Review by Renatus
"Red Alert is a good achievement in the world of real time strategy."
Red Alert is the second game in the Command and Conquer series. All Command and Conquer games are Real Time Strategy games, where the player must construct a base and form a battalion to crush the enemy. Obviously, most missions make it more sophisticated then that, for sometimes you start with half a base already constructed, while other times you are stuck with a mobile construction vehicle (MCV) and few defensive troops. With the MCV, the player can start construction of a base. Each building you construct will allow you to build another series of structures. However, you can only build certain basic buildings for the first few levels, but eventually you'll get the defensive weapons and tanks. This is how it is in most real time strategy games. I'll continue to explain below, but Red Alert works like this too.
Red Alert, as I said, is a real time strategy game. It uses the basic principle I explained above, but it improves over the first C&C in many different ways. There are so many different types of missions, but the build and destroy concept is how you can sum 70 percent of the missions. Both sides in the game have balanced units and structures, just like in other Westwood RTS games. A nice feature to this game are the naval units (we can finally build a navy!) and a better air force. Plus, structures don't need to be connected anymore! They can be placed one or two places away from the building. New units like medics are available, and there just is more units overall. This was a great improvement. However, I would have liked so see a few more features like making some of the missions more interesting. Red Alert II and Tiberian Sun, the newer games, take care of much of this, though =D
The story is decent for this type of game (It counts as less points because it isn't really as important). You can take control of the Allies (the good guys) or the Soviets (evil guys). Both sides are balanced. In addition, you will see assassinations, nice cutscenes, and progression. The actors did a good job, and the story is just as good as all other Command and Conquer games. However, there are a few problems at the start: I fell it jumps into the Allied campaign too quickly. Nevertheless, that is a very MINOR problem in my opinion, and the storyline is still nice.
The graphics were not improved that much over the original, and the units are still too small. I would have liked to see some improvement here, but I guess they were decent for it's time. Some of the cutscenes graphics messed up a lot, too. I liked the building explosions, and the graphics were an improvement in this game. ESPECIALLY the cutscenes! They are more active then the ones in the original. Finally, the units are still a bit small. Other than that, there isn't much of a problem with graphics.
Music in all games is important to me, especially Role Playing Games and Real Time Strategies (basically the only games I play nowadays). Red Alert I has some good music, just like the original. Especially the default theme, which is probably as good as the original Command and Conquers. I liked most of the music, and it fit the whole Command and Conquer theme well (especially Hell March). If you played Red Alert II before this one, then you'll see where Hell March originated from.
The sound was a bit of an improvement over the original. The gunfire, deaths, and explosions were well done. They also fit the music and the whole theme of war. I enjoyed the sound in this game, but some of the effects were not too good. For example, the Light Tank does sound a bite lame when it fires. Overall, though, a good achievement.
The game is hard enough on ''easy mode.'' There's plenty of challenge, and the difficulty could be comparable to the NOD campaign from the original game...times ten. And the NOD campaign was hard enough. I had some problems on easy mode, and that shows how difficult a nice war-game like this can be. There are a few missions that are TOO tough, but don't worry about that. As for replay, there is PLENTY to do with the expansion packs and so on. Also, with skirmish mode, you can play against the tough computer enemies on pre made maps or you can make your own!
PERCENTILE SCORE: 89/100
FINAL SCORE: 8/10
This game is good, and I enjoyed it. There could have been some improvements, but overall, this game is a lot of fun.
RENT OR BUY? Well, you can't really rent computer games, so I would buy it, obviously.
Those are my two cents on this game. I hope you enjoy it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 04/19/03, Updated 04/19/03
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