Review by AzNGaMeR

Reviewed: 05/31/00 | Updated: 08/07/01

A great strategy game for strategy game fans, a must have.

What would happen if Adolf Hitler never rose the power of Nazi? Who would take his place? Well, Westwood's prequel to its big hit Command and Conquer has something similar to it. I remember Command and Conquer was a great game, but it was somewhat unbalanced, somewhat low-resolution, and somewhat plotless. Well, Command and Conquer: Red Alert fixed it all. The game takes place in 1940's somewhere in New Mexico, where a professor went back in time and remove Hitler from the history. He thought this would prevent World War II from occuring but instead, Joseph Stalin took the power and conquest for Europe. How is Red Alert different from Command and Conquer? Well, read on and find out.

By using the same engine, patch it up a little, give it a little boost, and voila, a Windows 95/98 native engine is born. This time, it is in high-resolution, that means more details on the structure, bigger map, and icons are digital pictures. This time, if you are a tank, when you run over soldiers, it will leave a pile of guts, then evaporated. Unlike the original Command and Conquer, the soldier just disappears. When a unit or a structure is damaged, it will show it is broken or smoking telling you to fix it or it will be destroyed. The cinematic may not be Hollywood, but it has a semi-story this time and a bit more acting than just sitting there and reading the lines.

The interface of Red Alert is simple, yet fun. Unlike Warcraft, you highlight the unit, you click where you want it to go to or click on the enemy, and it will automatically attack. Also you can highlight unlimited amount of units. Red Alert also has the new difficulty system--easy for beginners, medium for veterans, and hard for hard core gamers. With units on land, sea, and air, this make vary of strategy to eliminate your enemy. Also, there are spies to sneak into enemy's base and check it out. But if the enemy has attack dog, it will automatically sniff out the spy. Tired of tank rush? You can drop land mines where you think your enemy will come all the time and watch them blow up. This time, instead of collecting Tiberium, you are collecting ore and minerals for money. In other words, your soldiers won't be poisoned by the Tiberium. With new structures like Tesla Coil, camouflaged bunkers, Gap Generator, and more, this time you can destroy the bridge to stop tanks coming over to your side. Some air units are Yak, Mig, Apache helicopter, and paratroopers. But if you destroy the airstrip, the Yak or Mig will be destroyed automatically. Also, the engineers are ''weaker'' than the one's in Command and Conquer. Since one engineer can take over the structure, it was too cheap when you have 5 engineers in a SCV and carried them all into enemy base and have a mass take over. Now it takes about 3-5 engineers to take over a structure.

When you click a unit, it will respond with a greeting, when you are under attack or something is ready, EVA will tell you. EVA also tells you when you lost a unit and when how much time is left. The tank sound effects are realistic and when you run over a soldier, it will make a splat sound. Red Alert's music is better than Command and Conquer's. With 20 original industrial and techno musical scores, keeps the game in a hype mood. I especially like one song, called Hell March-- the best one of all.

Up to 8 players in the multiplayer game, the fun will never stop. You can play on Westwood Chat for free too. There are also different types of game, your traditional free for all, teams, and capture the flag. Red Alert also contains a map editor to let you make your own multiplayer map and play it with your friends on Westwood Chat.

Red Alert is the best Command and Conquer of all. With more units on land, air, and sea to play with, fun never ends. This time, it comes with map editor to let you make your own maps. What else could be wanted more? Red Alert is definitely a must-buy, and coming with 2 CDs, you can give one to your friend and play against each other.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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