Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Xbox 360
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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Product Details
Released on 14/11/2008
In Red Alert 3, the desperate leadership of a doomed Soviet Union travels back in time to change history and restore the glory of Mother Russia. The time travel mission goes awry, creating an alternate timeline where technology has followed an entirely different evolution, a new superpower has been thrust on to the world stage, and World War III is raging. The Empire of the Rising Sun has risen in the East, making World War III a three-way struggle between the Soviets, the Allies, and the Empire with armies fielding wacky and wonderful weapons and technologies like Tesla coils, heavily armed War Blimps, teleportation, armored bears, intelligent dolphins, floating island fortresses, and transforming tanks.
Red Alert 3 asks the question "What If?" What if every bizarre research project and technology experiment for the last 70 years had actually borne fruit? What if the Philadelphia Experiment, time travel theory, teleportation, invisibility, Tesla technology, and a hundred other intriguing research projects had all paid off and gone mainstream? What if the Soviet Union survived and thrived; what would it look like 10 years in the future? What if the Japanese Empire had never fallen and instead became the ultimate high-tech military superpower? The end result is an imaginative and playful vision of an alternate future filled with possibility.
The Red Alert series has always been known for its bizarre plot lines and strange battle units, but Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 blasts the whole concept into the weirdness stratosphere. While the first two titles in the spin-off series were based around an alternative timeline in which Albert Einstein went back in time to kill Hitler, the latest instalment is set in an alternative to that alternative, where the Soviets have gone back again - this time to kill Einstein.
War - with a smile
It turns out, the aim of this mind-bending endeavour was to create a Soviet dominated universe (don't ask how), but instead, a new world order has been fashioned in which the Allies, the Russians and an Imperial Japanese force known as the Empire Of The Rising Sun battle it out for global domination. At this point the Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 script writers were probably ushered away for psychological testing.
The amphibious Bullfrog vehicle is capable of launching soldiers over scenic barriers like human cannonballs.
The ridiculous plot is a good indication of the fact that Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 should not be taken entirely seriously. It's a tongue-in-cheek take on the usually deadly serious real-time strategy genre in which players command dozens of military units while mining for ore, building bases and constructing dozens more military units.
In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, players get to choose any of the three armies before embarking on a nine-mission campaign to rule our battered planet. Tasks involve the usual selection of foolhardy assaults and desperate siege defences, which will all be extremely familiar to RTS veterans, but provide a fun framework nevertheless.
Each faction has its own array of unit possibilities: the Russians, for example, boast some mega-muscular hardware such as the deadly Sickle anti-infantry walker and the amphibious Bullfrog vehicle, capable of launching soldiers over scenic barriers like human cannonballs. The allies get lots of ultra high-tech super-toys like the immense Assault Destroyer - effectively a battleships on wheels. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3's new addition, the Empire Of The Rising Sun, seems to have based its military R&D on manga comics, chucking killer ninjas, psychic schoolgirls and transforming robots into the warzone.
As you'd expect, the ensuing strategy madness is a visual maelstrom of eye-popping explosion effects, cool unit animations and burning architecture. With three armies battling it out, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 never lets up, demanding cool composure and the multi-tasking skills of a four-headed demi-god.
Every mission in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 has a co-op option, enabling you to recruit a friend to the cause.
Amid the chaos, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is sensible enough to include a steady progression system. Gathering resources leads to more cash, which opens up a generous tree of unit upgrades and special weapons, eventually leading to cosmically destructive items like the Empire Of The Rising Sun's brilliantly named, Psychic Decimator.
The great thing is, you don't have to face the fight alone. Every mission in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 has a co-op option, enabling you to recruit a friend to the cause. If you're playing alone, you get an AI commander to fight beside you - they're not military boffins, but they're competent enough at the basic RTS gameplay to be left alone.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is a worthy successor to the legendary second title. Even those who've never picked up an RTS game before, let alone one in the C&C series, will quickly become immersed in the hectic action. Quaintly, the game even retains the series' live-action cut-scenes - a feature we've not seen in games for several years. With the likes of Tim 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' Curry and George 'Sulu' Takei hamming it up like their careers depend on it (perhaps they do?) these are almost worth the entrance price alone. Funny games - that are actually funny - are a pretty rare thing. Which is why this is one red alert that really shouldn't be ignored.
- Some great comic touches.
- Well-balanced and hilariously conceived battle units.
- Great co-op mode.
- AI commanders could be better.
- It's not going to convert die-hard RTS haters...
- ...While purists may not appreciate the sheer daftness on offer.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Review (30/10/2008)
The Red Alert series has always been known for its bizarre plot lines and strange battl…
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