Genre: Strategy Developer: EA Los Angeles Publisher: Electronic Arts Classification: M15+ Consumer Advice: Violence
Release Date: 31st Oct 2008 Platforms:PC
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The Good bits
It’s funny, slapstick and unashamedly B-grade.
If you have a high end PC it looks lush.
The second commander works well in both solo and co-op .
The Bad stuff
It’s still pretty much Dune 2 with a few more colours, right?
Your units are more pliable than ever, but just as stupid.
Other games have made far bigger leaps in faction differentiation.
The first time I noticed that Red Alert 3 was on its way out was when I caught Hasselhoff shilling it in an online ad. Ad contents aside, it speaks very clearly of a game’s intentions when it aligns with such a man, especially when he has his head cocked to one side, slack jawed, smiling and cradling the game case like a face massager. Having the Hoff under your masthead is in fact tantamount to saying: “Yes I’m the fat kid, I acknowledge that, but rather than dieting, I’m just going to take the piss out of myself.”
It’s a beguiling tactic, and it works well. The opening sequences are pure camp, with Rocky Horror himself Tim Curry heaving twenty kilos of extra method actor around in an ill fitting suit. Alongside him is of course a busty model whose suit fits badly in a slightly more pleasing manner. By pairing Curry with other heard-ofs like George Takei, Jenny McCarthy and J.K. Simmons, Red Alert 3 truly makes good on its pledge to be the biggest B-Grade actor cash cow since Wing Commander 3.
Of course, FMV is nothing new to the Command and Conquer series, which for the uninitiated, is one of the top tiers of real time strategy alongside Blizzard’s “-craft” series. Since the original alternate-history loving Red Alert came out, the emphasis has always been on a B-movie atmosphere, but never to this extent.
Wanting to get up to date with the latest changes to the series, I headed into the tutorial to find that the humour was still intact on the field, with a British, Russian and a Japanese tank doing some sort of bizarre intercontinental mecha-Marx brothers routine. It’s here that you discover the new gameplay features like Co op commanders, special units and commander abilities.
The co op commander notion might be familiar to those who have played Advance Wars 2 on the DS. For the purposes of the review, I chose to play solo, but the structure of RA3 is that there is always a secondary commander on your side. Unlike Advance Wars, your ally is actually worth a damn in most battles, in spite of only having four commands: Occupy position, attack position, plan attack and take command. Plan attack is particularly useful, as the AI does a pretty reasonable job of shoring up the right amount of forces to win, then attacking when ready.
While not going quite so far down the “paper-rock-scissors” balance path as Universe at War: Earth Assault, RA3 continues in the series’ tradition of creating solidly different factions. This time around, the Allies’ main strength is in their air force, with a number of quirky comic weapons like shrink and freeze rays. The Soviets, unlike the previous instalment, are a lot stronger in the water this time, with a large proportion of amphibious units. Notable in that number is the troop carrying “bullfrog”, which contains a “man cannon” that allows paratrooper assaults from almost two screens away.
The new Japanese faction is an unashamed nod to pop culture. That much is clear from the Gundam style transforming units and lightsaber wielding samurai ground troops, but few would have expected the faction’s special trooper to be a schoolgirl with psychic powers. And that few are probably googling Hentai rather than reading this.
Other stylistic leaps have occurred in the graphics. Playing at the highest settings and resolution reveals stunning water, fire and lighting effects, which I had plenty of time to admire with the slide show frame rate my 128meg GPU was able to render. It also should be noted that it’s impossible to tweak the settings during play, you’ll have to quit to the main menu to do that.
Amongst all these pretty effects, it can sometimes be disconcerting
to realise that your troops are just as dumb as ever, still getting caught on impassable cliffs and barriers. Still not returning fire on the way to a point unless you’ve specified the action. Back in the original, there was lots of praise for being able to chain commands together, but years later you’ll still stacking the commands like punch cards and wondering why they haven’t thought of a better way yet.
Unfortunately, if you’re waiting for the big gameplay twist that really sets this game apart from the rest, it isn’t coming. What we’ve got is a high definition, high budget, tinsel filled version of the last few games that ads more than enough for fans of the series, but will once again fail to convert the non believers. I also shouldn’t finish the review without revealing that the Allies’ campaign finishes with a surprising cameo, to say the least. Figured out who?
Ok seriously the lot of you, get the hell over yourselves!
It's Red Alert 3 for ****'s sake. its a universe where someone went back in time and killed Adolf Hitler!
What were you expecting?!?!?!?!?
Personally I think it's a great adition to the series, yes it's far fetched, yes it's got some, wait alot, of stupidly riduculous units, but HELLO!!!!! this is what this franchise has always been about!!!!
Ok so there's some stuff in there that could be better, show me one game in the last 20 years that didn't have something that could be improved upon.
Yes it's cartoonish and cheesy but look at it's pedigree.
Look back at the first Red Alert, there was Tesla Towers and MBT's with twin linked 105mm cannons! Red Alert 2 Yuri and mind control, weather altering machines, and throughout time travel devices. Folks get over yourselves and enjoy a bit of escapism!
