Review by LuigiRulesYou

"A real-time strategy game that could have been better..."

The Command & Conquer series has a very sturdy hold on the world of real-time strategy. Setting the standards of the genre, the guys at Westwood pulled up another installation, Command & Conquer: Red Alert.

Gameplay:

Straying from the path that they left behind in the war between the Global Defense Initiative and the Brotherhood of NOD, the game is now focused on the war in the past. World War II to be precise. Everything is similiar from the original Command & Conquer. Collecting minerals for money, creating buildings and units to pummel the enemies into submission is back. While everything feels a little more leveled out from the original, it is still pretty much unfair. While the single player missions are a joy to play through, and are easily very addictive, the multiplayer skirmishes are easily flawed. The Soviets are unfairly powerful, their high prices not making up for how uneven the battles are. Merely make a ton of tanks and run amok. The inability to choose who you're fighting against makes the computer a daunting foe. Speaking of the computer, the AI of the game is incredibly idiotic in battle plans. Focusing on constructing a huge base with no real layout, it merely creates units and hurls them at you at random with no sense of organization. If you are unable to play online, this can be a serious problem for the Skirmish mode of the game. Oh yeah and if you haven't noticed...infantry are totally useless.
Gameplay does alright with a 7/10

Graphics:

The graphics are indeed well used in the series. Pixilated, yet not half bad, the character sprites and animations are satisfactory. The game movies are nice and well played out if you have a good video card. Overall, the video of the game is generic, but that never really hurt a game like Command & Conquer.
Graphics make up with a 8/10

Sound:

The audio in this game is border-line crappy. Very simple weapon sounds and explosions are all about, pretty much making the kind of things you here a cliche. Quality is fair though, and there are some imaginative parts to the games sounds (it freaks me out whenever I hear an enemy Tesla Coil charge up for a shot), the games effects are moderate and work fine for the game. Music; however, is a different story. Although there are many tracks to choose from, you will find yourself usually going for the same one over and over again, Hell March. Yes, in my opinion, that is the only good track in the game. The remainder of what you have is moderate to ungodly out of place.
Sound feels bad at a 4/10.

Replay Value:

Adding everything previously said up, the replay value for this game isn't so hot unless you are a serious fan of the series. While making your own maps with the Red Alert Campaign editor can always be fun and add hours to the game, the game itself with lose it's shine after a while. The campaigns being the only real addictive factors in the game (skirmish is not too appealing). If you have online capabilities, it is a whole new different story however.
Replay Value makes a moderate 5/10.

CRITICAL MASH

+ PROS
+ Fun, addictive campaign mode
+ Great online play
+ Map editor

- CONS
- One-Player skirmishes unsatisfactory
- Sides unbalanced
- Music feels out-of-place (except Hell March)

Buy - Rent - Ditch

If you ask me, you should ditch this game and go for the much more impressive Command & Conquer: Red Alert II if you can. If you can't, well...this game isn't bad...it just won't last you as long as some other games.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 10/14/02, Updated 10/14/02


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