Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 review
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The Red Alerts series tells the story of what would happen if Einstein developed a working time machine and changed the history by erasing Adolf Hitler. That leads to the alternative chain of events where the Third Reich’s never came to be, and WWII has never happened. However, the Soviet Union quickly filled in threatening the world with the Red Tide.
In Red Alert 3, Soviets, facing defeat at the hands of the Allies, decided to make a bold move and build their own time machine to go back and assassinate Albert Einstein before he could develop a technology that put them in the current position.
They finally change history in their favor and restore the Soviet Union to greatness, but the feeling of victory doesn’t last long. As a result of the timeline-tampering, a new threat emerges on the world stage: the Empire of the Rising Son.
For the most part, Red Alert 3 delivers the same sort of alternate-universe take on real-time strategic warfare, but this latest skirmish in the war between the Allies, Japan, and the Soviet forces allows you to bring a friend to the battle.
Red Alert 3 features great graphics, which amazing explosions and fantastic unit and structure animations. Everything is incredibly stylish, and since the game doesn’t focus on gritty realism, you wouldn’t need a top-notch computer even at the time it was released.
Overall, it’s a polished product, which is so bright and saturated, it looks like a comic book came to life. And musically, Red Alert 3 delivers a driving soundtrack that fills the lulls in the missions and works to the game’s advantage.
Red Alert features three campaigns where you can play from the perspectives of the Soviet Union, the Allies, and a new addition — the Empire of the Rising Sun, which is led by Sulu from Star Trek and armed with almost every Japanese cliché turned into a unit. There are high-tech ninjas, samurai robots, suit-clad engineers, and even a skirt-wearing schoolgirl with psychic powers. However, the Soviets and Allies can play silly too, with tuxedo-clad spies, helicopters that shrink opponents to pint size, leggy female commandos, and armored zeppelins.
The big new addition to the game is its single-player designed with co-op in mind. You can either play with your friend or with the computer, but in both cases, you each control your own base and forces.
Playing with a human, you get to use a built-in voice-chat and drop markers on the map to get your partner’s attention. Playing with a computer, you can give orders for it to seize a location, or hit a certain target. It's a great dynamic as it can make traditionally long slogs shorter by doubling the forces that you would normally have in a traditional RTS. You can let your computer partner tackle half the map while you tackle the other.
The gameplay hasn't changed much from both previous Command & Conquer games. The economies have been slightly improved in Red Alert 3, but aside from that, you are still in a mad race to gather resources, build a variety of structures, research for upgrades, and churn out armies, air forces, and navies.
The missions have the same structure as well: the campaign gradually unlocks different units and special abilities at your command. So, you get everything unlocked not until the final mission. Also, some missions feel like you are not so much thinking for yourself, but doing exactly what level designer wants you to do. Also, you can’t pull the camera to see more of the battlefield being limited just to the same sized slice of it.
The balance between the three forces feels fair at first, but if there is one glaring weakness for the Empire as it lacks sea-based anti-aircraft early in the campaign. And the anti-air units the Empire does have need some micromanaging since they are transformable. Although that’s rectified a bit later on, this is a major headache until then.
The controls are no different from others RTS games. All the basic actions are performed with the mouse with a few keyboard shortcuts to control your army, build structures, and so on.
It works smoothly, so you can concentrate on the gameplay entirely without being distracted by the poor controls.
Replay Value 4,5/5
The main campaigns and cutscenes provide a fair amount of playtime, but you will need to rely on multiplayer if you want to keep coming back to the game. The multiplayer battles are exciting every time so Red Alert 3 is definitely worth to replay.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 costs $19,99 as a single purchase. It doesn’t offer any in-game purchases further in the game.
Red Alert 3 is a silly and campy RTS game, and one that was almost unchanged over the decade. While it would be nice to see this game pushing new directions, it seems to be a fun comfort food for its fans. The game features a fair dose of humor, cool graphics as for
The game features a fair dose of humor, cool graphics as for the it was released, brillian cutscenes played by real actors and engaging gameplay.
Red Alert 3 is a smart and funny addition to the Command & Conquer series.
Pros : Fun campaign;
Brilliant co-op mechanic,
A variety of units that puns countries’ stereotypes.
Cons : Lackluster coop AI,
gameplay hasn’t changed much
Little real innovation.
Replay Value 4.5