Review by acidslayer57
"Another great C & C game."
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 (RA2) is the best in the series of command a conquer games. C&C has been out since circa 1991 and Westwood Studios has followed that up with Red Alert. Tiberian Sun was the next C&C game after RA. Too bad Tiberian Sun was unbalanced and not too fun to play. Well, Westwood has gotten rid of that because RA2 is most certainly balanced.
RA2's gameplay is very enjoyable, especially if you've never played a C&C game before. The formula is very exciting and makes you feel the rush that you may have in other RTS games. The single player campaigns are fun on both sides. ( Allied and Soviet.) The Skirmish games or against the computer require much strategy and should not be ignored. Also if you have DSL, you will get a most enjoyable experience from the online community of RA2, this does not mean to not try it if you have a dial up modem.
Both of the sides in RA2 are very balanced and have very unique units. That balance is very rare in most RTS games, so appreciate it. The simpleness of the map, and controlling your units leads to a small amount of micromanagement and a lot more macro management. This aspect can be good and bad. If you used to play Starcraft often, then the macro should be good for you. Warcraft 3, then you are a micro master and might consider staying with that.
The simplicity of the game, however, also has it's disadvantages. The one resource means you will do almost no micro whatsoever. You minas well just keep building tanks because that seems to be what wins battles the most. There are only a few things you can do in RA2 and the tank rush just seems the most effective. When you can build thirty tanks in less than ten minutes, why would you do anything else?
I prefer the large battles and tactics of Starcraft more then I do in Red Alert 2. You don't need to know your units very well in RA2, or have to think much during the battle as you do in other RTS's.
The story of RA2 is fairly generic but entertaining, nonetheless. You get to follow both the Soviet and Allied stories that take you everywhere in the world including Russia, Hawaii, France, and even Alaska. There are two types of missions in general. Base building ones where you build a base and then attack the enemy and the stealth ones where you get a certain amount of units at the beginning and then destroy the enemies with those. The story has some twists as you go along but stays fairly linear throughout the whole game.
The graphics in RA2 are impressive at first, but you will soon see they are imitation 3D. That is it is a 2D engine with partially 3D graphics. Even though they are not truly 3D, they are quite impressive and a step above any RTS out there except for Warcraft 3 and Age of Mythology.
The sound is very good and gets your adrenaline going with some nice rock/techno tunes. Turn up the music and crank up the sound effects, which are also nice to listen to. Every unit responds with a different voice and they are sometimes slightly funny. Good job on the sounds and graphics Westwood.
The playtime in RA 2 is about 25 hours to beat both campaigns. 25 hours is a god amount of time nowadays. Not too long or too short. The replayability will shock you. I have been playing this game for about two years now and probably still will every once in a while. It is fun to just go back and play this.
Truthfully I would just buy this game now f you have ever played a RTS and enjoyed it before.
Graphics/ Sound: 9
Average Score: 8.25 rounded down to 8.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/30/03, Updated 03/30/03
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