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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Review - PC

7
Gameplay: 7 stars 7
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 7 stars 7
Multiplayer: 6 stars 6
Innovation: 2 stars 2
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Introduction

Red Alert 3 (RA3) is a game designed from the ground up to be entertaining. Not realistic, not serious; just pure entertainment and it mostly succeeds. This is due to the insane production values and presentation skills which EA have perfected over the years.

RA3's cut scenes are the dangling carrot that kept me trudging through “just on more level” in order to see what crazy stuff happened next. The story is pure cheese and opens with the Soviets nearly defeated at the hands of the Allies. Led by Tim Curry, the Red Commies use a time machine to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons in a most comical fashion. When they return to the present they learn what everyone who has seen Back to the Future understands only too well: You don't mess with the space-time continuum!

Not only are the Allies still a present threat, but there is now a third player in the game. Undefeated by the US' nuclear weapons, Japan has become the Empire of the Rising Sun, led by George Takei (of Star Trek fame) as Emperor. The stage is set for the third Red Alert title, which delivers some of the biggest nerd-gasms ever seen in the world. Units that use Tesla coils as weapons, pimped-out battle blimps, attack bears, transformers and lightsaber wielding samurai. It's a constant barrage of nerdy goodness and it doesn't play too badly either.

Gameplay

The first thing that will become apparent to series veterans are the changes made to the ore harvesters, and how this affects the pacing of battles. It's a lot slower now, and building up units quickly to rush your opponent's base isn't going to be as effective. Newcomers won't need to worry about this though, with ore harvesters just doing their job and making you money so you can train war bears.

Aside from the various tweaks to UI and unit functions are new additions like the co-commanders, an AI ally who will work alongside you on every map with control of their own units. You can't directly order their units but you can order your commander to order them, and the AI will determine how best to carry out those orders. This AI is sometimes helpful, sometimes frustrating, thanks to lackluster pathfinding abilities that see units lost and divided around small rocks and cliffs, but ultimately the AI is little more than a placeholder for a friend, as the entire campaign can be played through co-operatively online.

With two humans battling against an AI, things can become pretty one-sided. The units are well balanced despite the vast number of them andtheir wildly varying abilities but two humans are more than a match for the AI, even on the ...

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