The classic Real-Time Strategy game, Command & Conquer, was originally published for PC MS-DOS by Virgin Interactive in 1995.
Command & Conquer was developed by Las Vegas-based company Westwood Studios and it took the world by storm…
The reason for its success was because it distilled down the most important elements of a Real-Time Strategy game and also brought a lot of new ideas to the table too. Westwood took their previous game, Dune II, and improved on it no end.
Reading the C&C manual now I noted this paragraph: “Command & Conquer is not Dune III. The only item borrowed from our earlier real-time strategy game is the cool interface, and even that has been updated. The game engine has been totally rewritten to support more units and an enhanced artificial intelligence.”
Which is quite funny, but also true – Command & Conquer‘s interface is a far cry from Dune II‘s. Although C&C was initially released for DOS it actually contains a number of Windows-style GUI tricks, like clicking and dragging to highlight multiple units at once. The interface in C&C definitely made it easy to get into the game and gain a foothold.
You can play either as the ‘goodies’ (GDI), or the ‘baddies’ (NOD) and the path you take through the campaign depends on which territories you decide to go into. There are various branches through the game and different endings depending on your route and faction.
The multiplayer mode didn’t require both players to own the game, which was a nice gesture from Westwood. That said: you’d be hard-pushed to get a multiplayer game working in the original DOS version of C&C now because it’s all modem-based.
Thankfully, Command & Conquer has recently been re-released in high definition, with new multiplayer facilities, and by all accounts the remake is fantastic. I have’t played it yet but it’s on the cards.
The screenshots here are from the original 1995 MS-DOS version. I’ll post grabs of the new version soon.