Command & Conquer Remaster is Worth it?

Boris_yo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
220
Hello,

Red Alert 1 was my first RTS video game and is part of my nostalgic memories.

I saw it's on sale currently $7.99 ($16.60 worth in my currency) on Steam. Always wandered about such discrepancy.

Those who know Red Alert 1 and Command & Conquer, how's the remaster? Worth $16.60?
 

mvmiller12

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 7, 2011
Messages
1,291
Hello,

Red Alert 1 was my first RTS video game and is part of my nostalgic memories.

I saw it's on sale currently $7.99 ($16.60 worth in my currency) on Steam. Always wandered about such discrepancy.

Those who know Red Alert 1 and Command & Conquer, how's the remaster? Worth $16.60?

Short answer: Yes!
 

Boris_yo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
220
Still waiting on a RA2/YR remaster. Those were the best games of the entire series.
Bring back crushes Athena Massey and Kari Wuhrer... :whistle:
I didn't know it was Udo Kier back then who played Yuri. I thought he played Lenin with psychic powers...
I would later see him in a B movies where he played one of old vampires in board of directors in Blade 1, played someone in BloodRayne, Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead, Far Cry...
Blade 1 was the A movie though...
 

M76

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
13,033
Short answer: Yes!
Even shorter answer: No!

But joking aside, I really don't think it's that great. Certainly not as big a deal as people make it out to be.

It's basically slightly better graphics, and AI upscaled cutscenes based on the overcompressed original fmv from the games, so not remastered in any way. And the remastered music sounds absolutely horrendous like it was remixed on a sokol radio.
Everything else is the same as in the originals, even known bugs are still there.

I'd just play the originals if you have them. But if you don't have them already then you might as well buy this.
 
Last edited:

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
34,238
Bring back crushes Athena Massey and Kari Wuhrer... :whistle:
I didn't know it was Udo Kier back then who played Yuri. I thought he played Lenin with psychic powers...
I would later see him in a B movies where he played one of old vampires in board of directors in Blade 1, played someone in BloodRayne, Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead, Far Cry...
Blade 1 was the A movie though...
 

M76

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
13,033
Can originals be played on Windows 10 or I will need old Windows?
If you have them on origin I think they can still be played. If not you might have to look for some unofficial patch to make them work.
 

hity645

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
7,733
Still waiting on a RA2/YR remaster. Those were the best games of the entire series.
I fire those up from time to time to relive my childhood. I've purchased so many copies of those two I can't even count. Pretty sure I have physical media x2, Steam, Origin, and some others.

I distinctly recall one LAN party where it was my three friends VS. me alone. Slaughtered them all. Such a fun game.
 

peppergomez

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
1,332
I fire those up from time to time to relive my childhood. I've purchased so many copies of those two I can't even count. Pretty sure I have physical media x2, Steam, Origin, and some others.

I distinctly recall one LAN party where it was my three friends VS. me alone. Slaughtered them all. Such a fun game.

Yep when it came out I lived with w guys who also played it and we played 3 person matches for hours. So fun. By the time Yuris Revenge came along, we were slaughtering people online if they didn't tank rush us first. Like chronoing boomers into lakes behind their base and annihilating their cyard and war factory in a single salvo. Or chronoing in 4 or 5 iron curtained prism tanks right after seeing a spy into their power plant to bring it offline,, then destroying nearly every building. Probably the best game play tactic we discovered was loading up 4 or 5 battle fortresses with an allie's Yuri clones then sending them out to battle with air cover, to mind control almost the entirety of the enemies forces. Do that once or twice, bring the battle fortresses back to home base and unload them, to keep the yuris safe, then load up another 20 or so yuris into those same battle fortresses and send them out for more. It was total carnage using the enemies own tanks against them. We had like double or triple the forces within a matter of minutes, and laid waste to their base.

I would sure like to do that again with a remastered version with stable net code.
 
Last edited:

Master_Pain

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
4,945
Remastered edition is definitely worth it. It is exactly what everyone wanted. Updated graphics, and not touching gameplay.
 

Wade88

Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
843
Yes but buy it on Steam though I bought it twice to make it easy to use the workshop and to hopefully get a new GENERALS.
 

