Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Defeat the enemy in a military style game

7.1

1366 Votes

  • Category Strategy
  • License Trial version
  • Size 1.96 GB
  • Works under Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP
  • Language English

The Red Alert series gets an upgrade in this 2008 sequel.

The Command & Conquer: Red Alert series takes place on an alternate time-line to the main Command & Conquer series, forming a separate continuity. As a result, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is a direct sequel to Red Alert 2, and can be considered entirely distinct from 2007's Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.

Red Alert 3 is the first game in the series to use a 3D engine, resulting in graphical improvements. It also introduces a third faction to the Red Alert universe, the Empire of the Rising Sun. But do these improvements really enhance the franchise, and does the gameplay improve upon Red Alert 2 and the other Command & Conquer games?

Triple Threat

Like its predecessor, Red Alert 3 is set in an alternate reality, where the Western Allies and the Soviet Union were on opposite sides during the Second World War. The plot for this particular game sees an almost-defeated Soviet Union travel back in time with the intention of killing Albert Einstein; preventing him from assisting the Allies.

An unintended consequence of this is that the Empire of the Rising Sun emerges as a third world power and the three sides go to war with each other. The emergence of three warring factions then forms the basis of the game.

The plot is established with a lengthy introduction video, while gameplay itself is also broken up by full motion videos. The plot includes comedy elements, which are well-judged and acting is provided by established names like Tim Curry, Jonathan Pryce, George Takei, Autumn Reeser, Kelly Hu and Gina Carano.

Core Gameplay

When it comes to actual gameplay, Red Alert 3's real-time strategy mechanics will be familiar to anyone who has played any of the previous Command & Conquer games. Although it is the first game in the Red Alert sub-series to use 3D graphics, its appearance will also be familiar to anyone who played Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.

One of the game's big plus points is a new emphasis on naval warfare, with more water-based units than in the past. All multi-player maps have water elements included, which demonstrates this shift of focus. Moreover, many buildings and structures can now be built off-shore, keeping them out of the reach of land-based units.

The three main superpowers in the game all have different units, giving them a distinct feel. For example, the Soviet units emphasise power, the Allies rely more heavily on gadgets and the Empire of the Rising Sun have greater versatility, with many amphibious units.

Evolution

As usual, the game adds a number of more unique and bizarre units: the Soviets now have armoured 'war bears', while the Empire of the Rising Sun have ninjas and schoolgirls with powers of psychokinesis. The game's graphics, audio and video are all of far superior quality to the last Red Alert game, marking major plus points.

On the other hand, despite the new additions and more polished presentation, there is a feeling that the game represents evolution, rather than revolution. The core gameplay is very similar to previous instalments in the series and for some players, it may not be quite different enough.

Yet, in spite of that, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is a strong effort and one of the best real time strategy games on the market. Complete gameplay innovation may be slightly lacking, but the addition of a third world power, the visual improvements and the excellent storyline all make it a worthwhile acquisition.

Pros

  • Significantly improved graphics and sound
  • Introduction of a third major world power is a welcome addition
  • The storyline is less serious, with excellent comedy elements
  • Naval warfare is given an enhanced role

Cons

  • Major gameplay innovations are few and far between
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