Command and Conquer Red Alert series continues with Red Alert 3, back are the cheesy and campy cutscenes loaded with heavy Soviet accent, gorgeous field operatives and kooky units.
The premise of RA3 starts with a plan by Lt. Cherdenko (played by Tim Curry) to alter history by eliminating Dr. Albert Einstein in the past. Einstein very much contributed to all major Allied piece of weaponry, from the Mirage Tank, the Prism Tank, Chronosphere, Chrono Legionnaire, Weather Control Center, and more (which pretty makes the Allies incredibly strong in the last game). But by eliminating him, the Soviets were able to surpass the Allies and change history… or so they thought.
Gameplay: The game now features three different factions, far different from the old Yuri faction where there’s a tinge of Soviet-ism in the faction. This time around the Empire of the Rising Sun provides a little more refreshing experience in playing. If the Soviets use their armor as their primary means, and the Allies focus on air power and their high end technology, the Empire of the Rising Sun has both, but not significant enough to dominate both areas.
As said, Allies tend to work on hit-fast-and-hard tactics, relying on their air force with combined armor and infantry to take out enemies. It requires a careful approach with planning the necessary units for attacking an enemy. The Soviets, have a more direct strategy of using armor: (don’t they always?) tanks and mobile walkers. While the Empire units have the flexibility of having its units transform (from aircraft to ground unit for example).
The variety of units makes the game a lot more balanced since with the variety of units come differences in performance. For example, the Soviet sea/land unit Scorpion is a very weak combat scout/boat but once grouped, their charged up Tesla discharge could instantly destroy anything within their area of effect. The Empire Tsunami tank, while being the weakest tank among the three sides, has the capability of going through water AND has the fastest firing rate (though it is weak), while the Allied Cryocopter has no effective weapons whatsoever (vs the Soviet counterpart) but has a shrink and freeze ray that provides a support to their other units.
Also, structures in the game now allows us to build over water (except for the war factory and barracks for obvious reasons), and some sides have restrictions on where to expand their base and tech upgrades on some sides are now building oriented, meaning that some command structure would only allow certain units to be built.
Graphics: Command and Conquer Red Alert 3′s graphics are very reminiscent of the past Red Alert series with bright colors, but, with the advancement of graphics technology, unit details are clearer, there’s a wider variety of objects found within the maps, and water effects are significantly improved from the last release.
Nice graphics (as it’s the same engine used in Command and Conquer 3 last year), though one will be having problems if the system’s not to spec, as it’s not your old Red Alert game anymore. Specifications tells me that the game should be at least be an Intel P4 2.2GHz, the same minimum for CnC3.
Sounds: The game remixes some of the old CnC Red Alert themes, and I’m not sure if there were any new tracks added, since do note that their music sounds repetitive at times. But, the isn’t lost with the continuation of the tradition of giving kooky voice acting to the game’s various units. Example of this would be the Soviet’s mission to assassinate the Emperor, pure classic. Also try clicking on the units several times to hear their calls.
Expect hours of enjoyment playing the game and getting to master each side.
Apparently my sickness and hectic work schedule the last couple of months did take its toll on me, as I’ve just learned that there were several updates made over the past several months (including the rumored ultimate extras add-on to Vista).
From the newly updated Windows Blog: http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2008/09/23/new-windows-ultimate-extras-now-available.aspx
To recap, some of the new extras are:
"Microsoft ® Tinker (TM): Microsoft Tinker is a casual game that provides players with short puzzle game play sessions set in a warm, calming environment."
Ultimate Extras Sounds from Microsoft Tinker: Based on the positive feedback we received from the release of additional Windows Sound Schemes in April, we’ve integrated the unique audio sounds from Microsoft Tinker into a new sound scheme.
Windows ® DreamScene (TM) Content Pack #4 Windows DreamScene Content Pack #4 which adds three additional nature-setting Windows DreamScenes.
Tinker’s quite the puzzle game indeed. Pretty nice addition!
Here are some upcoming PC games that’ll be keeping us quite occupied for the Holidays:
1.) Fallout 3 – Bethesda Game Studios: It’s the 3rd official series to date from the Fallout series of Role Playing Games. This time, as a survivor living in Vault 0, you venture out to the post nuclear world. Armed with the PIPBoy 3000 as a guide, and a vast arsenal of weapons, vehicles and armor, you roam the land for adventure and discovery.
2.) Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 – EA Games: It’s the 3rd (as well) game for the Red Alert series of the Command and Conquer francise. This time around, the Soviets decided to undo the history made by time traveling back to the date when Albert Einstein removed Adolf Hitler from history, changing it into the future of Red Alerts 1 and 2. With Red Alert 3, a new history was made, and with it a new adversary.
3.) Lego: Batman – Traveller’s Tales: Putting aside The Dark Knight’s grim and serious settings with some campy (yes Campy) results. A nice game for kids to play as well as adults. Featuring Batman characters as Lego objects.
4.) Grand Theft Auto IV – Rockstar: Finally, they’re releasing one of the year’s best games onto the PC. Grand Theft Auto IV puts us right back in a re-imagined Liberty City (very different from GTA III’s Liberty City), with new game mechanics thrown in to give us a fresh experience in playing GTA.
5.) Need for Speed Undercover – EA Blackbox: Well, ProStreet was a mixed bag of a racing game, they removed the world system and limited play on closed circuits, added some cool cars, but it ended up as a dud to most NFS fans since the things they loved from Need for Speed Most Wanted, was left for wanting. Good thing there was another development team in EA taking their time with the development of the "continuation" to the last storyline based, but also lacking, Need For Speed (Carbon). In Need for Speed Undercover, we play as a driver (who is it this time I wonder) recruited by the Feds to go deep into a ring of Car Smugglers in the fictional Tri City. By the looks of things, we’d pretty much see something similar to Need for Speed Most Wanted, which I’d think everyone wants. It’ll still have lots of racing and cop chases, though now we’re on the right side of the law.
6.) Crysis Warhead: Crysis was such a magnificent game, it needed magnificent hardware to run on (and mine’s not one of the best). Crytek took the existing code, made it better, and gave it a plot on how things went on the other side of the island as Nomad was out in the original game. It also gave us a different perspective to Psycho whom we’ve thought as some useless bloke in the first game. The game also fixes the boring action less travel through the island by giving us more enemies to play with.