Command & Conquer: Red Alert expands on the award winning success of the original Command & Conquer. While similar in many ways, Red Alert provides plenty of new and improved features that allow it not only to stand on its own merits but set a standard by which all other real-time strategy games are judged as well.
The story, explained through a full-motion video introduction, is based on the premise that Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany never came to power before World War II. However, despite Hitler's absence, a war still rages thanks to the rise of the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin. As in the original, it is once again the players' prerogative to pick a side and wage war on the opposition with a variety of units and weapons.
To fund the war effort, the player must mine ore, which is then converted into credits, allowing the purchase of a variety of air, land and sea units. A few of these units are shared by both the Soviets and Allies but most are tailored to reflect each forces individual strategies. For example, the Soviet forces consist of heavier weaponry such as mammoth tanks, V2 rocket launchers and the spectacular Tesla Coil that fires a stream of electricity at approaching enemy units. The Allies, on the other hand, focus on stealth and speed, much like the Brotherhood of NOD seen in the original. Light and medium tanks, artillery and a variety of infantry units such as rocket soldiers and spies make up the majority of the Allied army.
Many of these units are similar to those found in other games but there are quite a few innovative units to provide some variety. The Chronosphere allows the player to transport a unit across the map while the Gap Generator creates a black shroud on the opponents map, making it impossible for them to see what you're doing. Another new unit is the Soviet missile silo that provides potential chaos in the form of an atomic bomb which can be launched to wreak utter destruction on the opposition.
The single player mode follows a campaign structure with most missions centered on a base-building philosophy. The missions are varied, however, and while they last are great fun. The true appeal of the game really emerges when the multi-player facilities are unleashed. Monster sized maps make it possible for up to eight players to battle it out on a selection of multi-player specific maps. A map editor extends play with a huge range of maps downloadable from the Internet. For players not interested in online action, a skirmish mode allows you to play multi-player style games against up to seven computer controlled and relatively intelligent opponents.
Overall, Red Alert is a great gaming experience. While perhaps not upgrading the original Command & Conquer engine as much as some would have liked, its clean graphics, crackerjack music score and immersive sound effects all make for a game that's great fun to play...and that's what it's all about, isn't it?
Graphics: Since the game can be run in Windows, the graphics are crisp and clean.
Sound: The sounds and music are brilliantly done, playing a major part in making this game enjoyable.
Enjoyment: Very good single player and the multi-player is a lot of fun.
Replay Value: With the scenario editor, customized maps, and add on packs, plus Internet play, you will definately come back for more on this one.
What if Hitler never existed? Einstein pondered the question and created a time-machine to eliminate Hitler as a young man, thus preventing World War II as history remembers it. However, Einstein stopped one evil only to create another - because Stalin's Soviet Union is now poised to conquer Europe... and Allies must stop them!
Command & Conquer: Red Alert can be considered a prequel to Command & Conquer. Like its predecessor, it is a real-time strategy with an isometric semi-top-down perspective using 2D sprite graphics engine. The player takes control of either the Allies or the Soviets, as he battles for destiny of the planet. Gameplay features are similar to those of the previous game, including building a base with some defenses, massing units, harvesting resources, etc. The game has a variety of environments in its missions, adding some indoor missions that use only infantry units.
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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Command & Conquer, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, Command & Conquer: Red Alert: The Aftermath, Command & Conquer: Generals, Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings, Age of Empires, Age of Empires III
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