Review by freeze43
"Overpowered? Unbalanced? No, but it requires your thinking cap"
Yuri's Revenge in an expansion pack to the already fantastic Red Alert 2, so obv iously Red Alert 2 is required before you can play the former. Akin to its main body, YR offers perhaps the greatest war strategy game ever, combining good sound effects and graphics with the important thing- gameplay. Addictive, ever changing and fiendishly creative (if you can make it). YR's interface and controls are simple and easy to use and overall perfect for whoever's tastes- let it be tank rushing, spying or highly tactical warfare- but remember, for whatever attack you have, the enemy can counter.
What was seen in Red Alert 2 was some really innovative ideas- rocketeers, psychic soldiers, cloning vats and of course the inclusion of actually useful super weapons (when compared to the appalling warhead on Red Alert). However, what was seen was there were some serious difficulties in trying to balance the game- Soviets had all but 1 air unit, Allies in general had a very hard time trying to match Rhino and Apocalypse tanks for sheer strength and some of the secret weapons, such as Chrono Ivan, were incredibly impractical...
Enter Yuri's Revenge, where both Soviets and Allies have recieved well needed levelling- Allies had great anti-tank units, Soviets have choppers and equivalents to Ore Refinery etc. All in all, the catharsis was needed, but then we find that Yuri has his own side. To use this side, you have to play skirmish or go online (there are no single player missions). Yuri is the epitome of difficult units (some would call it 'cheap'). While Soviets and Allies have equivalencies that are fairly easy to spot, Yuri is waaaaaaaay left field, with some very obscure comparisons (Grinders sort of equal repair stations, Initiates, despite being expensive are sorta GIs and so on) and some very bizarre units, such as chaos drones which make the enemy units fight each other, UFOs that steal credits and shut off power, and the Master Mind-a psychic, multiple unit affecting think tank. Overall, Yuri's side is a mixture of either diversity, or one-track power in the form of the Boomer Subs.
Hero units are included as well for each side.
Graphics are not jaw-dropping or anything, but serves their purpose above and beyond the call of duty. Units are well defined, and you'll never have trouble identifying them (unless its a Mirage Tank...). Slow down is rare unless you have a slow computer, you'll usually see some slowdown during the bloodiest of battles (where explosions are common) or Super Weapons are being sent off. As in RA2, you are given some nice cut scenes between missions, and seeing Tanya in a dress (meh) at the end of the Allied campaign.
Again, does it job, and far better that RA2 this time as each individual unit has its own little speech, unlike in RA2 where all tanks/ ships were limited to a few phrases. Explosions, considering their frequency, are at a good pitch and realism. A mention must go to the little slaves from the Yuri Miner's when they are free- so cute!
Yuri's deciding factor. Gameplay is fast, smooth and very satisfying. Furious battles, annoying units and fighting with what limitations you have make for a constantly changing and expanding mode of play. Do you make a British Sniper, or make 3 GIs for the same cost? Do you create another War Factory for faster production, or use that money to create more tanks? Is the Ore Refinery worth it? Should I risk my spy? such questions appear frequently in the game, often complex plans must be created in order to overcome particular units. You'll probably see in the message boards that Magnetrons are very cheap, but there are many alternatives to overcome them, such as Terror Drones and infantry. Gameplay is addictive and furious, creative and frustrating.
Great game, needs definite purchasing unless your a pure FPS freak.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/27/04
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