise, Command & Conquer Remastered Collection is one players might want to enlist in.
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