Red Alert 3, a review of Campaign and Skirmish.
As the sequel to Westwood’s popular 9 year old RTS, RA3 had a lot of expectations for a ludicrous, funny and well made game and although the entirely cooperative campaign and storyline is witty and long, the graphics and small amount of things to do after completing the main story dampen the experience.
The opening cutscene starts with the defeat of the Soviets as the Allies reign supreme after the end of Red Alert 2, but General Krukov and Colonel Cherdenko (played by Andrew Divoff and Tim Curry respectively) use a Time Machine to go back to 1928 and kill Albert Einstein with the intent that the Allies will no longer have the technology sufficient to overcome the Soviet Union as they did in the prequel. Upon arrival to the present they soon discover that the plan has gone awry causing The Empire of the Rising Sun to have come to power in Japan. Soon all factions are in a three-way deathmatch to become the rulers of the world.
From there you can pick which campaign to play first, each has 9 missions and should take you at least 10 hours to complete on the hardest setting. If you have nobody to play through the game with you will be accompanied by an AI co-commander whom you can order around to attack and defend specific locations.
Skirmish as a whole is fun; you can pick from a decent amount of maps and do battle with up to 3 other AI choosing their allegiances, factions and personalities or invite some friends and try to beat a Brutal AI 3v1.
Basebuilding is slightly different for each faction with the Allies taking the old Command and Conquer approach, ordering a structure and upon its completion placing it and having it rise out the ground almost instantly. The Soviets order and place their structures straight away having then to wait for the structure to be built automatically. The Empire have the most distinct method of building however, with the production of “cores” which you can then order to anywhere in the map to deploy into the structure, although this makes base expansion dangerous it also become many times quicker than the Soviets or Allies due to the fact that they do not suffer from a maximum build radius meaning that they can quickly deploy many cores and then send them to the far side of the map to deploy whilst you tend to your base.
Commandoes make a return now the Allied dual pistol wielding Tanya, Soviet sniper using Natasha and the Empire’s psionic schoolgirl Yuriko. Each very deadly and with their own way of destroying enemy targets. Verses mode is similar to Command and Conquer 3 and Kane’s Wrath, requiring an Electronic Arts (EA) account to play online; it essentially has the same formula as skirmish with addable bots and human players.
RA3 is a good game overall but is graphically weak, it has a decent storyline with some famous faces and will last a while if you put the difficulty on hard. Skirmish will only last you so long with no-one to play with so it’s worth checking if you have any friends with this game.