Review by Arlondiluthel

"When you give bears parachutes..."

The long-awaited sequel to Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 is finally here, and it was worth the wait. Red Alert 3 introduces a new faction to the Red Alert formula, the Empire of the Rising Sun (Japan). What's best is that the introduction of a third faction doesn't break the balancing of the game.

Naval combat is necessary in this installment of the game, and every map has at least one body of water. Buildings can be built on land or sea, and many of the essential units are amphibious. Units that aren't amphibious, such as the Soviet War Bear can be loaded into amphibious APCs. The Soviet APC has an interesting method for troop release, the units inside of it are shot out of a cannon, and parachute down. This can be a very useful tactic for getting a handful of the Soviet War Bears to camp outside of your enemy barracks, killing any troops that come out of it. The Allies have attack dolphins, one of the few naval-only units in the game (each faction has 2).

The Soviets use primarily Tesla troops (whether it's the Tesla Trooper or the Stingray amphibious walker). Allies like to rely on planes and tanks. The Empire of the Rising Sun uses mechs for their primary assault force. As far as countering attacks from an opponent, it's simply a matter of determining which type of unit to counter with. Mechanical units (such as Allied tanks and Rising Sun mechs) are weak against Tesla troops, but Tesla troops are weak against rocket infantry (although they dispose of infantry in one or two hits, they'll take a lot of damage from a couple rocket attacks).

The graphics are cartoony, yet highly detailed at the same time. The FMVs are live-action and well-directed. The sound is great, and at times sounds like you really are in the middle of an all-out war. Controls are practically identical to Command & Conquer 3, so there isn't much of a learning curve to veterans of the series, and the tutorial will help any newcomer to the series.

One of the greatest features of the game is online co-op campaign. When you are not playing co-op, you will have an assisting commander controlled by the computer, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Your assisting commander can help greatly by taking much of the assault off of your base, but they won't complete objectives, so if it comes down to the last building to destroy, they'll just stand around it until you get the kill.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/03/08

Game Release: Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (Collector's Edition) (US, 10/28/08)

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