It’s been quite some time since Command and Conquer first arrived on PC’s. The series, which first arrived in 1995, introduced a frantic and addictive real-time strategy experience, complete with classic characters and a fun storyline. The original games lastest for a decade, with multiple iterations on PC and consoles. Its last release was Command And Conquer Red Alert 3, which was the last title to introduce the series’ trademark style and gameplay. Many years later, the original team has banded together and gone back tot heir roots with 8-Bit Armies. 8-Bit Armies reintroduce the classic, isometric strategic experience for a new generation.
8-Bit Armies reintroduces players to classic real-time strategy, where players will be tasked with building their base and engaging in open warfare against the enemy. To do this, players will have to gather resources, build their facilities, and deploy their troops. There are no narratives or stories to experience. Gone are the absurd storylines and characters, as well as any over-the-top weapons, such as the remote-controlled grizzly bears. 8-Bit Armies is strictly a gameplay experience, focusing squarely on the gameplay mechanics, and the environments they take place in.
Players will be able to construct and deploy a variety of units by constructing bases related to those units. Players will be able to build motor pools for vehicles, barracks for infantry, and other facilities necessary for combat and defense. They may be able to place turrets for the defense of their base as well. Vehicles include the traditional use of jeeps, tanks, artillery, and rocket positions, and infantry includes soldiers, anti-tank troops, repair workers, and so on. With the basics of strategy out of the way, players are free to engage in a variety of missions throughout the lengthy campaign.
The first few missions are simple for players to ease into, as players are introduced to the basics. However, as the campaign continues, players will be exposed to more challenges, such as larger enemy forces and more aggressive A.I’s. The campaign can be divided in difficulty as well, with a series of objectives to complete, depending on the difficulty. It is recommended to play and maximize all objectives on easy difficulties to unlock more bases and troops for the main game. There are two campaigns, each with their own faction. The campaign has a nice variety to strategic combat, from fighting in towns to fighting around volcanoes.
When players ease into, they will find a pretty enjoyable gameplay experience. Forming large troops of infantry and marching across a map is quite fulfilling, as well as using armor to seek and destroy the enemy. Later missions will include helicopter units as well. Some missions have players marching right towards an enemy base and completely decimating it, while other missions involve defending your own base or destroying a specific target. All in all, it makes for good fun, especially in short doses, as each level can last well over 15 minutes. Building dozens of single units and using combined efforts to flank and destroy the enemy is quite fun. The presentation and soundtrack also keep things quite colorful and enjoyable throughout the carnage.
8-Bit Armies, while fun, does have a significant setback, and that is the lack of a cohesive narrative or story. 8-Bit Armies contains a series of missions for the campaign, but there is no narrative or tale to tell. All there is for the players is a series of missions to undertake. I feel this was a missed opportunity to bring a sense of spirit from the days of Command and Conquer. In the gameplay experience of Command and Conquer, the B-Rated acting and humor was woven into the absurdity of the tactical combat. In 8-Bit Armies, it feels like there are a spirit and world that is missing. I could have imagined a tale inspired by the movie WarGames, starring Matthew Broderick, where a modern-day game player has to play these levels in 8-bit Armies because of a computer feels that war is imminent and to prepare for the worst. As is, the lack of a meaningful narrative makes 8-Bit Armies not a bore to play by any means, but a game that you will play, enjoy for a time, then dismiss for something more memorable.
Despite not having a meaningful narrative or story, 8-Bit Armies is a nice throwback to a forgotten era of real-time strategy and gameplay. this type of genre isn’t quite seen anymore in games, which makes its presence refreshing. While I wish there could have been an engaging narrative attached, 8-Bit Armis is a good time, with its solid gameplay and roaring soundtrack. Time to conquer your enemy the good old fashioned way.
29, Stockton University alumni. Brookdale Community College alumni.
I am a Jedi Trained Warrior turned intergalactic mercenary hailing from the radioactive shores of New Jersey, home of the Pork Roll Egg & Cheese. Dedicated to our troops, my friends, and Stack Up. My missions: To mend & defend, as well as play games to support our veterans.
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