Review by RainingMetal
"Goodbye Radio Stations, Hello, C&C Generals!"
Red Alert was one of my first "Teen" games I ever played (I was six!) and I LOVED it! I was obsessed with the creation, and I was glad that the C&C (Command & Conquer) series continued. EA enhanced the game I'm about to review, so if you think EA studios are crooks, you are reading the wrong review altogether. Westwood may have retired from C&C, but that doesn't mean C&C is dead, because this game proves that the series are still alive and well. The Red Alert series were quite fun, and I believe that this game is another unforgettable addition to C&C.
Story: 4/10: Here's where it gets weak. The storyline isn't the most creative, nor does it feature "main characters", unlike Red Alert 2. It is very serious, as it takes not too far from the future, relating to the Iraqi War. It also doesn't have any relations to the main C&C storyline, but it's not bad to depart from an old adventure into a new sega.
Controls: 7/10: Expect a typical control layout for an RTS (Real Time Strategy). The mouse mainly used to select units and to scroll to different areas of the map, there's a radar that powers out when power demands grow higher than the amount available, and there's a hotkey for every action for every unit.
Graphics: 7/10: This is the first actual 3d RTS game I ever played (most in the old days used sprites). Although the infantry look RIDICULOUS, the other stuff looks good enough not to nag about it. The terrain has various details and the vehicles look cool, along with their "blow-up sequence". There's lots of resolutions for every computer, so select the one that's the most suitable!
Sound: 10/10: This is one of my favourite parts of the game. I LOVE video game music! And you should too! Forget about 50 Cent and Fort Minor or Coldplay and Good Charlotte, THESE are the real soundtracks that sound great. Even if the USA music theme isn't your cup of tea, there's individual soundtracks for China and the GLA too! These match the themes accordingly. Even without the gameplay, this music is one of a kind!
AI: 7/10: The AI always depends on the difficulty selected. Easy when on easy, hard when on brutal. Although the difficulty names are misnomers, as the lowest "difficulty" is normal, it is understandable nonetheless. The AI itself is pretty good, but the CPU teams lack teamwork with each other.
Gameplay: 9/10: The gameplay setup is easier and more flexible than in the previous C&C games. Instead of having an MCV to build a main base and having to build around the basic area, there are dozers and worker units to build structures individually, allowing easy outpost setups. There's a good variety for missions and maps too, as well as tech buildings for capture to enhance the game even further. None of the sides are completely the same. There's always a strong and a brittle stats for every side. There's an easy tutorial for the RTS beginners, like about 90% of the game population. The pre-game setup is also easy.
Play Time/Replayability: 8/10: There's online play too, with a ranking system for extra fun to rub off the boredom. The gameplay's fun hardly ever ends, and even from a long break from this game, it's more fun to return!
Other: 8/10: Westwood is gone, so EA must carry on the legacy of Command & Conquer. EA usually rushes their work, but working for two years on the project (like Half-Life 2) doesn't settle the argument either. The game itself looks good for a rushed masterpiece, so that's one of EA's "successful" games. The game requires very powerful computers to work properly, and the upgrade can be a real time consumer.
Final Recommendation: 9/10: Every category (yes, even the story is good enough) fits perfectly into the definition of "fun". The music is exceptional, whether it's alone or during a frantic or dramatic battle, and the gameplay is remarkable. It is a MUST buy for RTS fans and a possible try-out for other gamers.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/13/06, Updated 11/07/06
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