Product Type: Electronic Arts PC games
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Command and Conquer - Red Alert 2 (PC)
Member Name: bigmama
Command and Conquer - Red Alert 2 (PC)
Date: 30/03/01, updated on 30/03/01 (231 review reads)
Advantages: Immensely playable, great fun.
Disadvantages: Slows down sometimes.
Basically it is just a mock Cold War. The Soviets (from the first Red Alert) have been defeated, but as time passes by, they prepare themselves for another full scale effort at World Domination, this time beginning with the good old US of A. Normally this would be a good thing (as I’m not the most ardent Yankee fan, a bit prejudiced I know), but for the sake of the game, it’s a very bad thing indeed, boo hoo. You play the role of an American commanding officer hell bent on trying to stop them. On the other hand, you could play as the Russians and wipe America out, yeah!
Style of Play
There are various options to choose from, for both single and multiplayer modes. In single player you have the choice of Campaign or Skirmish essentially. Skirmish gives you a base (called a construction yard) for which to build and expand, an a map of your own choosing, with as many enemies (up to eight nations) as you want and you fight it out until you either die, or you are the last man standing. Skirmish is good fun if you fancy just a quick blast on the game from time to time and have no intention of getting too involved, or in order to get used to the way of playing it. If you feel you want a bit more depth out of the game (whilst still playing alone) then the campaign is for you. After choosing which side to play for, you (as the commanding officer) are placed in different maps, with certain objective
s to achieve in order to progress through the game. Very good if you like to immerse yourself in all the plot and action of whatever you like to play. Multiplayer (which is the ‘in’ gimmick these days) is where the game (like most) really does shine. There are some really well thought out options when you want to play over the Internet, or LAN (Local Area Network). You can, if you want to, have a friendly scrap with whoever you want (picking a name fro the custom lists or diving straight into a quick game where everything is set up for you), or you can build a Buddy List (of people that you know or enjoy playing with) that you and your group can play. You can also put a password on a game in order to enter it (so some nobody can’t just waltz in uninvited). The usual things happen though, when playing against friends, stabbing in the back and typing obscene remarks to each other are part and parcel to all the wholesome fun, but I wouldn’t recommend saying things like that to someone you don’t know.
The graphics are ( like they always have been in the CnC series) visually stunning outside of the playing part of the game. There are some splendid movie scenes that really give Red Alert 2 a cutting edge that seriously involves you in the whole experience. Inside the playing area is no let down either. The layout is simplistic, but with a lot of attention to detail that I haven’t seen in some of the earlier versions of CnC. I get a kick at looking at the construction yard quickly building whatever it is I have chosen to build. I do however have a problem here. As more and more games rely on the graphics card (instead of the processor) to do the work, I am blaming the graphics. If there are a lot of troops/tanks etc (which there inevitably always is in the later stages of a fight) the game tends to slow down quite a bit. My pc should more than handle this s I am, once again blaming the game.
I know I’m repeating myself a bit (praising the previous versions) but Westwood have always spent a lot of time on the sound, and they have here as well. The quality is the best it can be. The sound has never had any glitches (in my experience) or showed signs of breaking up. It has its signature title tune; slightly re-vamped just to let you know what game you’re playing. The speech is second to none. There is a is of in-game talk, specifically catering for whatever nation you play as, from the distinct English accent of the sniper to the all American voice of the GI’s, along with each set of troops having several phrases for each command that you give them. The sound/speech in the between mission movies is also amazing. Well thought out scripts make it a joy to listen to as well as watch.
With all of this excellence in mind, it is the gameplay which really makes this game truly outstanding. In summary form, it would basically be build a base from where you create your troops in order to destroy your enemies base. This however, does not do it justice, as the game goes so much deeper. In order to build your base you have to collect ore, which is transferred into money from the ore refinery (which you also have to build). The more you build, the more opportunities you get to build other things that will help you win. You also have to be aware that as you do all of this, your enemy is doing the same, so you have to create defences (building gun turrets and cannons etc). The troops also, have many options. Guarding certain buildings and parachuting into your enemies stronghold or just two of them. The more options you become accustomed to, the more options you will learn about and see the use in. As well as all of this, each nation has it’s own special characteristics and weaponry. Each nations strength tends to equal out, but there always tend to be a certain team that becomes more popular than th
e rest, that you feel better playing with.
If you’re like me, you will keep coming back for more, time and time again, especially in multiplayer mode. There may be times when you don’t play for a while, but it wont be long till you’re back in the saddle screaming orders at whoever. The moment I bought the game, I played it to death for a couple of weeks, but the novelty did wear off, and now it is every couple of days or so, which is still rather good (I have had this game since the middle of December). You will inevitably begin to think about what other games that you could play but with the multiplayer option against your pals, you will play it for a damn site longer.
In my opinion, the game doesn’t really require that much in the way of pc power. A 266 MHz processor is pretty low end now, so there isn’t much of a problem there (I told you about the graphics card doing most of the work). It requires a 2 Meg graphics card but most pc’s come with 32 as standard these days. The biggest factor is the hard disk space that the game needs. 350 Meg is quite a chunk out of anybody’s hard disk, especially if it isn’t that big to begin with, and as with all of these things, I am not sure how much it is to upgrade, I have had the need to yet.
The installation of the game wasn’t that bad. You do get to see a quick movie explaining all of the story to you (very useful if you have never played any of the CnC series), but you could get annoyed if you wanted to get straight into the killing and maiming.
On the whole this is a truly great game, and well worth the money I spent on it. I enjoy playing it whenever I get the chance to (and provided I’m too depressed to play Unreal Tournament from the fact that I keep losing). I hope that you enjoy playing it as much as I do.
One more thing. I thought it was really cool when I saw that guy from
Blade (the movie) with no hair (the leader of all of the pure blood families, I forget his name), sorted.