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Oh Snap: C&C Red Alert 3 Hands-On

We sit down with EALA producers Amer Ajami and Greg Kasavin to take a look at their nearly complete real-time strategy game, Command & Conquer Red Alert 3.

Electronic Arts Los Angeles dropped by our offices earlier this week with a couple of travel-friendly PCs containing the practically-finished-might-as-well-be-final version of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. This was our first time getting an up-close look at the campaign and how it will play out in a co-operative fashion.

It's really cool, actually. The entire campaign can be played by two players simultaneously over the Internet. If you're playing alone, the game doesn't scale down to a smaller solo-style campaign. Instead, it plugs the hole with an AI-based commander. This means that the missions have been built from the ground up with co-operation in mind, so some missions will have the two forces starting out with bases in different areas on the map, letting you plan out attacks thatt hit your enemies from both sides, or quicking working your way up the tech tree by building structures inside each others' build radius, and so on. I got a chance to sit down with two of the game's producers, Amer Ajami and Greg Kasavin, to get a run-through of how it's all going to work by playing through the third mission of the Allied campaign.

Check out this video for more on that and just about everything else we learned about Red Alert 3.

  


I have to admit, I played pretty poorly and probably would have gotten wiped out if Greg hadn't built some stuff in or near my base. If you want to play efficiently, then there's definitely a lot to consider at any given time. Every unit in Red Alert 3 has a secondary mode that you can toggle by clicking a button on-screen or by pressing the F key. Since that seems pretty important, my antiquated Red Alert 1-era tactics of "create a mixed force of units and roll around the map mindlessly blowing stuff up as one big mess of dudes" probably won't fly too well when things get hectic and specific mode changes (such as a handy lockdown mode that can stop those pesky Soviet tesla coils from firing) are required.

That also probably means that I don't stand any chance at all online. I don't know if you went out and downloaded the multiplayer beta that was released, but it was a potent reminder that the people who have continued to play real-time strategy games over the years are total savages in multiplayer matches. I'd be barely making my way up the tech tree only to succumb to hastily thrown-together rushes in minutes. Dudes are good. Scratch that. I am not very good.

But I'm not too worried about my multiplayer skills, as this brief brush with the campaign has me really excited to play the final product. The cast appears to be terrific and the cutscenes that I've seen so far appear to be exactly the sort of "taking it seriously because that makes it way funny" stuff that the game needs. Watching how this new, completely reset story unfolds and the personality of the different units and factions will be at least half the fun for me.

While they were here, we pulled Amer and Greg into our audio studio (you know, the tables around back?) and recorded a little Bonus Bombcast with them to talk about the development of the game and the roles they played in its creation. Be sure to check that out to receive the full effects of our Red Alert 3 coverage. The game is scheduled to hit shelves on 10/28 for PC and 11/11 for the Xbox 360.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff
Electronic Arts Los Angeles dropped by our offices earlier this week with a couple of travel-friendly PCs containing the practically-finished-might-as-well-be-final version of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. This was our first time getting an up-close look at the campaign and how it will play out in a co-operative fashion.

It's really cool, actually. The entire campaign can be played by two players simultaneously over the Internet. If you're playing alone, the game doesn't scale down to a smaller solo-style campaign. Instead, it plugs the hole with an AI-based commander. This means that the missions have been built from the ground up with co-operation in mind, so some missions will have the two forces starting out with bases in different areas on the map, letting you plan out attacks thatt hit your enemies from both sides, or quicking working your way up the tech tree by building structures inside each others' build radius, and so on. I got a chance to sit down with two of the game's producers, Amer Ajami and Greg Kasavin, to get a run-through of how it's all going to work by playing through the third mission of the Allied campaign.

Check out this video for more on that and just about everything else we learned about Red Alert 3.

  


I have to admit, I played pretty poorly and probably would have gotten wiped out if Greg hadn't built some stuff in or near my base. If you want to play efficiently, then there's definitely a lot to consider at any given time. Every unit in Red Alert 3 has a secondary mode that you can toggle by clicking a button on-screen or by pressing the F key. Since that seems pretty important, my antiquated Red Alert 1-era tactics of "create a mixed force of units and roll around the map mindlessly blowing stuff up as one big mess of dudes" probably won't fly too well when things get hectic and specific mode changes (such as a handy lockdown mode that can stop those pesky Soviet tesla coils from firing) are required.

That also probably means that I don't stand any chance at all online. I don't know if you went out and downloaded the multiplayer beta that was released, but it was a potent reminder that the people who have continued to play real-time strategy games over the years are total savages in multiplayer matches. I'd be barely making my way up the tech tree only to succumb to hastily thrown-together rushes in minutes. Dudes are good. Scratch that. I am not very good.

But I'm not too worried about my multiplayer skills, as this brief brush with the campaign has me really excited to play the final product. The cast appears to be terrific and the cutscenes that I've seen so far appear to be exactly the sort of "taking it seriously because that makes it way funny" stuff that the game needs. Watching how this new, completely reset story unfolds and the personality of the different units and factions will be at least half the fun for me.

While they were here, we pulled Amer and Greg into our audio studio (you know, the tables around back?) and recorded a little Bonus Bombcast with them to talk about the development of the game and the roles they played in its creation. Be sure to check that out to receive the full effects of our Red Alert 3 coverage. The game is scheduled to hit shelves on 10/28 for PC and 11/11 for the Xbox 360.
Staff
Posted by squallws

Greg  Kasavin!!!!!!!!

