Following on the heels of the first expansion to Command & Conquer: Red Alert -- Counterstrike, comes Command & Conquer: Red Alert -- The Aftermath -- it's time to clean up the mess! This gut-wrenching sequel will test and challenge you through 18 new missions, created by the original design team.
Seven new units ranging in capability from short to extreme range, wielding light and heavy armor and, in most cases, massive destructive force are introduced for this ultimate showdown. Six have unique weapons including heat-seeking missiles, an atomic bomb, harmonic shock wave, missile salvo and two are equipped with a lightning discharge. But don't sell the seventh one short -- you now have access to a Field Mechanic that can repair vehicles in the field!
The new units include a Tesla Tank, the Mutually Assured Destruction Tank (a.k.a. M.A.D. Tank), a Missile Sub, the ChronoTank with its ability to "chronoshift" itself to any place on the battlefield and a Demolition Truck. In addition to the aforementioned Field Mechanic, the last new unit is the Shock Trooper, an infantry unit that carries a portable Tesla generator with the capability of shocking any unit or structure with large electricity discharges.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert -- The Aftermath comes with 100 new multi-player maps including more than 25 Mega Maps that double the size of the battle arena. In addition, there are two- and four-player specially designed maps as well. The package also contains upgraded program files for the basic game (Red Alert) itself and eight new techno/industrial rock songs to add to the original soundtrack.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert was a great game. It had a large selection of units and a large and diverse mix of maps. Some players wished that it had a few more maps and some new units. Partly to oblige them, and partly to make more money, Westwood released Command & Conquer: Red Alert - Counterstrike. Although the new units were nice, you could only use them in certain missions.
Fortunately, Westwood has fixed the problem and you can now use the new units in most missions, and in all multiplayer missions. C&C: Aftermath includes: 6 new units, one 'new' unit which was recycled from Counterstrike, 18 disjointed single player missions, 100 multiplayer maps and 8 songs.
If you are feeling some deja vu right now, it might be because Westwood has done this before. Counterstrike had 4 new units, 16 maps, 100 multiplayer missions and 8 songs. The new units in Aftermath are more interesting that those in Counterstrike. Aftermath includes the Tesla tank, an exploding tank, an exploding truck, a teleporting tank, a missile submarine, a field mechanic, and Tesla troopers. Annoyingly, the Tesla tank was reused from Counterstrike...
The 18 new missions suffer from the exact same problems as their brethren in Counterstrike. The 18 missions are not very inspired, lack a cohesive story, and fail to include any video segments. They really feel tacked on instead of like a continuation of the C&C saga. Having 100 multi-player missions may seem like a blessing, but the designers seem to have emphasized quantity over quality.
Also, C&C: Red Alert includes a mission editor. Why would you pay for 100 lame missions when you can already make as many good ones as you like? Some of the new units are a nice touch, like the Missile Sub, Field Mechanic, and Demolition Truck. Others like the Chronotank and M.A.D. Tank are less than stellar. The Chronotank isn't that useful unless your strategy relies heavily on the chronoshifting of your tanks. The M.A.D. tank feels like a lame version of the Demolition Truck, which costs about the same, I might add.
Now we come down to the big question. Should you buy this add-on pack? If you liked Counterstrike and want some more, then yes. If you HAVE to have every C&C product, then this should also be on your list. On the other hand, if you are satisfied with C&C: Red Alert, then you probably don't need this product. My colleague, Johnny Lee hoped that Westwood would not try to squeeze a little more money out of the aging C&C franchise at the expense of gamers. Unfortunately, Westwood decided to release another C&C product that cheapens the entire C&C franchise. Gamers who appreciate good products should feel insulted. I, for one, sure am.
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