What command and conquer style computer game should i play?
April 30, 2009 2:50 AM   Subscribe

What command and conquer style computer game should i play?

I enjoyed c+c generals but im looking for a new strategy type game to try. The new c+c 3 is a bit too laggy on my laptop though.

What similar games could you recommend? Ive heard of games like age of empires but i havent tried them.
Older games are okay too, as my pc, (which runs vista and windows 7 okayish) isnt very powerful graphicwise.
posted by freddymetz to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (26 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
The genre name you're looking for is Real Time Strategy (RTS). There are hundreds. Take a look at that wiki page for some notable ones, then hit up the reviews section of any major games website and search for RTS games. I've heard good things about the Total War series, especially the latest one.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:21 AM on April 30, 2009

Civilization 3.

Civilization 4 didn't capture the spirit of the series for me.
Civilization 1 and 2 are great, but pretty dated.

You can pretty much get what you want out of a civilzation game. War from 4000 BC to 2065 or you can build culture and economy. The games really are wide open and quite customizable.
posted by clearly at 3:21 AM on April 30, 2009

The Warcraft games are supposed to be pretty solid. I played a lot of C&C back in the day and played Warcraft a few times but never owned it, if you like C&C you would probably like Warcraft. StarCraft is super crazy popular in Korea, they have television stations dedicated to watching people play it.
posted by BrnP84 at 3:23 AM on April 30, 2009

My RTS of choice is Spring.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 3:40 AM on April 30, 2009

If you don't mind dropping the resource management, I'd recommend Bungie's old Myth series (which may or may not still be available; eBay might be the answer). They're more tactical than strategic - you only get the units you start with or recieve as reinforcements at pre-scripted points.

It's now quite old but still looks good and the Glen Cook-inspired story is excellently done. NB: I've not played the third game, it wasn't developed by Bungie and I heard it wasn't great.
posted by permafrost at 3:44 AM on April 30, 2009

Starcraft, as BrnP84 said, is crazy popular in Korea. There is a very good reason for that. It is one of the most well-balanced RTSs around. Not to mention the quality of the single-player campaign.

If you haven't played it, do so.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:16 AM on April 30, 2009

Empire Earth is pretty interesting; the main theme of it is to research new technologies and advance from age to age (eg, stone age to WW2) and it's a pretty decent all-round RTS.
posted by jhighmore at 5:00 AM on April 30, 2009

This is a way, way open question, but you can pick up the Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War complete collection pretty cheaply nowadays, and it's my favourite RTS of the last couple of years. (The first game, not the recently released sequel.) It's a couple of years old, so it should run well on your computer, and it's a fun game online and offline.

If you prefer Nazis to Necrons, Company of Heroes is pretty much the same game – a little less arcadey, but less characterful as well.
posted by SamuelBowman at 5:15 AM on April 30, 2009

Definitely StarCraft. Based on the earlier WarCraft, but far and away the 800-pound gorilla of the RTS world. WarCraft 3 can be viewed as something of an update, and StarCraft 2 is in heavy development, but it's pretty hard to beat the original StarCraft.
posted by valkyryn at 5:25 AM on April 30, 2009

A new Total War game just came out. It's turn based, but you can either let the computer run battles for you or zoom in and run battles like an RTS. The new one adds naval battles. I'm hooked =)
posted by kableh at 5:41 AM on April 30, 2009

Warcraft 3 is the best RTS I've played, I also really enjoyed Stronghold (the original from 2001) and Starcraft.

I've only heard the highest praise for Globulation 2, but I didn't really get into it.

If you are interested in turn-based games too, Battle for Wesnoth is absolutely fantastic and open source, like globulation (Under the burning sun is my favorite campaign, but there are hundreds thanks to a great contributed campaings system). Civilization 4 is wonderful as well.
posted by dnial at 5:42 AM on April 30, 2009

Give Age of Empires 2 / Age of Kings (same game, two different names) a try. I found that the main thing that decided whether someone at my school played Age of Empires or Starcraft was whether they were inderested / stimulated more by history of fantasy, so this may be relevent if you are deciding between these two excellent and classic games.
posted by atmosphere at 5:45 AM on April 30, 2009

Age of Empires III is a fantastic game. I haven't really played the single player campaign, but the multiplayer and skirmish mode have both provided hours and hours of entertainment.

Also, if you go further back in the C&C world there are some good ones there too. Red Alert 1 and 2 are both favourites of mine that you might enjoy (provided you can look past the cut scenes in RA2).
posted by sah at 5:47 AM on April 30, 2009

Homeworld & Homeworld 2 are absolutely beautiful.
posted by BadMiker at 5:48 AM on April 30, 2009

Total Annihilation is probably a closer match to C&C than the resource-building games, and focuses more on strategy. It's DOS-based. If C&C3 is laggy for you, then its legitimate successor Total_Annihilation might be too demanding, but is great fun to play.