Sycraft

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
5,183
It's basically slightly better graphics, and AI upscaled cutscenes based on the overcompressed original fmv from the games, so not remastered in any way. And the remastered music sounds absolutely horrendous like it was remixed on a sokol radio.
Are you sure you aren't listening on a Sokol radio? Because this didn't sound right to me so I just loaded it back up and ya... the remastered music is WAY better. Among things I notice that are improved:

1) The OG music is mono, the remaster is stereo. This is one of the most noticeable things right off the bat. The OG mono music is, well, like what you'd get from a small radio. No stereo definition. The remastered has a nicely done stereo field.

2) The OG music is 22kHz, 4-bit ADPCM. That means you only get 11kHz of audio bandwidth and the lack of high frequencies is noticeable. The remastered is still 4-bit ADPCM since that's what the engine uses, but is 44kHz so gets the same high frequency extension as CDs. Gives a lot more definition to the sound.

3) Frank Klepacki (the composer) redid the actual mastering on the original source tracks to get better sound. There's lots of subtle things that change but one of the more noticeable ones is just more solid bass. The basses and low frequency synths slap like they are supposed to, they sound more anemic in the OG mixes.

4) A few sounds were actually redone by Klepacki, owing to missing source material.

It's far and away better than the original, and still the same style and sound. Now it does still have flaws, one of which is just the ADPCM format it is in, since that is lossy compression and of a kind that introduces quantization distortion. Also since the remaster was done from original source materials, meaning 1990s synths and such, you aren't going to get the rich samples you get with music done with something like Kontakt today. The instruments just weren't as high quality.

But it is a big step up in how good it sounds, and is also very authentic since it wasn't a complete redo and it was the original composer doing the update.
 

Boris_yo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
220
I fire those up from time to time to relive my childhood. I've purchased so many copies of those two I can't even count. Pretty sure I have physical media x2, Steam, Origin, and some others.

I distinctly recall one LAN party where it was my three friends VS. me alone. Slaughtered them all. Such a fun game.

Why would you own more than 1 copy?

Yes but buy it on Steam though I bought it twice to make it easy to use the workshop and to hopefully get a new GENERALS.

I bought in from Origin. What will I be missing?

2) The OG music is 22kHz, 4-bit ADPCM. That means you only get 11kHz of audio bandwidth and the lack of high frequencies is noticeable. The remastered is still 4-bit ADPCM since that's what the engine uses, but is 44kHz so gets the same high frequency extension as CDs. Gives a lot more definition to the sound.

How does 22Khz audio sound like 11kHz audio? Why is frequency being cut by 2?
 

hity645

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
7,733
Why would you own more than 1 copy?



I bought in from Origin. What will I be missing?
Back when it originally came out you had to have separate licenses in order to play over LAN. Physical media wise they did start to include them in multipacks where you got all CnC games. Those ended up being cheaper than purchasing the one or two games I was missing. Not sure exactly on the order but I think Origin released it first in a bundle. Then steam got a few. I personally do not care for Origin so I purchased them on Steam.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2013
Messages
3,675
Back when it originally came out you had to have separate licenses in order to play over LAN. Physical media wise they did start to include them in multipacks where you got all CnC games. Those ended up being cheaper than purchasing the one or two games I was missing. Not sure exactly on the order but I think Origin released it first in a bundle. Then steam got a few. I personally do not care for Origin so I purchased them on Steam.
Yeah I'd buy on steam over origin any day of the week.
 

Sycraft

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
5,183
How does 22Khz audio sound like 11kHz audio? Why is frequency being cut by 2?
Because of the Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem. Basically the way digital sampling works is that if you want to reproduce a sound with frequency X you need to sample not less than 2X points to do that. So if you want to reproduce 10kHz, you need a 20kHz, or greater, sample rate. In reality you need a bit more because you also have to filter the audio to prevent aliasing, and those filters aren't perfectly steep so to reproduce 10kHz audio you'd probably want something more like 22kHz.

