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November 2008




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Command & Conquer:

Red Alert 3




At once very familiar and a very new thing, even if incrementally so, Red Alert 3 feels just like a Red Alert game should play.


Set in yet another timeline -- the Soviets have taken out Einstein -- Red Alert 3 presents three fully playable factions.  The Soviets return, along with the Allies, but the changes to the timeline have allowed the expansion of the Rising Sun, a faction based on Japanese pop culture, complete with psychic commando school girls,



transforming mechs, and ninjas.


While my time with the game didn't allow me to come to grips with all the factions, one of the big differences here is the naval component of the game.  Each map will include some sort of water feature.  Since many of the units have amphibious nature you won't be able to assume that because you knocked out a naval yard you can discount beach landings.



Another welcome feature refinement to the Red Alert game is the ability to stack upgrades to climb up the tech tree.  Previously, players would have to build ancillary structures that didn't do anything except look cool and give the enemy something else to destroy.  Now a building, such as your barracks, can simply be upgraded.  This is not really a new feature to real-time strategy games in general but at least the development team has acknowledged this and moved on.


Resource management is also being handled differently than past Red Alert games.  Rather than sending a harvester out to the far reaches of the map, players will only need to build a processing structure next to an ore dump, which supplies a constant stream of credits with which to produce units like attack dolphins or war bears, and expand your base.





As a holdover from the Command & Conquer: Generals franchise, throughout the course of each battle players earn points that can be used to unlock one of three linear skill trees to suit your play style.


The only other aspect of the game I can offer any comment on is about the graphics, which are rendered in glorious 3D, with a fully-functional camera.  The details are amazing, too!  On top of that, the campy live-action cutscenes have been confirmed.  Gina Carano, EliteXC MMA fighter, has been cast as the Soviet Commando, Natasha.  (She looks a lot like a super-buff Agent Tanya.)


- Omni

(July 21, 2008)


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