It’s been around 7 years since the last time I played Command and Conquer Red Alert 2. Fans of the Red Alert series, rejoice! Command and Conquer: Red Alert is back! To those who have never played the Red Alert series, it plays like an ordinary RTS (Real Strategy Game) where you basically build your base and send your units to destroy your enemies. The Red Alert series are very similar to the other Command and Conquer’s counterpart, minus GDI and NOD forces.
The old classic style of gameplay, goofy units, and cheesy full motion videos are included in its latest series, which was released at the end of October 2008.
Command and Conquer Red Alert 1 & 2 were popular back then. Can EA retain its success with Red Alert 3?
Red Alert 3 Factions and Background
There are 3 factions in Red Alert 3: the Allies, the Soviets, and the Empire of the Rising Sun (a.k.a the Japanese). In the game, the Soviets are losing the war with the Allies, mainly because of the technology superiority of the Allies, thanks to Mr. Albert Einstein. The story starts where the high rank officials went back through time using the time machine to kill Albert Einstein and thus, preventing the war from losing. Does it work? Indeed. However it disturbs the “time and space” continuum (or so the mad scientist says) and awakens a sleeping giant, the Empire of the Rising Sun.
With different ideologies and principals, the world is too small for the Allies, Soviets, and the Empire altogether. Welcome to Red Alert 3!
Red Alert 3 Graphics & Design
At first glance, Red Alert 3 looks quite cartoony: The interface, the environment, and the units. It gives a bright and colorful look and doesn’t look like a war battleground at all. However, once you’ve played it for a while, you’ll find out that it’s beautifully done. Units are colored brightly to easily be identified on a multiplayer game.
Each unit has a nice animation of both moving and attacking. Each unit even changes form when it moves from the land to the sea (for example an engineer riding a small boat when it’s on the sea, etc), assuming that unit is able to travel on sea, of course.
Red Alert 3 probably gives the best water ripple effects I’ve ever seen in an RTS game so far. Buildings get torn to pieces, tanks get shredded by the rockets, planes falling down from the skies, and explosions are beautifully done as well. It doesn’t really have an effect on the game mechanics, but it certainly is nice to see them in action. I’m playing Red Alert 3 under 1680×1050 resolution with all details turned to max on my GeForce 8800GT card. The performance is great and I never saw a framerate drop during the action.
Red Alert 3 Mechanics
As mentioned, Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 has 3 factions and each of them plays differently to one another. The Allies has and relies heavily on its air units (great bombers and fighters), the Soviets has the best firepower on land (“the best” is debatable, of course), and the Empire has the most mobility (buildings and units).
Each faction also has its own unique units and every unit has a special mode (that is brilliantly tied to a single shortcut key, the “F” button on your keyboard. This way, you can use the one key to rule them all!)
It’s also a rock-paper-scissor game, so even the most powerful unit that you can think of has a weakness. The big fat mammoth tank of the Soviets, for example, can’t shoot air, so it will be highly vulnerable from the air units.
These game mechanics make an interesting multiplayer game. With so many different units with different strategies, the possibilities are endless. Scouting is the key here. Knowing the terrain, knowing what your opponents are up to, and knowing a loophole on their bases are just a few things that one must focus on.
Red Alert 3 Campaign
Each faction’s campaign is not a continuation of the others, although it’s quite recommended for you to play from the “left to right” faction (i.e. Soviets first, Allies, and then the Empire). There are enough missions per faction that should satisfy most of you gamers. There are also cut scenes (where the cheesy videos come in) on each mission briefings that connect and bring spices to the Red Alert 3 storyline.
Each faction’s ending usually involves the girls wearing either evening gowns or bikinis, except maybe for the Soviet’s. So if you are expecting Ivana Milicevic (who plays as Lieutenant Dasha Fedorovich in the Soviets) wearing a bikini on the ending video, you’d be disappointed.
Cheesiness and Sexiness aside, the videos are entertaining and give you the sense of winning (or losing) quite well.
Almost on every campaign, you’d be helped by a co-commander (your partner in war). The co-commander can be played by your friend (multiplayer coop) or played by the computer, if you plan to play the mission alone. This is probably the first Command and Conquer coop campaign ever available and I’m pretty sure we are going to see it coming again on future Command and Conquer games. This great addition, however, makes the gameplay slightly easier since the AI is pretty good at harassing & conquering the enemies.
Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 is probably the best in the Command and Conquer series. If the news about cartoony graphics, madly designed units, and the cheesy videos turned you off, you shouldn’t! These are what make the game so much fun, enjoyable, and memorable.
Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 is also addictive and you’ll find that you’ll be longing for more once you’ve finished the single player campaigns. Thankfully, you can always get more online with other players around the world. Each faction’s uniqueness shines especially during a multiplayer session and you’ll find that each multiplayer session plays differently with different people on different maps.
If you are looking for a new RTS (Real Time Strategy) game for this holiday season, look no further than grabbing Command and Conquer Red Alert 3!
Oh, don’t forget to download the Red Alert 3 wallpapers’ collection pack here.
+ Great graphics & attention put into details.
+ Each faction has unique units and each unit has unique abilities.
+ Rock-Paper-Scissors methodology implemented well. No one unit is too powerful.
+ Countless strategy
+ The cheesy videos are back!
+ Old soundtracks and speeches are back and re-make (Ka-Ching!)
+ Memorable & Recognized actors/actresses.
+ Brings back memories from the 90’s.
– The Co commander mode makes the game less challenging on the Normal difficulty
– The Loading screen loads too quick on fast computers. Why would this be bad? Because on the loading screen, you can check out some tips and also a snippet of biography on the game characters. A “Press any key to continue” would be welcomed.
– Not sure what would happen to this game’s rating without the girls :)