Warning: Extremely Addictive Game!
If you're looking for just a few minutes of fun, do not play this game. Before long, you may find yourself glued to the monitor determined to beat the game regadless of the hour, hunger, or the need to go to the bathroom. Westwood's Gold version of its classic, Command and Conquer, plays just like the original smash hit. Not one second from the over 35 possible missions are left out of this well revamped version of the original Command and Conquer. Aside from the moment to moment excitement, Westwood has also shoved in a few goodies that are sure to please the pallet. The new Gold version is not only fun for newcomers of strategy games, but it is still difficult for old fans to get themselves away from their computers once they start playing again.
To those playing Command and Conquer for the first time (like myself), this game is an absolute must play. First, this game is extremely easy to learn. The controls are very simple mouse and keyboard commands. You just click on the characters you want to control and then the area where you want to go to or attack. Without fumbling around with the controls, the player gets to focus on what the game was originally meant for: strategy. The game is also structured so as to allow you to learn during the course of play. The first mission is made to be ridiculously easy so you can build some confidence, but each subsequent stage becomes progressively more difficult. Still, although the stages become more difficult, they become more fun because of the new weapons you get and the techniques you must employ during the course of the game. In the first mission, your only weapon is a measly foot soldier (which, by the way, is more than enough to beat the first mission), but after a few missions, you'll have grenade throwers, missile-loaded helicopters, and tanks, to name a few. The variety doesn't just stop at your regular weapons either, some levels have the option of an air strike (if you play as the GDI) which can level an entire area in a bombardment from above.
You have the option to play as either side (the Global Defense Initiative, or the Brotherhood of Nod), thus further increasing the already ample variety. Not only do you have the choice to fight for peace, or fight to put the world on its knees, you also have the ability to take over the other side's facilities. This enables you to use weapons which are specific only to your adversary. For example, GDI has what is called an Ion Cannon which fires a huge beam from a satellite down upon a specified location (namely the enemy). If you are fighting for Nod, and you take over one of GDI's bases, then you can use this awesome weapon against GDI.
On top of the awesome graphics, the sound affects of Command and Conquer are excellent. The voices are about the same as the original version. Each type of unit is given a clear and distinct voice to distinguish them from other units. The explosions are crisp and clear, and there are different sound effects describing the way each person is killed. For example, a crunching sound is made when you run over enemy soldiers with a tank or harvester. Also, the music fits each scene, hyping you up so that you can kick some enemy ass. Although at first the music seems wacky, it soon becomes very catchy to the ear while you are beating up your opponent.
Besides the music, the story between the Nod and the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) is very well developed. Old players will notice that the game's graphics are improved in basically every single category. Compared to the old DOS version of Command and Conquer, this game runs clearer and faster, but at the same time none of the gameplay is lost. The new Windows 95 version features new SVGA graphics. Improvements can be seen from the screen sidebar, to the movie clips in between each mission!
Still, there are a couple of drawbacks to this game that prevent it from being utterly perfect. Although there are over 35 possible missions, they are the exact same ones from the original C&C. For those playing this game again, it would be nice to play at least a couple new missions. Even though it might have changed the story, I'm sure Westwood could have thought of something in the plot to accommodate a few more missions. Also, since this game is exactly like the original version, there is only land and air attack. Even though C&C Red Alert was released before C&C Gold, it includes a navy and a number of other awesome weapons which aren't seen in C&C Gold.
The biggest drawback is that if you already have C&C theres no real reason to by C&C Gold. Sure there some superficial improvements, but the game is still essentially the same. If you've never played C&C, however, you should run out and get this one right away.
There is no doubt that C&C is an excellent game. With the new improved graphics, the experience becomes even more intense. If the improvements can't satisfy your appetite, Westwood has thrown in a few extra goodies like the C&C Theme Park which contains C&C screen savers, icons, and more. Oh, let's not forget the head-to-head Internet play. Here, I must a issue a word of warning. You should know that people have been known to completely forget about time while playing on the Internet, playing hour after hour; building and building; killing and killing. In short, you might want to make sure that you don't have to wake up early the next morning if you want to play this terrific game.