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** Red Alert 3: Uprising (PC)**

 

Platform

Playstation 3 (Ultimate Edition) / PC (Uprising)

 

Genre

Real-Time Strategy

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Los Angeles

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Ultimate Edition Mar.23/09

 

Red Alert 3: Uprising

Mar.12/09

 

 

- Ultimate Edition (PS3) is brimming with a good game and tons of cool extras

- Uprising (PC) concentrates on the single-player experience and I actually liked that better

 

 

- For Ultimate Edition there's quite a steep learning curve for those unfamiliar with console RTS games

- Uprising's single-player campaigns are over too fast and the Yuriko missions could have fleshed out more

 

 

Review: Red Alert 3 (PC)

Review: Red Alert 3 (360)

Review: Overlord: Raising Hell (PS3)

Review: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge (PC)

 

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Red Alert 3

"Ultimate Edition" and "Uprising"

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

red alert 3 uprising          red alert 3 uprising

 

Itís not often I come back to a game and consider that itís possible I gave it a lower score than it deserved.  In fact, I can only think of one other game that, in hindsight, I should have probably scored higher Ė Dead Rising.  The other game being this one, the Playstation 3 version of Red Alert 3 and its PC expansion, Uprising, both of which have made me think that itís entirely possible that I scored the original PC and Xbox 360 releases lower based simply on how much I liked Red Alert 2.  Itís an admission I donít make lightly but itís necessary in this era of full disclosure.

 

On the PC side, Uprising is a stand-alone expansion to Red Alert 3 and includes the same full-motion video cutscenes that typifies the series, some new weird and

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wonderful units, a Commanderís Challenge mode, and four relatively short single-player campaigns.

 

As much as Red Alert 3 emphasized multiplayer with its co-Commander at your side throughout and a full online multiplayer component, Uprising skins that off and youíre left with a single-player experience with a very scripted sensibility.  This is especially evident with

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Yurikoís origin campaign (the Empire of the Rising Sunís special unit), which plays like a real-time strategy version of a dungeon hack Ďní slash.  Itís more of a sideshow than anything else, but it does make me think that the Command & Conquer franchise could be ready to branch into other genres Ė or more accurately, start branching out again.

 

The traditional Red Alert experience of building a massive army of mixed units and pounding the enemy in swift strokes still holds true throughout the major encounters in the campaigns.  I just have to admit, I really like this.  Tactical battles, thinking battles are fun and all, but a lot of times I just want to see stuff blow up.  There is some strategy involved but itís no Company of Heroes.

 

Running through the campaign missions is a good preparation for the Commanderís Challenge Ė a 50-mission dance through the battlefield against ever-increasingly intelligent and better-armed opponents.  The missions build upon each other Ė successful completion often means youíll have more of the tech tree accessible for the next challenge.  And then thereís always weird, unpredictable Red Alert-type things happening like the production of shrunken units.  Itís fun even though thereís a certain amount of predictability when it comes to the AI opposition.

 

red alert 3 ultimate edition          red alert 3 ultimate edition

 

Between sessions of Uprising, I turned to the Playstation 3 version of Red Alert 3 (which does not support mouse and keyboard), subtitled Ultimate Edition.  Having already acclimatized myself to the Xbox 360 version meant an almost flat learning curve when it came to using the controller to manage units, setup build ques, and get around the map quickly.  I still stumbled a little when it came to making full use of each unitís alternate functions, but it was much less than when I started on the 360 version.  But, and you knew this was coming, if you donít have any experience with console real-time strategy games spend time with the tutorial before jumping into the game proper.

 

Besides likely being the best-looking real-time strategy game on the Playstation 3, the Ultimate Edition features a lot of extra content not found in the previous release on the 360, like behind the scenes interviews, the soundtrack, and more multiplayer maps.  In that sense, this really is the ďultimate edition.Ē  All it really needed was a pewter figure of a Tesla troop to round it out completely.

 

What hasnít been completely ironed out of either game is the pathfinding snags, particularly for the navel units.  The pathfinding has definitely come a long way since the days of Dune II (or even Red Alert 2) but the fact it still hasnít been completely mastered as of this date tells me there needs to be more R&D when it comes to this important aspect of real-time strategy games.

 

Iím a fan of the Red Alert series, warts and all.  Itís just too much fun for me, whether playing with people through the co-op campaign of Red Alert 3 or the single-player aspects of Uprising, itís all goofy fun.  And thatís mainly what I want from my games: fun.

 

- Aaron Simmer

(April 24, 2009)

 

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