Unfortunately it feels a bit more like a group therapy session than an exciting insight into the Command and Conquer series
You can't please a fanatic. Something the developers of Command and Conquer The First Decade will be learning in spades after the recent release of this compilation disk. Before we get into that though, let us see what this behemoth brings to the gaming table.
Relive the glory...
The beauty of destruction...
Command and Conquer The First Decade contains the following material: Command and Conquer (our wee original friend from 1995), Command and Conquer: The Cover Operations, Command and Conquer: Red Alert, Command and Conquer: Red Alert - Counterstrike, Command and Conquer: Red Alert - The Aftermath, Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun, Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun - Firestorm, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2, Command and Conquer: Yuri's Revenge, Command and Conquer: Renegade, Command and Conquer: Generals, and Command and Conquer: Generals - Zero Hour. Bonus DVD.
Now surely that is plenty of commanding and conquering for anyone.
Westwood Studios, the original progenitors of the Command and Conquer series, are alas, with us no more, but their legacy remains and is continued by the EA Mega Corporation. Starting out on this gaming journey really takes one back, back to the 90's. Perhaps a scary journey for some, and the publisher has neglected to stamp an acid flashback trigger warning on the box, but you should all be wise enough to be wary of the risks of time warping anyhow.
The original games have been updated to work on XP, and there are some nostalgic moments to be had as the sometimes shocking video quality reminds us all of what we never missed.
To recap for those who have forgotten what it was all about, the Command and Conquer series started off in a futuristic science fiction world called Tiberium. There were many things that set this game apart, ground breaking design, the install screens (which have not been continued in this set and are sorely missed), and action such as had not been seen before. The story focused on conflict between the Global Defense Initiative and the Brotherhood of Nod, which is a name both threatening and funny. For 90's gamers there was nothing quite like a bit of fantasy carnage, and they'd kick off their corporate suits and play in their socks from dawn to dusk.
The rich worlds...
The old faithfuls...
This spawned a takeover and an almost never ending series of games from EA. Several games later and the series mutated to Red Alert, where alternate history kicked in and people really got excited. This series worked on a story line in which Adolf Hitler never made it big (due to a successful assassination on the part of our fluffy haired relativist, Einstein), but Joseph Stalin caused all sorts of trouble anyhow and the world erupted into war anyways.
Seems some things are just inevitable, and like the war, this series was unstoppable. The video introductions and multi player capability blew people away. Unfortunately it is luck of the draw and hunting around the Internet to actually work out how to get the multi player functions to work on these older versions of the games as support is limited.
Then we go back to reprise old themes with the Tiberian games before things get really strange and for some reason, after the break away to Yuri's Revenge, Command and Conquer becomes a FPS for the Renegade release. It's the black sheep anomaly of the bunch and compared to recent releases in the genre it's nothing to speak of, but it does have a strange nostalgic charm, like your weird uncle Eric.
Then the series broke through to modernity with the generals series. Ah, terrorism, the scourge of the modern age became the muse for the later Command and Conquer games. The USA is pitted against China and a terrorist group called the GLA and vice versa. The system is much changed and upgraded from the original and makes for a lot of fun.
Then there is the bonus DVD with its "features". The concept was a great idea, but the execution is somewhat weak if you're not a fan of a bunch of people sitting around telling you their feelings about something. Unfortunately it feels a bit more like a group therapy session than an exciting insight into the Command and Conquer series.
Now is the time...
To Command and Conquer!
So then, Command and Conquer fanatics will be a little disappointed with the way the series has been put together. Clearly it wasn't put together by other fanatics. The omission of the installation sequences is a great loss, and the occasional bug makes for some frustration. On the other hand, the material itself is good enough that even the most clueless would have a hard time making it look bad. If you're a fanatic, keep that old PC and its games around for the genuine experience, but this is nice if you'd just like a quick way to experience old times.