Review by Braben

"Command & Conquer with a new but rusty looking coat."

The sequel to one of the best real time strategy games may disappoint some because of its step back in time, Red Alert is far from the neo-apocalyptic setting of the first one, but it would be unfair to bash it for that because as a strategy game is as good as before.

Instead of GDI and NOD, in Red Alert we will have to choose between the pacemaker Allies or the evil Soviets (the “Red Alert” title was not there because it sounded fancy it seems), and instead of tiberium this time we will have to harvest ore, but it works exactly in the same way than the tiberium. Like in the first game, the story is presented with cool videos performed nicely by real actors.

The gameplay is exactly the same from the previous game, there isn’t the slightest difference, firstly we have find a good place to start building our base, then we have to obtain energy, then founds to build units and soldiers and so on, even the units are basically the same (of course they look completely different and there are new ones, what I mean is they work in the same way), the only true new units are the ships (in the first C&C there were ships, but we were not able to control them), the rest of them are mostly variations with new abilities.

Like in the previous one, there is no limit when it comes to choose the size of our army, unlike games like WarCraft here we can build an army as big as we want until we run out of money, and if we want we can attack with all of them at the same time, for that reason the combats in Command & Conquer have always been a mess, but a very fun and efficient mess.

Also, like in the first Command & Conquer, the bad guys are better than the good ones, the Soviets have more destructive weapons and units, the Allies` only destructive units are those huge ships that have an tremendously high fire rate and that can destroy everything from an incredibly long distance.

Graphics and Music:
Guess!?, the graphics are also exactly the same as they were before, they have the same good and bad points, the units are not very detailed while the battle map and most of the structures have lot of it. The graphics could have been enhanced certainly, they are far from being bad, in fact, even if the units are tiny and lack too much detail, they look nice, but as a sequel, Westwood needed to put a little more effort here. The music while not as badass as before it is still very good, as well as the voices, but the units still only have one or two lines of dialogue, this is something that should have been also improved because while their quality is still top notch, they sound a bit dull after some time.

As a result:
Red Alert is neither better nor worst than the first Command & Conquer simply because it is basically the same game but set in a past epoch and new units that are basically the old ones with a new design, but, if something worked so good, the why change it right?, and the game is not “exactly” the same like those bad jokes that are games like Doom, it just works in the same way, so, if you enjoyed the first game do not miss this one by any means.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/03/04

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