Product Type: Electronic Arts PC games
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Smeg Alert 2!
Command and Conquer - Red Alert 2 (PC)
Member Name: Technical Tobes
Command and Conquer - Red Alert 2 (PC)
Date: 06/12/00, updated on 06/12/00 (507 review reads)
Advantages: Faster paced action over previous versions
Disadvantages: All over far to quickly - buildings are too weak
For those of you who’ve been residing on another planet for last few years, Red Alert 2 is basically a real-time strategy game. You build up your base, train men, build tanks and by use of clever tactics and/or brute force, manoeuvre your army or armies to destroy the enemy. Common to all command & conquer games is the need to harvest ‘ore’ to get credits.
After Tiberian Sun, I was expecting lots of new & bigger maps, lots of new and many more weapons & buildings. Does Red Alert 2 have this?
Well, the graphics are better & almost all the buildings, tanks, ships & infantry are different, however when I say different, I mean they are called different names & look different. A lot of the ‘new’ buildings, vehicles, men etc are simply reincarnations of those from previous games. For example.. the ‘Stealth tank’ is now known as the ‘Mirage tank’ and turns into a tree instead of just being invisible! Having said this though, there are new additions, these being…
/###/ The New Units /###/
/#/ Chrono Legionairre’s – these men have the ability to chrono (teleport) around the map, the delay between chronos depends on how far they chrono.
/#/ Prism Tank – these beasts use focussed rays of light to blast away the enemy.
/#/ Dolphin – destroys the enemy with a sonic blast & can also be used to detect enemy submarines & remove squids(!) from ships.
/#/ Kirov Airship – Extremely slow, but can drop continuous & deadly bombs on the opposition base.
/#/ Desolator – These soldiers spew deadly radiation, making terrain impassable wastelands.
/#/ Tesla Trooper – remember the old tesla coil from Read Alert 1, these men carr
y mini versions around with them!
/#/ Terror Drone – A super quick, spider like robot, enters into enemy vehicles and slowly destroys them, only the repair bay can get rid of it. Moves on to another vehicle after it destroys it, VERY irritating!!!
/#/ Crazy Ivan – Plants bombs on just about anything (even cows!!)! When upgraded, he gains chrono abilities, teamed up with Yuri (below), they make an excellent team!
/#/ Yuri – Can mind control other people or animals! Also has the ability to deploy and give off a psychic wave, killing all infantry in range. Used with Crazy Ivan, he can mind control cows & such like carrying bombs into the oppositions base – ‘there she blows’!
/#/ Giant Squid – Slow or sink enemy ships!!
/#/ Tesla Tank – A tank with a tesla coil fitted, very damaging!
Obviously, which units (and buildings for that matter) are available to you depends on what side you are playing (Russia, US, France, UK, Cuba etc). Each side has it’s own special weapon and advantages / disadvantages, i.e. build quicker, units cost less – whatever! I should also make it clear that the above list is only the ‘new’ units, there are many more (15 units, 26 vehicles & 40 structures in total to be precise!) which have been kept from previous versions of the game – albeit with different names! I won’t list all those, as this opinion would be huge then (getting on bit now!), have a look for opinions on Red Alert or Tiberian Sun for more info (although I personally haven’t written one – yet!)
And the new buildings…
/###/ The New Buildings /###/
/#/ Prism Tower – A very effective defence post, using rays of light as its weapon. Can team up with near by towers to create even more powerful blasts – excellent!!
/#/ Cloning Vats – Once built, you get two men for
the price of one – bargain!
/#/ Ore Purifier – Once built, ore is worth 20% more – another bargain!
/#/ Psychic Sensor – Detects & shows you where the enemy will strike (within the range of its sensor), very useful for super-weapon attacks, you can chronoshift your construction yard to safety!
/#/ Nuclear Reactor – A power plant that can actually sustain your entire base – wow, unheard of in command & conquer world!!
/#/ Weather Control Device – This is a truely deadly super weapon!! You can unleash a lightening storm upon your opponent’s base, and it will wipe out a very large number of buildings!
Okay then, that’s everything new, most of the original buildings & units are still here, as are the original super-weapons! Many aspects of the games have been revamped as follows…
/#/ The menu bar is now divided into buildings, defence buildings, vehicles and infantry and is thus now much easier to use. Waypoints etc has also been revamped, although I doubt many people will use them.
/#/ Depending on which side you play, your ore miner with now either be armed (with a light cannon) or have the ability to ‘chrono’ back to base.
/#/ Men can now garrison buildings, and shot out their windows at the enemy
/#/ When using the chronosphere super-weapon, the units permanently chronoshift & don’t come back, useful! It can also now transport up to 9 units at a time.
