Review by Master Psysch
"A great game, yet with a few flaws"
First off, let me say the cinematic are awesome. This game has some of the greatest video cut-scenes I have ever seen. Also the in game graphics are nice. The lack of shadows draws away from the realistic factor of the game, but makes the game much more accessible to lower end computers. All in all the graphics are nice. The fact the game has different lighting is good. Players of StarCraft know that that game is perpetually dark, while players of Age of Empires see the bright and airy battlefields. Red Alert 2 has a splendid mix of both.
This game will never win any medals for sound quality. The cinematic scenes' sound and voice-acting are superb, but other than that, this game fails on sound. I do not know if it is just my computer, but occasionally the in-game transmissions are broken heavily. ''Comman...der, the Soviets seem to... be us...ing Terror Drones...'' You get the picture, though this may be to add some believability to the transmissions. I would think there would be tremendous static during a battle. The incessant phrases the units use get old fast. Every Allied tank has the same dialogue lines, as well as every Allied ship. Lastly, the hailing of ''Unit Ready'' became annoying by mission two. I don't really think that it is necessary. Perhaps as an option I would like it more.
This is where Red Alert 2 really shines. First, you can do the campaign as either the Allies or the Soviets. Referring back to StarCraft, you play all sides, but as different time frames. Red Alert 2, you fight all the way through one way, or all the way through the other way. Also, there is the difficulty rating. You have beaten the game on easy, now can you do it on hard? The par time on missions is a great idea. I have yet to beat Allied Mission 1 within the par time; my closest time was three seconds over. When you complete a mission within the par time, you get promoted. This leads to playing for rank. The game can be beaten with a low rank, but the just does not seem truly completed until all the missions are completed on hard within the par time. Lastly, when the Campaign gets old, play a skirmish game, or go challenge someone else online.
This is the mixed bag. There are no 'Villagers' that do all the menial tasks of gathering and building. The base's center structure does the building, a gatherer does, of all things, gathering, in this case ore. Thus, there is no way a building can be created faster, and no way for more than one to be created at a time, unless you build another base. Also, you can have as many barracks as you like, but you can only produce one Conscript at a time. Last on the list of bad, you cannot select your mission directly. I loved Allied Mission 5, but I must play 1, 2, 3, and 4 to get to it again.
Good stuff is much more plentiful. The lines that show where your unit is moving are very helpful. I can see exactly how the units will spread when I send 40 GIs into an enemy base. The mix of units is awesome. Not even the hallowed Soviet Airships of the Allied Prism Tanks will be an unconquerable force alone, though of course they do do their jobs well. No, you must mix units. The Airships are slow; send a few Tesla Infantry in. The Prism Tanks do little againsy armored vehicles, send a legion of GIs with them. And lastly, the fact that Infantry can be run over by tanks is awesome. I am not going to take the space to mention the sheer coolness of garrisoning units in buildings, capturing tech buildings, dropping C-4 charges in your enemy's buildings, or the fact that shooting at Oil Barrels causes them to explode and will often save your but in the covert missions.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 07/25/02, Updated 07/25/02
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