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2020 is almost over and I think the only 2020 release I played was the C&C remaster.

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C&C clones, or Westwood style real time strategy games

I just don't enjoy Blizzard style RTS games, with their supply limits, hero units or the way they handle resource management, base building, defense and tech trees.

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So I decided to try to compile a list of my favorite style of real time strategy games - the Westwood inspired ones, or simply Command & Conquer clones, as they were called, with some contempt by critics in the 90's. Many of them are forgotten, some with good reason, but I generally still enjoy playing them more than the ruling kinds of RTS games we have today, and certainly more so than all the tower defense and MOBA games that flood the market.

A short summary of what I believe constitutes an Westwood style RTS:

  • No explicit supply limits (obviously there is an hardcoded limit somewhere in there, but usually set at a point you're unlikely to reach while playing the game normally).
  • No limits on your ability to select or group units
  • Structures require upkeep/power, and often can not be built far from your other structures (this is pretty much the opposite of the Blizzard model, where you're severely limited when it comes to building your army, but you can freely build as much as you want, wherever you want and are supposed to build an expansion base very early on - an ability you generally don't get until late game in the Westwood school of RTS).
  • Structures are usually built on a timer, instead of being built by worker units.
  • Your build menu is available at all times and is not dependent on selected unit or structure, and usually takes the form of a side bar (usually with at least two categories - structures and units, sometimes more).
  • Resources may regrow over time if you don't exploit their source, or may be infinite
  • Tech trees use prerequisite buildings instead of timed research (i.e., to build a medic, you need barracks and a hospital, to build anti-air artillery, you need to build a radar emplacement - somewhat optional point, not all "C&C clones" do this, but it is a common way to do it).

I'm not sure about Command & Conquer: Generals, and the games that were inspired by it (Act of War, Universe At War etc.), since it leans a bit more towards the Blizzard model in how resources, building and unit behavior works.

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