Ask yourself this, do you watch James Bond for serious spy intrigue or for the beautiful women, the great cars and the really cool gadgets?
I love Red Alert 3. Yes it's cheesy but thats what makes it so much fun, the units are as whacked and as fun as ever and interspacing it with a decent amount of FMV makes playing it worth while. Major problem i have atm is the online matching server, doesn't work alot of the time. Yes i know we all hate EA for what they do to franchises, but i will proudly say i preordered this game and wil be for the foreseeable future of the Command and Conquer series.
Repeating what's already been said, this game had me cringing from the get-go. It's just such a goddamn mess. There is rarely any reprieve from the retina-searing neon colours and rather than adding to a classic formula it actually takes away crucial elements such as the dark humour and brooding atmosphere.
And don't even get me started on some of the ridiculous units.
For me the perfect analogy would be the original StarWars vs the 'prequels'. Gritty, lovable and entertaining vs pointless, empty-headed and artificial.
It also appears EA have bought the internet and swept it clean of all negative reviews regarding this game. The Wiki link is re-directed to the EA online store ffs!
I recall the day watching a friend playing the original C&C, which motivated me to purchase my first pc, so to say Im a huge fan is an understatement. I spent a whopping $3500 on my first computer, just to play C&C.
Red alert 2 was by far the game that stole months from my life, happily given, in return for a wondeful gaming experience.
However, Red Alert 3 was clearly made by people who didnt even understand the franchise they were dealing with. So angry I am, i felt compleled to write my first ever game review.
What a terrible dissappointment. It is at best, simply a mass of colourfull confusion, a war in wonderland which looks awful and childish. Almost every enjoyable apsect of previous titles has been ignored. Forget about fortifying your bases and waiting to strike, forget about exploiting choke points, forget about simple uses of units and structures, its all been changed and is now a frustrating experience.
And dont get me started on harvesting!!!! One complete and essential stategic element, ruined.
Its almost a case of the game, units, structures, storyline, everything, has leaped from the realms of a 12 year old's underacheiving imagination. This game appears lazy in its construction and appearence.
EA, what i want is a gritty, real war scenario with realistic units with an injection of that old red alert humour and novilty. A game that allows the player to play in their own style, whether it be defensive or aggressive. I feel this game gives you no choice, and barely even a strategic one at that.
I feel compelled however, to give this game a rating higher than it deserves, simply so as not to discourage EA from trying to develope further the franchise in hope that they get it right, but im not going to.
This may be the game that kills the franchise. Goodbye C&C, your barely 5/10 on this occasion. I am so bitterly dissapointed.
Anyone who played red alert 1 knows what im talking about this game is an utter disgrace to the C&C legacy. RIP Westwood.
Seems when they were making this some EA executives decided that because THE SIMS was a sucess they should make RA3 look like the SIMS and that it needed to be HIP and COOL so lots of people would buy it so they decided TO ADD MORE LAZORS AND SUPER WEPONS WOWOW SO COOL OMG RED ALERT 3 !!!!!!!!!!1111111
OMG DAVID HASSELHOFF AND GEORGE TAKEI !!!! WOOOT IM SO BUY IT NOW !!! WOWOWW SOOO COOL REDS ALERTS !!!111111
Just another game designed for the masses of noobs so ea can rake in more cash.
I would rather eat ice cream at the coogie bay hotel than pay for this game.
Overall its not a terrible game, and especially if you have been a fan of the Command and Conquer Red Alert series then this game is something you definitely cannot miss out on, but for all you who are not totally fans, there is still enough to keep you on your toes.
I am a very big fan of the C&C series and am proud to own all the games. I recently upgraded my computer and walked into EB games and got RA3 without any hesitation.
After playing the game, my interest just died. I am very dissapointed. When I bought C&C3, I came home and played the first 5 to 6 missions before I turned the PC off. With RA3, it has been 5 days, and I just finished the first mission of the soviet campaign. The main menu screen just threw me off with all the "Red". The game feels very child like and feels too much like a cartoon. The game has become too "sci-fi" ish for me.
One of the things that threw me off is the restriction of the harvester. What is the point? Ok, now you're forced to scout but it takes the realistic element out of the game.
I will play and finish the campaign, just because this is part of the C&C series, but I can see this being an effort to do so.
Ok, i loved RA 1 and 2 so i was halfway too loving RA3 before i even opened the box. However the first 5 mins of the game staggered me. Firstly nothing looks even remotely like number 1, no dark colours and gritty islands its like your fighting in the land of popcorn fairy floss.
They seem to have made the harvesters and the ai even dumber.
The best part of the game and i think the only reason you would buy it is for the co-op campaign. Eg you and yur mate or some not soo bright bot can take on the missions togethor. For me this is the only redeeming feature of the game and still i think skirmish may be more fun.
to be honest it feels like they have tried to find the reason people played ra1 and 2 and come up with the wrong answer. They have then extrapolated that and made it even worse.