Review by lighty691

"A Decent Conversion Of A PC Classic"

Command and Conquer - Review

"A decent conversion of the PC classic."

Welcome to my review of Command and Conquer for the Playstation, the first of the series on the console, and a conversion of the hugely successful PC version. Command and Conquer is a war strategy game that involves pitting your armies against that of your opponents in the hope of obtaining victory. This in itself sounds a simple task however there is much more to it than that...

Upon starting the game you choose between two forces - The Global Defence Initiative (GDI) and The Brotherhood of Nod (NOD). This is a typical battle of good vs. evil with the GDI side taking the role of protecting civilians and doing the right thing whereas NOD are the side openly trying to take as much as they can by force and deception. The game also features special missions of varying description which are separate from the main missions and offer a different challenge as well as having their own unique storylines. Each mission from the normal game scenarios have varying levels of difficulty and specific criteria for the mission to be completed. These missions are actually pretty interesting and exciting to play. Being a strategy game, obviously the main idea of the game is to outwit your enemy and wipe them out before they get the chance to do the same to you. This involves planning specifically when and where you attack your enemy and what resources you allocate to attack and defence in your army.

Converting a game from PC format to Playstation is probably a difficult task given that the control system is completely different; however the game pulls this off really well. Although a mouse works better with the game the controls are surprisingly good. They take a little getting used to, particularly when switching between the field and your sidebar options. However you can assign infantry to team numbers and highlight whole groups of vehicles just as easily as you would be able to if you were using the mouse. Also the game has been converted well in that the AI on the game is pretty good too. Often with certain types of games the computer generated enemies are a bit predictable and can be easy to beat, however this is not the case with Command and Conquer. Most of the time the computer will only attack when it seems logical to do so. There are some instances however though where the AI is a little bit naive and can perform a little unusually.

Often the controls can make a game particularly challenging but with a decent control system this game has other areas to ensure the difficulty level is sufficiently set. As the game progresses the missions will get progressively harder so that the players are broken into the game smoothly. The first few missions begin by taking a small army and defeating a small foe all the way through to building a huge base of operations and destroying the enemy altogether.

One of the most important areas of any game is how well the game looks graphically. The Playstation console has very good capabilities graphically and Command and Conquer utilises these reasonably well. One of the best areas that the graphical capabilities are being used is through the use of CGI videos in the game. In between missions the story is told through video links with various “generals” and “leaders” within the army. These are acted out by real life actors and although a little cheesy at times they are very well presented graphically. As regards the actual playing element of the game the graphics here are also reasonably good when compared to similar games on the console. The missions are completed with a birds eye view type view with buildings and infantry very clear and recognisable. The buildings are well constructed and show distinct signs of damage when attacked by enemy forces. Similarly the infantry can be easily distinguished by the weapons they carry and the uniforms they wear. They also hit the ground and start crawling when under attack too which is a nice addition. Graphically some of the backgrounds and scenery that the battles take place on are also quite good. They are easily distinguishable between desert and forest scenery for example however this is an area that could have been a little bit better. Some of the designs are very basic and a little uninspiring; however this is not a major issue and does not ruin any of the gameplay particularly.

Another area that is important in this game is the sound. In order to create the right type of mood you need to have a decent soundtrack to the game and Command and Conquer doesn't fail here. The tracks in the game are very war-like and fit in very well with the overall theme of the game along with the voices used when communicating with your troops. Also a nice touch is some of the sound effects that are used when buildings are being attacked. If you are looking at a far away section of the map the sound effects of the buildings and tanks exploding sound far away whereas if you are close up they sound a lot louder. Overall the music and sound complement each other well in the game.

In order for a game to be good value for money it needs to be a game that will last you for some time and be interesting to play. Command and Conquer has two disks, one for the GDI missions and one for the NOD missions. Each disk has around 20 missions, all of varying length and difficulty so there is a fair amount of play time available with this game. When you also take into account the extra covert/special missions that are available this adds up to a lot of hours of gameplay. Other than that there isn't a vast amount of additional missions or game modes to play with but the game does have some replay value due to the fact that there are several different ways that players can progress through the missions. This means that going back to play the missions again will result in you being able to take a different path and complete some different missions.

So overall Command and Conquer is a good game definitely worth a good look. It is an exciting game with plenty of missions to complete. Graphically the game is good, without pushing the consoles capabilities. One of the only downsides to the game is that there can be considerable lag when the maps are particularly large or when there are a lot of items on screen. Once you have built up a considerable army and plenty of buildings in your base, if your enemy has a similar force you may find that moving large groups of troops can be problematic. The game will jump slightly and freeze causing the time it takes to move your troops to increase considerably. This can be frustrating when you are trying to play the game and does spoil the experience slightly but is probably inevitable when converting a game from PC format to Playstation. Overall though this is a really good game and fully deserves the score it gets.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/06/11

Game Release: Command & Conquer (EU, 12/31/96)

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