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Command & Conquer - Westwood Studios 1995

We could argue all day over whether this or Warcraft: Orcs and Humans is the more important game in the development of the RTS genre - and that's without getting into Westwood's earlier Dune 2 or the Herzog Zwei on the Sega Megadrive. However, we've gone for C&C, mostly because before C&C the general perception was that strategy games were slightly dull epics aimed at Tefal-headed Brainiacs who wanted to be Napoleon.

After C&C, however, even the most thought-phobic Doom-nut wanted to gather a squad of heavy tanks and blow stuff up. C&C's influence on the style, mechanics and interface of the RTS is unparalleled, while its innovative use of full-motion video clips to string the single-player campaign together proved that, used correctly, cut-scenes could make a strategy game feel like an all-action blockbuster.

The types of units and facilities that C&C introduced have remained the fundamental building blocks of the RTS genre, and without this particular action/strategy hybrid it seems unlikely that we would have had others like the squad-based shooter. And what other RTS series has a villain as iconic as NOD's Kane?

Mention: It's the game that put the ‘tank' in ‘tank rush'.

Don't mention: That horrible ‘Generals' pseudo-sequel.

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