Sole Survivor is the 3rd and a largely forgotten C&C game. The game was similar to a top down shooter, however unlike a top down shooter your character controls more like a unit from Command & Conquer, by pointing and clicking, rather than the more traditional keyboard for movement and mouse for aiming control scheme.
|Publisher||Virgin Interactive Entertainment|
|Release date||December 1997|
"Welcome to Sole Survivor! It's time to rock n' roll!" -The Commando
Sole Survivor is a multiplayer focused game where you control only one unit. You have a wide selection of units to choose from as every ground combat unit from the original C&C is available, even the dinosaurs.
Some of the online game modes were:
- Capture the flag (The most popular)
- Team Deathmatch
Another interesting thing with Sole Survivor is that it's the only C&C game where you can change the EVA voice, your options include the Commando voice, standard EVA and others.
The soundtrack was mostly comprised of remixes of C&C1 and Red Alert tracks and some unused tracks from said games. It includes what seems to have been the base for Hell March 2
The game died when the online servers for it were shut down on January 1st 20021. With Westwood and subsequently EA forgetting about the game omitting it from compilation packs and franchise history tables.
Some people claim that Sole Survivor inspired the mods and games that would later make up the MOBA genre. While Sole Survivor contains elements that would be later used in MOBA games it is fairly unlikely that many took direct inspiration from it. Sole Survivor was a game released before it's time causing it to be forgotten about and become a bit of a legend in the C&C community.
Many tried to restore online functionality by creating new servers over the years, but no one were succesfull, until...
In January 20222 a group of developers, CCHyper, OmniBlade, and tomsons26, managed to restore online functionality being inspired by findings from presumed lost beta versions of the game.
The developers had known for a while that the singleplayer practice mode from the retail game operated as a limited server. It was discovered that the beta versions had no such feature, however the beta versions contained code that appeared to be from the chatbot that functioned as a link between Westwood Chat channels and the game running in server mode.
With the understanding that the retail game could act as a server and the new knowledge of how the chatbot configured servers, by changing server parameters and adding new players, the team renewed their efforts in making the retail game act as a real server.
Thus, the team eventually managed to create functioning online servers marking the first time since 2002 anyone would play Sole Survivor outside of its practice mode. As per February 2022 the online server is still only available to a select group of testers.
See Global Sole Survivor (Internet Archive) ↩
See Sole Survivor is back online! (CnCNet forums) ↩