Posted by solidskorpion

Hey! Kasavin!

Posted by Buck

woooooooooooooooooooooot! :D

Posted by guiseppe

Greg! And good lawd the acting is crap.

Posted by AlucardaLaCarte

I loathe the concept of "rushing." It kinda takes the strategy out of real-time strategy and is all about pumping up your win-ratio. There should be a mode where neither side can attack for a fixed amount of time (either a barrier across the middle of the map, or just make all the units invincible until time runs out) which I know Warcraft 3 tried to do with "neutral" units...except the fell asleep allowing unlimited units to sneak right by.

Posted by Jimbo_N
Posted by Steve_C

I used the pretty much same strategy when it came to Red Alert 1. I'd get tons of heavy tanks and a few v2 rockets and just blow up every building and vehicle, and just swarm over and crush any infantry i came across.

I'm looking forward to check out this coverage.

Posted by Scratch

OMG! Greg long time no see! :D

Posted by Tarsier

Ugh the mic is really annoying to listen to, it sounds like there is a cup over it or something..

Posted by sionweeks

Loved it when Jeff said nice to meet'cha to Greg!

Posted by Begemot

@AlucardaLaCarte

Funny you "know" thats what WC3 tried to do. Even though the creeps were meant to give a new way to level up your hero. It sure as hell wasnt a anti-rush system.

Posted by Destroyeron

Yah War3 never tried to implement an anti-rush system lol, the creeps were so your hero didn't get destroyed in their first battle.

Posted by BlackHawk3422

lol its greg

Posted by StarFoxA

Yay, the cheesy acting is still in there!

Posted by Oy
Posted by jyurakyumihawk

@AlucardaLaCarte

I would consider rushing as a type of tactic in itself. As cheap as it is, it works well against low-level AI, unskilled opponents, and can even catch experienced players off-guard. It would be foolish not to prepare your base for a swarming early in the game sir.
 


Posted by Scroll

You know what I hate?

People that complained about rushing in RA3 Beta. Rushing is supposed to allow you to get recon on the enemy base and slow them down.  If you have any idea about what you're doing then you can defeat a rush force easily.

Not moaning at Jeff though, that's fine but when loads of rooms in the beta were labeled "No rush PLZ" It kinda got on my nerves.

Posted by MichaelBach

Great vid, podcast and post. Looking forward to this game.. don't have anyone to co-op with though :/

Posted by Paul

I highly approve of Vinny's mind-cavities in the backround. 

Posted by Destroyeron

I'd imagine you could coop online.

Posted by John

Whoa! I feel like im in 2002 all over again!

Posted by Fox

Co-op mode sounds sweet.
I played the multiplayer beta and didn't like it that much. After seeing the campaign in action I'm really looking forward to the game though.

Posted by McPlated

High Five, Greg

Posted by kayyo2

Greg  Kasavin! Good to meet you. :-) That was funny

Posted by V73v3n

<3 Kasavin

Looks awesome, armored bears ftw. :)

Posted by Terrell

Definitely interested in this game....

Posted by imayellowfellow

kasavin got a tan!

u guys work on saturdays?

Posted by The_Icon

It seams Greg is more popular than the article itself.

Posted by neoepoch

Wow Amer and Greg! Great work on the game guys.

Posted by Kohe321

YAY Greg! Funny to see him again. Red Alert 3 looks awesome.

Posted by ElectricHaggis

Greg Kasavin! Awesome!

Posted by HiddenTofu

Lol !
The 'Dynasty Warrior Retrospective' is actually on their To-Do list ! (00:10)

Posted by Meltbrain

Awesome, I think this video just got me properly stoked for Red Alert 3.

Posted by StaticFalconar

So I'm guessing the game will be rebalanced (single player campaign that is)?

Posted by ThePelinal

Greg K. back in FULL EFFECT.

Posted by Link

Looks alright, Not interested in the co-op side really though.
Love the 'Acting'

Posted by NinjaSquirrel

Great podcast and video.

Greg Kasavin ftw. And he got a tan,which is kinda surprising  considering how close this game is to coming out and how much work they need to do.

Posted by Spiritof

"Greg Kasavin, nice to meet you." is the quote of 2008, possibly 2009.

And thank you for introducing me to Gemma Atkinson. I didn't know this lovely lady even existed before RA3.

Online
Posted by Dante_the_Jedi

Greg  Kasavin XD.

Posted by GUnitVer1

I didn't play C&C3 360 that much - it didn't grab me right away, but I think the crazy units are cool enough for me to check out Red Alert 3 360.

Posted by Bulldog19892

It's almost like Jeff Gerstmann and Greg Kasavin never worked together.

Posted by H00NER

It's great to see Greg again, but the game itself looks pretty bad. The color palette is awful. Moreover, the acting in the video sequences looks like soft porn. I think I'll pass on this one.

Posted by Crono

I was already sold, the co-op is just icing on the cake.

Posted by zoozilla

That looked pretty intense.

I've never really played any of the C&C games, though.  Maybe I should start.

Posted by DualReaver

Gweg. <3

Posted by DiGiTaL_SiN
Posted by MingZ

i want the game now o.o o.O O.O

Posted by BlazerRazor

The live-action scenes are just horrible... man... its really horrible! Gameplay looks great though.

Posted by cikame

Yeah, if someone wants to play a game online, never recommend an rts to them, every single multiplayer game i've tried on any rts has just mean't total and utter failure. Single player's for me.

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