Review by XGlite015

"Makes Red Alert 2 even better!"

I like Real-Time Strategy(RTS) games, there's just something fun about creating your own bases, protecting it, creating your own army, think of a strategy, and march towards your opponents bases and raise hell. It kinda reminds everyone about their boyish childhood fantasies of playing soldiers and war. I've played numerous RTS games and found that most of them are generic, the only excellent RTS games I've played so far are Starcraft and Warcraft 3. Command & Conquer Red Alert 2(C&C RA2) is also another excellent game I've played and I like the story of the game very much, it's very interesting. And now the expansion pack, Yuri's Revenge(YR), come's along and it's a very good expansion pack with improvements over C&C RA2.

GRAPHICS (7 out of 10) - The game looks good and has some subtle improvements over RA2, it's not the most realistic looking RTS game but the graphics are neat. Though it seems like the graphics engine looks like Starcraft's only enhanced a little bit, it is very detailed. When units or structures explode, you can see debris flying with very realistic animation. You can see a lot of stuff on screen too, you will see cars parked and some are moving, you can see people and animals and when you shoot them they run around or attack you, and there are also some real-life monuments like the eiffel tower, the great pyramid, etc. The intro and story mode cutscenes are live action with real actors and they are very good, I especially like Kari Wuhrer who plays as Tanya and Alessandra Kaniak who plays as Lt. Zofia. All the actors in the game fit their roles like Udo Kier as Yuri and Ray Wise as the U.S. president and the cutscenes are excellent, some are represented like your watching the news. Though the cutscenes are excellent, most of the background are pre-rendered and very noticeable but still everything is presented well so some won't mind it. It may still look like a colorful 2D cartoon and no better than Starcraft's graphics but is still presented well and you get cool cutscenes.

MUSIC AND SOUND (9 out of 10) - This is one of the RTS games with great rockin' soundtrack. If Warcraft 3's music gives you the feeling or the mood of being heroic, Yuri's Revenge music gives you the mood of raising hell on your opponents. The sound effects are standard RTS, the explosion sounds and laser beams have been heard before on other RTS games or cartoons. I like the in-game voices too it really fits the characters they represent, this game, in my opinion, has some of the best voice acting in video games ever.

CONTROLS - Of course RTS games are easy to control, it's just point, drag, click, and some button taps. The game is on the PC so keyboard and mouse controls are very easy to use, everyone can master the controls and the hotkeys in no time.

GAMEPLAY (9 out of 10) - Gameplay is excellent, it plays like any other RTS game but is unbalanced and could be hard at times. There are so many powerful units in RA2 and Yuri's Revenge only adds more making the game very unbalance. And most of the time, winning a skirmish is the way of rushing to your opponent's base with whatever powerful units you can build in just a few minutes without giving him the chance of establishing defense making it a very short game. The most annoying method of winning is when a computer-controlled opponent in brutal difficulty sends you a flak truck filled with engineers. Once the flak truck reaches your base without tough defense yet, just some few tanks or soldiers, when you destroyed the truck it explodes and unleashes the fast-running engineers that could steal your construction yard and any other structures nearby. No construction yard means impending doom leading to game over. That kind of game is boring especially if your opponent does it repetitively. If only the game is balanced it could've gotten a perfect score of 10 for gameplay.

REPLAY VALUE (6 out of 10) - Once you've played through the single player story mode there's not much to do but play skirmishes against the computer or play a multiplayer LAN games with friends. But if you're playing it at home with only one computer and no LAN or internet connection, there's no more option but to play skirmishes with the computer, it's fun for a while but will eventually get boring in no time. If only there are some unlockable extras like bonus missions or side-quests and playing Yuri's campaign in story mode that would boost the game's replay value. There are downloadable maps and some mods but that's it, it's still the same game with slight differences. Too bad, once you've finish the game all you can do is hone your skills in skirmishes and believe me that once you've improve you won't bother playing this game again unless someone challenges you in a LAN game.

THE VERDICT:
Command & Conquer Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge is a very good expansion, it doesn't make it a whole new game just enhances it a bit hence being an expansion. If only they added some good elements in the game like having Yuri's own campaign in single player story mode, it would've been great. Still Yuri's Revenge is one of the best RTS game I've ever played and I'm giving it an overall score of 8 out of 10.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/08/04


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