/#/ Promoted units gain power! Once a unit has been promoted (i.e. from performing well in battle), it will increase in speed, its weapons will do more damage & in some cases the unit will gain ability, e.g. Crazy Ivan can chrono when fully promoted.
/#/ The Iron Curtain can now make up to 9 units invulnerable at a time (ouch!), of course, this still wears off!!
/#/ Super-weapons are now much more powerful (or rather building
s are much weaker) & always show up on the map, regardless of cloaking devices etc. Beware; the nuke can now destroy a construction yard in one hit – along with many other buildings!
/#/ Buildings are much weaker, can be destroyed much quicker – never leave your base unattended – if attacked, you’d never make it back in time!
/#/ Ore is now instantly deposited instead of trickling in..
Well all this sounds darned good, and I couldn’t wait to get going, but not to long after playing I was rather disappointed, the main elements that I used to enjoy have gone, the game play has changed somewhat.
Now, I must admit, I’m not too keen on playing these games single player, it’s just too boring & I hate those missions where you just have a few men to conquer the map. I like to build bases, amass an army and use tactics. The AI (Artificial Intelligence), despite what Westwood say, is still not much better than it ever has been and you quickly see patterns to the computer opponents. What I much prefer is multiplayer, this brings the game to a whole new height…
But whereas I could play the original Red Alert and Tiberian Sun all day, I and my friends got bored within hours of playing Red Alert 2 & went back to Tiberian Sun. The whole fun of building a base, blockading yourself in and strategically placing units and defence turrets etc has disappeared!
This is all because your buildings can get demolished in seconds, even a bunch of GI’s (the crappest infantry) can demolish a building in seconds. This completely spoils the game, because unless you simply build lots of men and tanks straight off, your dead – so it’s pointless trying to build anything else, you’ll die trying! Also, enemy units still, although it appears much worse, will not attack anything unless specifically told to guard, fight or get attacked, thus, combined with the speed yo
ur opponent can demolish your construction yard, you have about 10 seconds to respond to a base attack or it’s game over.
Even after applying a mutual, will not attack period with my friends, it then just became the first person to build & activate the Weather Control Device or Nuke wins, since it destroys the vast majority of your base.
The first multiplayer game I played, I wiped out my opponent simply by a single parachute drop of men – they destroyed all key buildings before my opponent could respond!!
Basically, if you’re caught off guard just once, your dead – you can’t possible cater for all events and there is not enough time to react before you base is in ruins.
This has completely ruined the game, I’m hoping I can find a hack to increase the strength of buildings by a factor of 4 or so, just like in Tiberian Sun to increase the amount of ore your got per load (otherwise you were sat there twiddling your thumbs just collecting ore for ages!).
As for ‘skirmish’ mode, this is just a joke. The computer controlled players can build about 4 times faster than you - if you visit there bases right at the start, they already have just about everything built – almost instantly!! The computer only ever attacks you – if you have several computer players, this makes it impossible! The computer seems to ‘know’ your weakness, for example, if you defend your base for air attacks – you won’t get any, you base will be blown away from the ground or sea & vice-versa etc. You can’t possible build for all events quick enough and thus it quickly becomes more luck than skill to win. Again, since your buildings get destroyed almost instantly, it is game over if you leave you base to attack another computer player – since another computer player will then attack your base. If you don’t deploy armies to destroy the super-weapons as soon as there ar
e built, again, it’s game over because just one nuke or whatever will finish you off.
You often discover your base has been destroyed without even knowing it!!
What makes this all worse is that the map sizes are no bigger, in most cases smaller – and there are very few maps to choose from. You will meet the enemy before you’ve had a change to even build some of the more basic things.
There is the ability to disable super weapons but it doesn’t, it disabled just about everything, leaving you just the basic buildings, men and tanks.
Overall, the changes to this game make the action much faster and the games end quicker, but for me, this is just not fun. I got enjoyment from the tactics, defeating a fully equipped base and armies is a lot harder, a lot more fun and a lot more satisfying than just quickly building as many tanks etc as possible and piling in.
What I would really like is Red Alert 1 or Tiberian Sun with some of the plus points from this release, along with much bigger & better maps and a bigger range of units to deploy, Red Alert 2 is just over far to quickly for me and will often just piss you off because you loose purely because of something stupid, like blinking!
So, as much as I love the command & conquer games, this one just doesn’t do for me over the previous versions.
Maybe if you prefer a faster paced game without the tactics, planning and base building then this will be perfect for you, otherwise stick to Tiberian Sun & Red Alert 1.
Having said this, I play purely for multiplayer; the missions may give you a lot more enjoyment.
Thanks for reading,