Review by RHibiki

Reviewed: 11/12/00 | Updated: 06/14/01

The BEST Command & Conquer to date!

Westwood Studios' biggest franchise by far is the Command & Conquer series. Just as id Software's Doom did for first person shooters, Command & Conquer pioneered the real-time strategy genre. The series has spawned four true sequels, a number of mission packs and console conversions. Red Alert 2 is the sequel to Red Alert, which tells the story of the events that had happened before the conflicts between NOD and GDI in the first Command & Conquer.

As always, the presentation is absolutely astonishing, right from the installation program through to the in-game scenarios. Once single mode starts, the action starts straight away, giving you the control of every school boy's wet dream; the voluptuous and unassailable Tanya. Another character you'll later encounter is Uri - the physic who looks more like Ming from Flash Gordon than Alakazam from Pokemon - who can manipulate people's minds and well as cutlery, clocks and other household items. Controlling these characters and other units is simple - you use your mouse to select, move and destroy around the main battle interface, while the keyboard is used for quick access to units or areas of the map. Missions are won by completing objectives and if competing in a multiplayer game through a network or the Internet, victory stems from the complete destruction of your opponent.

In-game graphics have slight improvements over Tiberian Sun and use voxels instead of 3D models for sprites and scenery. As a result, games played over the Internet suffer less lag times, obviously a good thing. The high quality cut scenes are much better than the movies found in any its predecessors. Sound effects and in-game voices are okay and the music suits the game, although probably isn't to everyone's tastes.

Red Alert 2 will undoubtedly appeal to veterans of the series, but also to newcomers to the RTS genre. It stylishly executes a story, keeping you intrigued as you complete each mission. Thankfully, gameplay hasn't changed one bit and retains its winning formula. Setting up an account to play Internet games is a pain as many popular nicknames have already been taken. A good half-hour is spent thinking up a decent name. When you finally start a game, unless you're a pro at the genre, you'll get bombarded with bombs, missiles and gunfire within the first few minutes of the match. The game won't be winning any awards for originality, but it is probably the best in the series so far. Recommended.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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