Command & Conquer Generals Deluxe

Westwood Studio’s Command & Conquer real-time strategy series is regarded as one of the best of all time. As such it’s surprising that there have been just three Command & Conquer titles released on the Mac – the original, Command & Conquer Generals and the Zero Hour expansion pack. Aspyr Media has recently released Command & Conquer Generals: Deluxe Edition which brings together both of the C&C Generals titles in updated versions with all current patches.

Command & Conquer Generals places you at the head of either the American, Chinese or Global Liberation Army. Each army has its strengths and weaknesses but ultimately the fate of the unit as a whole depends upon how well you control it.

The basic premise of the game is simple. Build a base, add in power and factories to keep the base running like clockwork, then locate your enemy. When you have the capability to do so, take out the enemy with the least civilian casualties as possible. You’ll need to defend your base from enemy attack in the meantime so sending every soldier you have into attack is not a good idea. If all goes well and mission objectives are met, you’ll be promoted and given more cash and equipment to help further your cause.

The Zero Hour expansion pack significantly improves your arsenal; adds a new challenge mode allowing you to match your strategies and arsenal with nine enemy generals; and provides 15 further missions with 25 multiplayer maps. It’s more of the same, really, although it addresses some issues that were raised with the single-player game of Command & Conquer Generals.

Single-player mode probably has little to offer hardcore strategy games players; even in the ‘Hard’ mode the game’s AI seemed largely unresponsive to my tank sitting next to it. Multiplayer, however, is a different war game. Whether you’re playing an original or a Zero Hour level you’ll quickly find yourself cursing at the top of your voice when somebody you’ve never met has taken out your entire unit.

OUR VERDICT

Command & Conquer Generals: Deluxe Edition brings together two of the best real-time strategy games for the Mac. While there may be something lacking for those looking for a hardcore real-time strategy simulation what can be said for Command & Conquer Generals and Zero Hour is that the games are fun. They look good, sound great, and play extremely well. What more do you want?

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