Review by the ultimate68

"Who thought fighting in Soviet vs Allies battles could be so much fun?"

Command and Conquer: Red Alert for the PC is a strategy game that stands out in its class. It appears as a simple point and click war game, easy and nothing to it; but as you advance through the game, it’s apparent that it’s not. The game can be very challenging, and you control many troops at all times, while still holding down a base or two back at home. Building tanks, troops, everything for an army is made simple with C&C: RA.

Gameplay: 10/10
In C&C: RA, each side has different buildings, tanks, and prices. You can buy some tanks that you can’t buy on the other side, likewise with the structures. Most structures have prerequisites, so you can’t just start off building mammoth tanks. The allies focus mainly on their navy fleets, whereas the Soviets are more concerned with their air force, and huge tanks. Supposedly these equal each other out, but in reality, the Soviets out-match the Allies the majority of the time. Unless it’s strictly water-based combat, the Soviets have the upper edge.

It’s hard to go wrong with the new skirmish mode, allowing you to choose sides(Soviet, or Allies) and customize everything about your game. You can set the technology level from 1 to 10, allowing you to play a World War I war, or maybe a future-type war. You can also play online with the skirmish mode, playing your friends at their houses, or someone you don’t know from across the world. There’s relatively no lag, so you’ll be happy to know everything runs smoothly.

There’s also a campaign mode, allowing you to choose your side, and play different missions with them. The Soviet branch has 14 missions, whereas the Allies have 15, creating a lot for you to finish. Also, before and after the missions, you’ll see a cut-scene, usually with generals planning for an attack or defense. There is a lot of work to do on these campaigns though, so you better get busy!

Story: 9/10
In the campaign modes, you get a story for each side: Soviets, and Allies. I won’t go into too much detail about the plot, but Russia is trying to take over the continent, and the Allies are trying to stop them. So, the plots meet, and you’re pretty much fighting the other side for your life. It’s a great story though, and it’s definitely worth playing.

Graphics: 9/10
For a five year old game, these graphics are outstanding! I couldn’t believe how good they were. I’ve still yet to see any graphical glitches, and trust me: I’ve played a lot of this game. Everything graphical runs as smoothly as it should. The only real problem I have, is that when you’re shooting at a building, you shoot for awhile, then all of a sudden part of it collapses. It doesn’t look real at all. In fact, it looks very bad, but like I said, it’s a five year old game. It deserves a nine.

Sound: 9/10
Crisp, clear, lovely tunes is all you’ll hear from this game. The music is just outstanding, and very easy on the ears. There is really nothing bad to say about the music, except if you’re running a slow processor, it might slow the game down. With voice-overs for the characters, you’ll hear what the combat-men and women are thinking. It’s great for the first few times playing it, and was fairly realistic. However, I found myself being annoyed by the constant talking of my troops, and eventually turned them off. I still think that the voices are a plus for the game though.

Play Time/Replayability: 8/10
While the missions would be fun to do all over again, the truth is they’re pretty hard. I really wouldn’t want to do them again, because they are a lot of work. The first time through, you don’t know the plot, so you’re excited to find out what happens next. It wouldn’t be like that the second time, as with most games. However, the skirmishes allow for hours upon hours of gameplay. The skirmishes are what I easily played the most, and you can’t customize them any way you want, allowing for better, new matches! The play time is obviously endless with the amount of stuff that you can do in this game.

This is a must-have game, that everyone should play! I’ve owned this game for years, and I still play it! The Red Alert series is the only war-strategy series that I like, and boy do I like them! Even if you don’t enjoy war games much, like me, I think you would still enjoy this game. Since it’s five years old, at the time of this writing, it must be really cheap. So, go out there and pick this title up! You won’t regret it!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/10/03, Updated 03/10/03

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