Command & Conquer is a 1995 real-time strategy video game developed by Westwood Studios and published by Virgin Interactive. Set in an alternate history of modern day, the game tells the story of a world war between two globalized factions: the Global Defense Initiative of the United Nations and a cult-like militant organization called the Brotherhood of Nod, led by the mysterious Kane. The groups compete for control of Tiberium, a mysterious substance that slowly spreads across the world.
Westwood first conceived Command & Conquer during the final stages of the development of Dune II, and it expands on ideas first explored in that title. Inspired by the events of the era, particularly the Gulf War, the team gave the game a modern warfare setting. The game contains live-action full motion video cutscenes, which star Westwood employees and a single professional actor, Joseph D. Kucan, who plays Kane.
Command & Conquer was a commercial and critical success, selling over three million copies and winning numerous awards. It has been cited as the title that defined and popularized the real-time strategy genre. The game was the first in the Command & Conquer series, which sold 30 million copies by 2009. To mark the 12th anniversary of the franchise, Electronic Arts, the current publisher and owner of the series, released the game for free in 2007.
Command & Conquer requires the player to construct a base and to gather resources in order to fund the production of buildings, technologies, and combat units to attack and conquer an opponent's base. The game contains two playable factions: the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and the Brotherhood of Nod. GDI units are sturdier and more powerful than Nod units, but they are more expensive. Conversely, Nod's units are cheap but are significantly less durable. GDI focuses on large-scale strategic attacks, while Nod creates bigger armies and uses unconventional tactics. There are roughly fifty units and structures in total. Tiberium, the game's sole resource, is gathered by harvester units that carry it to a refinery structure for processing. When the player constructs buildings, additional units and structures become available for purchase. Command & Conquer features two single-player campaigns, one each for the GDI and Nod factions. The objective of most campaign mission objectives is to destroy or take control of enemy buildings. The missions begin with live-action full motion video (FMV) cutscenes.
The original DOS release features multiplayer with up to four players, a rarity at the time. Multiplayer over an Internet connection was added in Command & Conquer Gold, which also features SVGA visuals. The game's Sega Saturn and PlayStation ports lack multiplayer support, but the latter release includes the fifteen single-player missions from The Covert Operations expansion pack. The Nintendo 64 version features updated graphics, with 3D models and environments. The FMV cutscenes were removed and replaced with static images, accompanied by voice acting and sound effects. While the Nintendo 64 version includes four new 'Special Ops' missions, it lacks multiplayer support.
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