I’ll have to keep this one rather brief, as I have two more campaigns to get through before laying down a final assessment.
Last week I was finally able to finish the Allied campaign for Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 by EA Los Angeles. The premise of this Red Alert game was interesting, although I haven’t played either of the two previous Red Alert games. The Soviets go back in time, kill [REDACTED], and change the course of technology forever, thus creating a whole ‘nother timeline. Because nuclear theory never got off the ground, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were never bombed and Japan built up its forces in secret while the Allies and Soviet Union were at each others’ throats. The Japanese renamed themselves as the Empire of the Rising Sun, with advanced technology that could defeat Allied and Soviet units with relative ease.
In the Allied campaign, you are the new Commander of the Allied forces and you have to deal with the Soviet threat until the Empire makes a surprise appearance. Knowing their level of technology, the British leader of the Allied military tasks you with temporarily allying with the Soviets to bring the Empire to its knees. You succeed, but the newly elected American President suddenly goes rogue, making for Mount Rushmore in order to fire a secret laser cannon aimed at Moscow (it was built into one of the heads). You’re forced to head him off and kill him, while the President ended up to be right, as much as his actions were unnecessary at the time. Anyways, you’re forced to stop the Soviet leaders from escaping into space at the end of the campaign. The story ends with the Allied Commando, Tanya (Jenny McCarthy), and your comms officer, Lieutenant Eva McKenna (Gemma Atkinson), dressing up in black and white dresses, respectively, for a night out with you (assuming the player is a male commander).
Of course, the stories are all different based on the perspective of the three factions you play. I’m certain things will be different as I go through the Soviet and Imperial campaigns (coming soon in later retro reviews). For now, the use of FMV (full motion video, essentially live action cutscenes) is still retained as both tradition and homage to the now-defunct Westwood Studios, the original developers of the Command & Conquer series. EA closed down the developer when they bought out Westwood.
The multiplayer functionality no longer works. See, it was run through GameSpy, which is no longer in service since they shut down back in 2013. Since then, there’s currently no word if the game will ever be added to GameRanger for multiplayer services.
The game itself is pretty good, but I’d have to make a complain about the AI spamming a certain enemy type that some would see as kind of a dick move. For example, in the final Allied campaign, the Soviets will tear you apart if you don’t build up a strong anti-air group. This can be frustrating, as the Soviet Twinblade deals more damage and has more hit points than the vehicular Multigunner IFV for the Allies. Thankfully, the adaptability of the IFVs allows you to use a group of standard anti-air IFVs together with some with Engineers on board, effectively making them vehicle “medics.” The game is fairly well-balanced, but the tendency of the AI to play like a total dick with unit spamming at points can leave one frustrated.
Overall, the Allied campaign was good, but I still need to finish up the Imperial and Soviet campaigns to really make a comparison between all three and to put up a final verdict. Until then, keep slithering, my friends!