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Platform

PC

 

Genre

RTS

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

Westwood Studios

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q3 2001

 

 

- All that Red Alert 2 goodness is back

- New units mix things up

- Good FMV clips

- Does what an expansion pack should do

- Lots more multiplayer goodness

 

 

- Wait . . . Iím thinking . . .

- Still habit forming

 

 

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Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge (Expansion Pack)

Score: 9.0 / 10

I actually got a few emails questioning the perfect score I awarded Red Alert 2: DVD Collectorís Edition. In my mind it had every thing a game package should strive for. Not only did it come with Red Alert 2 (RA2), but also a DVD full of extras, a soundtrack CD, and a great pewter figure. So how could Westwood improve Ė expand, if you will Ė on perfection? Yuriís Revenge, thatís how.

The eventís of Yuriís Revenge (YR) come on the heels of the Allied victory over the Soviets. As we know, Yuri escaped at the end of the war and in the interim began his own plans for world domination. He set up Psychic Dominators all over the world and is on the verge of controlling the minds of every man, woman, and child on the planet. It falls to you (as either the Allies or Soviets) to stop Yuriís egomaniacal machinations. Throw in some time travel and youíve got yourself a plot.

Expansion packs should add new aspects to gameplay and YR adds a lot. I could tell you all about the new units and structures for the Soviets and Allies (like the Allied Robot Tank or the formidable Soviet Siege Helicopter) but Iíd rather talk about what Yuri has up his sleeve.

 

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You will loathe the sight of Yuriís Flying Discs. Not used to full potential by the computer AI, they are nevertheless the most destructive new unit. They dish out hot rays of green death while at the same time sucking the energy out of one of your power plants which in turn powers down everything electric in your base. (Say, "Night, night" to your Tesla Coils and Prism Towers.) They can also park themselves over other buildings, such as your Construction Yard, and paralyze them 

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Ė meaning you canít build anything. Plus, they can take quite a bit of damage so unless you have solid air defenses when they hove into view, youíll be loading a saved game faster than you can say "Grand Cannon." (The Grand Cannon is a new Allied structure.) And something else you should keep in mind, you canít sell the structure while itís being drained! Then there are the bloody mind-control units, some able to control more than one enemy unit. Tank rushes quickly lose their effectiveness when Psychic Towers and Tanks can turn half your force against you. And the Magnetron tanks that can lift enemy vehicles into the air Ė making them unable to fire and vulnerable to anti-air defenses. Yuri can also unleash the Psychic Mutator super weapon, which turns enemy infantry into hulking mutants. This can be truly devastating if youíve just trained a bunch of infantry units and theyíre bunched up by the barracks waiting for orders. Suddenly youíve got mutants tearing your base apart with their bare hands! Which is to say nothing of the devastating punch of the Harpoon Submarines.

In campaign mode, you have just over half a dozen scenarios to battle through for each side. You canít play as Yuri, but itís a whole different ball game in multiplayer. More multiplayer maps and some two-player co-op missions have been added. As well, you can have six players involved on a multiplayer map instead of four. The single player campaign should keep you busy for a while. The par times remain in place, but they seem to be unrealistic. I only beat the par time once Ė unlike RA2 where the par time seemed to be really high and I never had a problem beating it. There are the usual in-game video clips and between mission FMVs. All the familiar units are back so churning out a bunch of Prism Tanks or Tesla Troopers will make you feel right at home. Also, as usual, the production values are very high. Humor looms large throughout the game. For example, as President Dugan enters the British Parliament buildings to work out a treaty with the Soviets, and you tasked with safeguarding the talks, shouts, "You donít want the Vice President running the country, do you?" Or some digs at a well-known software company out of Washington State. Itís all in good fun.

Yuriís Revenge is no half-baked add-on. This is what every expansion should be Ė it takes what made the original so playable (some crisp colorful graphics, good path-finding, some interesting units, addictive play) and adds some whipped cream and chocolate sauce and is served up as dessert. If you own Red Alert 2, you should own Yuriís Revenge.

- Omni

 

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