Westwood Studios with its Dune, Command & Conquer and Red Alert series helped define the real-time strategy genre in the 90s and early 2000s. Together with Blizzard’s Warcraft and StarCraft series, it’s difficult to think of a more influential video game franchise in the RTS world.
Westwood were one of the first to introduce full-motion video cutscenes with professional (Hollywood) actors that added weight to the story and immersed you in its world. Even after some 20 years since I played Dune II, Tiberian Sun or Red Alert, rare are the RTS games that bring back such emotion or passion. I still remember missions as clearly as if I’ve played them yesterday, also true for StarCraft, and who can forget Red Alert’s soundtrack or fake Russian accents.
If this brings back some nostalgia, you are not alone. After cancelling the 2013 Command & Conquer reboot, Electronic Arts is bringing back Command & Conquer and Red Alert series in glorious 4K.
On one level, every remaster in a sign of a lack of new & fresh ideas from studios/publishers, and as such a part of me condemns this news. On the other hand, my connection with these series still runs deep and I cannot help but get excited.
Even though EA closed Westwood in 2003, a path many believe Activision and Blizzard are on as well, they’ve partnered with Petroglyph Games to develop the C&C remastered collection. This is good news since Petroglyph includes many of the original executives and developers from Westwood Studies. If you look at the list of titles their staff has had a hand in, it’s difficult not to be impressed. On top of that, Frank Klepacki, the man behind the baton for C&C and Red Alert will be re-joining the project as a Composer and Audio Director! If you don’t know who Frank is, just click play: