Review by Sir Garland

"What every expansion pack should be!"

A few years ago, I wouldn't be very interested when one of my favorite games came out with an expansion pack. First, let's take a look at what previous expansion packs have contained.

Counterstrike and Aftermath for Red Alert brought us a few new units and some cinema-less missions. Lord of Destruction for Diablo II brought us two new characters - one godlike and one useless. I'll leave you to figure out which is which, but let's just say that the godlike one is the character that gets the best skills of the Necromancer, Barbarian, and Amazon, and the useless one gets slightly modified copies of the worst Necromancer skills and some mediocre Sorceress-esque (say that five times fast!) skills. What else... a new act, with fake realtime strategy elements. My guess is that they were testing out their fake realtime strategy elements for their next fake realtime strategy game - Warcraft III. Blizzard seems to think that the way to go with expansion packs is to add more of what was already there, instead of something new, that we actually want. Keep on the lookout for the next Blizzard expansion pack, when they just decide to throw everything in and hope nobody notices it's all recycled- DiabloCraft V : Beyond the Hellfire Lord of Destruction's Dark Portal of Brood Orcs and War Humans. *ahem* Warcraft II - Beyond the Dark Portal brought us... heroes and a new campaign. That's all, if recall. Firestorm for Tiberian Sun brought us... well, read my upcoming Firestorm review for that. Firestorm was a very solid expansion pack, but it lacked one major thing that was in Yuri's Revenge - a new side. Brood War brought us a few more units and another mind-numbing campaign.

So, tell us about Yuri's Revenge!!
Okay, okay. First off, I'll provide a numerical summary.

New Sides - 1
New Structures - 16 (Not counting buildings that have a different graphic and name, but do the same thing, i.e. sub pen/naval yard, barracks, etc.)
New Buildable Units - 15
New Missions - 14
New Cinemas - 17

The introduction of a whole new side completely changes this game. You need to learn many more strategies - instead of needing to know only how to play soviets vs. allies, soviets vs. soviets, allies vs. soviets, and allies vs. allies, you need to know how to play... allies vs. soviets, allies vs. allies, allies vs. yuri, soviets vs. soviets, soviets vs. allies, soviets vs. yuri, yuri vs. soviets, yuri vs. allies, and yuri vs. yuri. The new units and structures that the soviets get are VERY useful. A battle bunker, which you can deploy infantry in, is the best single base defense structure in the game, except possibly the Grand Cannon, which costs four times as much. The Siege Choppers give the soviets some much-needed ranged attacks and air vs. air capability. And of course, don't mess with Boris ;). The allies get Robot Tanks for anti-yuri combat, and Battle Fortresses, which you'd have to be insane to use against Yuri, but which provide much needed mobile anti-apocalypse power. It can crush other *tanks* and you can put up to 5 units in it, which fire as if they were deployed. Plus, the driver is a crazed scotsman.

Basically, Yuri's Revenge has enough new stuff to be a stand-alone product. Combined with the already great Red Alert 2, it equals a 10/10.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/19/03, Updated 02/19/03

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