So when you talk human hearing, we tend to cap out around 20kHz. Some people can maybe hear a little beyond that when they are kids but not much, and by the time you are in yours 30s it is probably down to 19 or 18kHz (you lose high frequency hearing as you age). Thus it is a pretty good upper goal to try for human sound reproduction. For that you need 40kHz sampling, plus some extra for the aliasing filter. CDs are 44.1kHz because the audio was originally recorded on VHS tapes and it is a multiple that works on both NTSC and PAL. DVDs are 48kHz because Dolby Digital, which started digital sound for movies, is stored on the film itself that is precisely 2000 samples per frame of film.

Old computer games often used lower sample rates to save space, but it does audibly cut high frequencies. C&C was one of those. Cut the sampling from 44kHz to 22kHz and you cut the amount of data in half. Cut is from stereo to mono and you cut it in half again. So you are down to 25% of the size before you even compress anything. Got done a lot before space got big and before we got good compression algorithms like MP3.
 

Boris_yo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
220
Back when it originally came out you had to have separate licenses in order to play over LAN. Physical media wise they did start to include them in multipacks where you got all CnC games. Those ended up being cheaper than purchasing the one or two games I was missing. Not sure exactly on the order but I think Origin released it first in a bundle. Then steam got a few. I personally do not care for Origin so I purchased them on Steam.
Multipack with all CnC games sounds like CnC Ultimate Collection with 17 games. Is this what you meant?
 

Nobu

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
8,645
Are you sure you aren't listening on a Sokol radio? Because this didn't sound right to me so I just loaded it back up and ya... the remastered music is WAY better. Among things I notice that are improved:

1) The OG music is mono, the remaster is stereo. This is one of the most noticeable things right off the bat. The OG mono music is, well, like what you'd get from a small radio. No stereo definition. The remastered has a nicely done stereo field.

2) The OG music is 22kHz, 4-bit ADPCM. That means you only get 11kHz of audio bandwidth and the lack of high frequencies is noticeable. The remastered is still 4-bit ADPCM since that's what the engine uses, but is 44kHz so gets the same high frequency extension as CDs. Gives a lot more definition to the sound.

3) Frank Klepacki (the composer) redid the actual mastering on the original source tracks to get better sound. There's lots of subtle things that change but one of the more noticeable ones is just more solid bass. The basses and low frequency synths slap like they are supposed to, they sound more anemic in the OG mixes.

4) A few sounds were actually redone by Klepacki, owing to missing source material.

It's far and away better than the original, and still the same style and sound. Now it does still have flaws, one of which is just the ADPCM format it is in, since that is lossy compression and of a kind that introduces quantization distortion. Also since the remaster was done from original source materials, meaning 1990s synths and such, you aren't going to get the rich samples you get with music done with something like Kontakt today. The instruments just weren't as high quality.

But it is a big step up in how good it sounds, and is also very authentic since it wasn't a complete redo and it was the original composer doing the update.
I liked the original dos/95 version, without voice dubbing (or, technically, with the voices stripped iirc), better...but that version was apparently lost after they remastered it for later versions. The sound in the newer tracks is certainly better, but I like the original composition better.
 

Armenius

Extremely [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
34,238
And to play every CnC game online you must have license key for each but because they are sold under entire collection there is only 1 license key for all?
There are keys for each game, and they are automatically registered when you buy the games from the Origin store. You can see the keys if you go into the games' properties, just like Steam. Not every game can be played online anymore due to servers or MP services being shutdown. Some of the games have multiplayer now due to community support.
 

Boris_yo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
220
Armenius The member said:

"I fire those up from time to time to relive my childhood. I've purchased so many copies of those two I can't even count. Pretty sure I have physical media x2, Steam, Origin, and some others."

I don't understand why purchase multiples if MP or services are being shutdown. And these keys will be useless for community support servers?
 

Wade88

Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2015
Messages
843
Armenius The member said:

"I fire those up from time to time to relive my childhood. I've purchased so many copies of those two I can't even count. Pretty sure I have physical media x2, Steam, Origin, and some others."

I don't understand why purchase multiples if MP or services are being shutdown. And these keys will be useless for community support servers?
The services can't die at this point because we are legion and some of us are various degrees of loaded https://cncnet.org/
 
Top