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Command & Conquer: Red Alert is a real-time strategy franchise based in the Command & Conquer world. The Red Alert series is known for cheesy cutscenes, outrageous units, and humor. The story of the Red Alert series takes place in an alternate timeline, where Albert Einstein has discovered a way to travel back in time and has erased Adolf Hitler from existence. Unbeknownst to Einstein, this backfires and causes Joseph Stalin and the Soviets to rise to power. This is what the games are based in, with most putting the player in the shoes of an Allied commander, fighting the Soviets.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert
Command & Conquer: Red Alert

Command & Conquer: Red Alert, the first title in the Red Alert franchise, was developed by Westwood Studios and published by Virgin Interactive, and released on October 31, 1996. It was released as freeware by EA on August 31, 2008. It is a prequel to the original Command & Conquer. Red Alert is a traditional real-time strategy game, and was praised for its user interface (which critics said was very well-developed). Red Alert was also one of the very first games to have competitive online play.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert had two expansion packs as well: Counterstrike and Aftermath. Of note is that Command & Conquer: Red Alert: Counterstrike added missions in which the player battles against giant red ants, known as the secret Ant Missions. Command & Conquer: Red Alert: Aftermath added new units that could be used in both singleplayer and multiplayer, such as the Field Mechanic, Chrono Tank, Missile Sub, Shock Trooper, M.A.D Tank, Tesla Tank, and Demolition Truck. Hundreds of new maps were also included with the Aftermath expansion pack. Red Alert (along with both expansion packs) was released on the PlayStation on August 28, 1998 under the title Command & Conquer: Red Alert: Retaliation.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is a direct sequel to the original Red Alert. Red Alert 2 was developed by Westwood Pacific and published by EA Games on October 23, 2000. Red Alert 2 again followed the conflict between the Soviets and Allied, and as in almost every Command & Conquer game, featured two distinct plotlines (although only the Allied story is considered canon). Most actions in Red Alert 2 are based around the accumulation of ore (the game's currency), most importantly purchasing units and buildings. Red Alert 2 also featured an extensive multiplayer with both online and local LAN multiplayer.


Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge

Red Alert 2 also had one expansion pack, but Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge did more than just add maps and units. Yuri's Revenge was developed by Westwood Pacific and published by EA Games, and was released on October 10, 2001. Yuri's Revenge adds a completely new story (again with both Allied and Soviet), but this time the two factions fight for a somewhat common goal (although, naturally, motivations differ). Both factions are trying to defeat the threat of Yuri, a rogue Soviet commander who has masterminded the ability of mind-control, and nearly uses it to destroy all of the free world. Again, only the Allied story is considered canon. Yuri's Revenge also featured the ability to play as Yuri in multiplayer, with many of his buildings and units being much more brutal.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is the latest game in the Red Alert franchise. Red Alert 3 was developed by EA Los Angeles (a studio where many former Westwood developers have gone to work) and published by Electronic Arts. It was originally released on the PC on October 28, 2008, but was later released on the Xbox 360 on November 11, 2008. It is due to be released on the PlayStation 3 and for Mac OS as well, later this year. Red Alert 3 further complicates the plot, this time with the Soviets discovering a way to alter the past, and thus erasing Albert Einstein from existence. Again, their plan backfires, and causes the Empire of the Rising Sun to grow to power. This causes a three-way war between the Soviets, the Allies, and the Empire of the Rising Sun. Gameplay is similar to other games in the franchise, but Red Alert 3 introduces many new things, such as water base-building, and units that can go on multiple places (e.g. a flying vehicle that can land on the water, transforming into a boat).

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Uprising is the expansion pack for Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. It was developed by EA Los Angeles and published by Electronic Arts on March 12, 2009. Uprising picks up where Red Alert 3 left off.  
Additionally, a standalone expansion pack for Red Alert 3 was released on September 16, 2009. Titled Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Commander's Challenge, this game is available on the Xbox Live Marketplace as well as the PlayStation Network. 

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