Review by D r N o n e v i l
"If every time this game was great, I'd have a nickel, I'd have a nickel"
Blazing machine guns, explosive grenades and girls with guns bigger than your average secret service agent (no pun intended) all describe Westwoodâ€™s RTS game: Command and Conquer: Red Alert. The game puts you in the heat of a huge war in between the Soviet Union and the United States, but how does it affect you, you ask? You are the general, silly. You start out as a lowly man, just entering the military, but by slowly impressing the authorities with your ability to crush and mutilate the enemy, you soon rise to supreme commander of the land. But enough of this 'gravy', let's get to the good stuff.
Whether it is Tesla Coils melting allied flesh, or Mammoth Tanks shelling the opposition, this game is suweeet! The resolution is crisp and the frame rate is very steady. But those are the bare bones for an RTS game. The units are very creative and the structures are the kind only found in dreams. The animations are smooth and the walk like humans (that is important, you don't want to be commanding an army that looks like they have sticks up their asses).
I thought that I was in World War II the first time I played this game. Well, okay I'm lying, but the sounds are darn good! When a soldier dies, he doesn't say 'OOMPH' like he got punched in the stomach. He says 'AAAUGHH', like you just unloaded a machine gun round into his bladder. The charging up of a Tesla Coil strikes fear into my heart, because only death of innocent soldiers can happen after that. When a submarine misile hits your boat, believe me, you know a missile hit your boat. The explosions themselves are noteworthy. The charging of a Tesla coil indicates death of innocent soldiers, even if it's camouflaged. Overall the sound is great.
The gameplay is very fun, stealth missions have you sneak around, avoiding guard dogs and guard towers. The commando missions have you working by yourself to plant C4 to destroy enemy strike routes, for example, in one mission you have to destroy 3 bridges so enemy tanks can not destroy your defenseless base. Unfortunately for most death match missions, it just comes down to who has the most defense turrets or tanks. That just means who ever has the most money/fastest tech tree normally wins, taking away from some of the strategy that makes games like Starcraft so fun. Despite the all out combat missions, most of them are very fun and have to do with setting up a recon base, or getting enemy tank plans. Some stealth missions can be too tough for those who canâ€™t time things well, and some require multiple tries just to see the patterns of guards patrol. Enemy AI can be lousy at some times, because they rarely counter-strike, but this is expected from a 1998 game. Overall the gameplay is good, but not excellent.
In a RTS game, this is actually a very important aspect because it advances the plot and lets you know why youâ€™re even playing the game. Top actors were hired for the production, and despite the fact that most cut scenes are a minute or two, some are as short as 15 seconds, taking away from the fluency of the game.
The game is part of a series that has sparked great others such as Starcraft and Age of Empires.
The game has good combat and unique and well balanced units.
The cut-scenes are well acted and have good sound quality.
Cut scenes can be short, but it does not have a direct effect on game quality.
Some missions turn into â€˜who can build the most tanks firstâ€™ matches.
The game will suck away most of your free time until you A) Beat it or B) Quit because you are a ninny that can not take the challenge.
Rent or Buy:
I don't believe that a reviewer can tell a reader whether to buy or not, because most likely our opinions are entirely different. But if you do take this section seriously I tell you to buy the game. Besides, no place that I know of rents out computer software.
My Score: 10
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/10/02, Updated 11/10/02
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