Review by JChamberlin
When I hear "Command & Conquer", the first thing that comes to mind is a huge gaming series that has a rather large community of followers. Westwood has obviously done something right somewhere along this series' development that made so many people buy the game.
I'd be lying if I said I was a fan of the series. A few years back, I bought a big Westwood bundle of C&C games at the local CompUSA. I was rather disappointed at the time. Maybe it was because of the graphics or the engine itself. Maybe it's because my PC gaming was tuned to and even born on Ensemble Studios' Age of Empires. Whatever the reason, I never much cared for the game series, but that doesn't mean it's a bad game series.
Yuri's Revenge is probably the biggest expansion pack of Westwood's history. I know that Westwood's pretty proud of it, and the fans have been long awaiting this title's release. This expansion pack is certainly one of the best we've seen in some time. The Conquerors is arguably one of the greatest expansion packs ever made, and Yuri's Revenge is a few notches under The Conquerors.
Yuri was the former minister of mind control for the Soviets in Red Alert 2. After the Allies capture Moscow, Yuri goes into hiding and begins to formulate his own plans to once again avenge the parties responsible for his spiritual departing. He assembles an army of psychic warriors and some impressive technology to bring about the destruction of both the Allies and the Soviets. It's up to you to stop him. While the specifics still seem a little confusing (and maybe not altogether logical, even by Red Alert standards), it's definitely keeping in the style of the franchise. To begin with you'll need to grab a time machine and head back into the past and take Yuri out. With seven missions each for the Soviet and Allied campaign, there's about 15-20 hours of game play here. Missions are a nice range. Defending a peace summit at Parliament, fighting house to house in Sydney, and assaulting enemy positions at the base of the Great Pyramid are just three examples.
Yuri doesn't just enter the game as an enemy without special units and weapons, either. He's got some impressive new units; most of which are long-ranged units. Snipers, gatling guns, and prism tanks are three examples of these units, and they've all been upgraded a bit, and offer a very deadly force. They can and will make short work of your units.
With Yuri taking so many units from the Soviets, they do gain some new ones. A hero unit, Boris, is introduced. He's got the ability to call in MiG strikes on certain targets. A new Spy Plane is also brought into the game. The plane will fly over, unveiling unexplored terrain, since we do have "Fog of War" in Yuri's Revenge. Unfortunately, the Spy Planes are shot down about 99.9% of the time, so this doesn't offer a whole heck of a lot of help in many instances. What good is a spy plane that can't stay in the air? Another new unit is their new Siege Chopper. They can be landed and turned into a powerful gun.
Units aren't the only new thing in here for the Soviets. They get a couple of structures as well. Their Battle Bunker can be fortified by conscripts to supply a form of firepower. The new Industrial Plant will reduce not only the cost but the build time of vehicles.
The Allies also have several new units. They get Navy SEALs who have a solid machinegun and some C4 explosives. The Allies also get Guardian GIs. These make a decent anti-tank and anti-air units. The new Robot Tanks are a nice addition, as mind control has no affect here, since there isn't a human controlling this unit. Battle Fortresses are something very interesting. This is somewhat like a tank. You can put five infantry units in here, and they can shoot out the gun ports, and this thing can crush just about anything.
The multiplayer game in Yuri's Revenge has been improved in several ways, but I'd suggest that you buy the pack to find out what's been improved. Yuri's Revenge is a very solid game overall. I'm not a fan of the engine, however, and that's probably because I'm an Age player, but I highly recommend this game if you're a C&C fan.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/31/05
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