TA is over 10 years old but still has a very strong following.
posted by arzakh at 6:11 AM on April 30, 2009

Opps, messed the link up - check out Supreme Commander, but needs a high spec graphics cards.

I'd second the Dawn of War series, although somewhat repetitive, and Star Craft.
posted by arzakh at 6:25 AM on April 30, 2009

Company of Heroes, as suggested above, is the be-all end-all of RTS territory crawls. Really deep combat, amazing 1p campaign, and it's just old enough that you're not likely to have video problems with it. Gold Standard of RTSs in the age between WarCraft III and StarCraft II, I'd wager. I found the new C+C to be terrible except for the live actors.

Dawn of War was more than decent. Resource/unit throttling was pretty clunky, though. The new one (DoW II) does away with the resource/base management, but it's still pretty fun. It uses the same cover/directional unit placement as CoH, but tarted up to be more of a hack n' slash hero-unit type game.

Universe at War: Earth Assault had pretty imbalanced factions when I played it, but maybe they've cleaned that up in a patch by now. The AI was buggy, too. This isn't nearly as polished as the others, and I guess the best I can say for it is that it held my interest for a week or two. It has a few fresh and clever things that make me want to root for it.

And yes, you can't call yourself an RTS devotee without a few months obsessing over Total Annihilation.
posted by cowbellemoo at 6:56 AM on April 30, 2009

I'm a huge fan of Rise of Nations when talking about RTS games. They are really fun to play and should be very easy to run on the hardware that you have, since they are a couple years old. If you liked Generals, you should check out the Command and Conquer Red Alert 1 and 2, which are also a lot of fun.

I'll also put a second in for Star Craft, which has one of the best story lines around, and for the turn-based Civilization IV, which I found to be a lot more fun and have more depth than the earlier Civ games.
posted by jamuraa at 9:08 AM on April 30, 2009

I'm seconding Myths I and II. Unfortunately, if what you're looking for is online competition, the game is pretty old and there's only maybe 40 or 50 people that play on it's open source server. Still, they're worth checking out and not like any other game that I've played. I've heard good things about Halo Wars, although I haven't played it myself.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 10:19 AM on April 30, 2009

Starcraft, for a fast-paced RTS that is still one of my favorite games to play. The single-player campaign is well-developed and entertaining, and the gameplay is fantastic. My principal difficulty with C & C is they never spent much time balancing the game ... same thing is true of Age of Empires but to a far lesser extent.

If you try starcraft and find it's a little too fast paced for you, I'd recommend Sins of a Solar empire. Same sort of idea but it can handle more of the tactics and let you focus on the big picture stuff.

If you want a turn-based game, there's nothing better than the Civilization series (well, I really liked Master of Orion II, but that would be hard to find nowadays and still be compatible with your machine.) Civ IV is great because it's very popular and massively scalable ... you could spend years just playing and mastering all the mods people have made for that game. Most computers built within the last 5 years can handle Civ just fine, although if you start playing bigger maps or having more than 10 AI opponents or get heavily in to the mods, Civ is a resource hog.
posted by Happydaz at 10:51 AM on April 30, 2009

Supreme Commander and SC: Forged Alliance

But make sure your computer is up to the recommended specs, I had to upgrade my computer about a year ago to play this.
posted by so_ at 10:57 AM on April 30, 2009

Okay, I'd scrap SC seeing as it's a laptop.
posted by so_ at 10:58 AM on April 30, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you for the many suggestions! i guess i prefer history based games than fantasy, so that sort of eliminates starcraft and the sort.
I think ill try civilisations first (and then maybe age of empires), but im still not sure if i should try III or IV!
posted by freddymetz at 11:57 AM on April 30, 2009

I know that these are fantasy games but I am surprised that no one has mentioned the Dune franchise:

The two oldies but goodies:
Dune II
Dune 2000

And the 2001 remake:
Emperor: Battle for Dune, is an excellent RTS with a 3D engine, units that level up, and numerous factions and units. Defenitely one of my favorite RTS games.
posted by Binliner at 1:22 PM on April 30, 2009

Have you tried Company of Heroes? It is outstanding. There's an expansion pack to keep you busy too. If that's too advanced for your CPU, go back and play Red Alert and Red Alert 2. They're not fancy by today's graphic standards, but they're cheap, have good storylines, and are a blast.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 7:02 PM on April 30, 2009

While I really, really enjoy the Civilization games, they're turn based, rather than real time strategy - quite a change from C&C.

I wholeheartedly recommend the Company of Heroes games, specifically the original Company of Heroes and the first expansion, Opposing Fronts. The new expansion, Tales of Valor, a little less so (although if you liked the Commando/Tanya missions from C&C, you'll probably like it).

You've said you prefer historic to futuristic settings, which is a shame because my second favourite RTS games are probably Homeworld/Homeworld2 - the graphics are truly beautiful and yet the age of the games means you shouldn't run into any significant problems.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 8:23 PM on April 30, 2009

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