The third installment in EA's real-time battle strategy video game series
Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP / Windows 8
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 is a real-time strategy game wherein the Soviet Union, realizing its failure at the end of the Cold War, travels back in time to change history to ensure the enduring glory of Russia. Its meddling leads to a new era in technology that turns the Cold War into World War 3. While the Soviets and the Allied forces warred, Japan took advantage and became the Empire of the Rising Sun, a technocratic superpower hungry for war. This new conflict, filled with bizarre experiments and unfathomable weaponry at the disposal of these three nations, seeks to determine who will be the lasting superpower on the world stage.
In a game where laughs are just as important as the game play, Red Alert 3 knows that its players expect to see mechanized dolphins and bears go to war on Pacific islands or transforming robots stomp through Russia. But don't let the irreverent style of storytelling that employs the comedic talents of J.K. Simmons, George Takei and Tim Curry fool you; Red Alert 3 is a very serious RTS that requires all of your focus if you expect to survive the next turn.
Players can choose which of the three factions to play as, and there is enough variety between the three to invite players to consider numerous playthroughs to experience the difference. While most units are familiar to previous installments, each has a secondary mode that broadens its usability on the battlefield unlike before. This, however, shows a bit of bias towards the Empire, whose units tend to be more impressive than the other two factions.
Maps are expansive this time around. Just when a player thinks he or she might have an encounter done, moving a few tiles reveals another small island and several units lying in wait. This turns matches into games that can last hours before players are ready for the next encounter.
A new inclusion to the game play is the role of Co-Commander. This allows for co-op play where two players can team up against the other two factions. If a player is alone,he or she will be assisted by a dedicated AI player, which helps more than it hampers. But with such large maps and intricate movements from the enemy, the assistance of a thinking human player can't be understated, which is a shame due to the almost-naked co-op lobby. This is also an issue for multi-player, as matches are difficult to connect.
Red Alert 3 is no doubt a game that does not take its story seriously and wants its players to have fun above all else. While that sounds good to many, the RTS genre is often known for its seriousness and professorial cut scenes that often make players feel like they are peeking into a window in time. But if the players know how to have fun with the jokes and the comedy presented to them, they will find game play that isn't only laborious and engaging, but entertaining and fulfilling as well.
-Large, active maps
-Challenging game play
-Connection issues with multi-player
-Underdeveloped options menu and friends list