Review by gritta

"The sequel to Red Alert - good or bad?"

Red Alert 2, the sequel to Red Alert, is the latest game in the Command & Conquer series. The graphics, although not in true 3D are a huge improvement on the graphics of Tiberian Sun. Like in RA1 you can play as either The Soviets or The Allies, either way you’ll get your moneys worth out of this game.

The interface for Red Alert 2 marks a substantial improvement on the last; it has tabs for structures, armory, infantry and vehicles. Unlike the original, in RA2 both sides have equally impressive kit. Both sides have common structures like Ore Refinery, War Factory and The Construction Yard; however, they do have unique units as well.

Although the missions in RA2 are relatively easy, the videos that come before and after each mission are very good (I think it has something to do with RA2 being an enhanced CD). In the well-made skirmish missions you can battle up to seven computer opponents on either easy, medium or brutal difficulty settings. When playing in any of the multiplayer games you can choose your country. You can choose to be any of the following allied countries: American, French, German, British or Korean or any of the following soviet countries: Russian, Cuban, Libyan or Iraqi.

One neat addition to RA2 is that you can capture ‘Tech Buildings’. These aren’t actually tech buildings because they don’t give you new units, but are buildings which will benefit you in some other way, for example the Oil derrick gives you 20 cash every few seconds, the Airport enables you to launch paratroopers every few minutes (these are G.I.’s if you are allies or conscripts if you are soviets), the Hospital enables you to heal your infantry and the outpost is a basic defensive structure that can protect against both land and air attacks as well as doubling up as a service depot.

When playing on the Internet or over a network you can select the type of game you play. You can play co-operative (meaning you work together with one friend to beat two A.I. opponents), Un-Holy Alliance (meaning you and a friend start with both a soviet and an allied M.C.V. to wage war with), Battle (meaning…uhhh…battle…derrrr), Megawealth (meaning you must catch oil derricks to gain wealth), Land Rush (meaning all playing start in the same location and have to rush to get to a good base location), Meat Grinder (meaning you can only build infantry and tanks) or Naval War (meaning you begin on separate islands away from each other with limited resources).

Overall I would give Red Alert 2 9/10 because it is easily, in my mind, the best real time strategy (R.T.S) game on the market. I took away half a mark because it led to me being addicted to it, and half a mark because the missions are far too easy. However, I would still say it is a must-get for any strategy fan.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/13/01, Updated 10/08/02

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