GC 2008: Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Preview
Written Friday, September 26, 2008 By Dan WebbView author's profile
Command & Conquer is undoubtedly the biggest RTS franchise known to man and part of that resounding success can be traced back to their Red Alert series. It’s been 7 long years since we last saw a Red Alert title and fans have been long anticipating it... Fear not though, Red Alert 3 is just around the corner and it’s bringing a Hollywood cast with it.
Red Alert 3 takes place in a parallel universe to ours, in a world where World War II never took place and instead of Germany attempting to rise through to attempt world domination, the Soviet Union are the world’s biggest threat. Red Alert 3 focuses on the conflicts between the three super powers; the Soviets, the Allies and the new faction, the Empire of the Rising Sun. The game will feature 27 missions, with 9 being for each faction, but what EA Los Angeles hasn’t really touched upon so far, is that these 27 missions are built from the ground up to full support a co-op element. In the words of Red Alert 3’s Senior Producer, Amer Ajami, “there is no such thing as a single player campaign in Red Alert 3”.
The whole co-op thing doesn’t mean you can’t play alone. What it does mean is that if you choose to play alone, you will have a computer controlled AI buddy alongside you. The whole co-op inclusion means that you and a buddy can tear it up together now, whether you decide to team up together on the same map to take on your adversaries or whether you both take different routes working towards the final objective, the choice is yours, but working together will be key.
You’ll also be pleased to know that if you play alone, your computer controlled AI buddy is not a complete idiot... in fact, he’s quite the opposite. The AI is created so that he’ll never get in your way but at the same time, they’ll never complete the mission for you ... that must be initiated by your good self. EA’s intention was never to put the burden of two armies on you but that doesn’t mean you can’t call for help or tell them what to attack because you can. After all, they are meant to react as if it was a co-op buddy, so expect them to know the objectives and help you out as well.
On show was the 5th mission from the Soviet campaign which takes place on the island of Mykonos, Greece. The objectives are simple; take over the allies’ oil mining operation near the deployment zone, eliminate the allies’ naval patrol in the area and then locate and capture the allies’ science facility. The Mykonos map is very water infested and so you must make use of your naval and air units to do the ferrying around and ground work.
If you’re new to the Red Alert franchise and wanted a taste after EA’s last Command & Conquer console outing, Tiberium Wars, you will notice a lot of differences between the two. Sure the concept is the same, I meant they are both RTS titles, but the environments are totally different. You’ll notice that Red Alert’s world is such a colourful, outlandish environment with bright, vivid, strong summer colours everywhere. The reds, blues and greens are so bright and cheerful. Compare that to Tiberium War’s grey’s and blacks and not only does that make a difference to the whole experience, but it differs the mood as well.
On top of the colour scheme, you will also notice that Red Alert 3 features naval battles which Tiberium Wars did not feature. The naval combat has always been a big feature of the Red Alert series and it’s great to see it make a return with some very impressive water visuals.
Red Alert’s cinematic scenes are very Command & Conquery, with cheesy dialogues and an all-star cast to boot, they make for some pretty awesome viewing. The cast list contains such celebrities as Jenny McCarthy (ex-playboy model & actress), Randy Couture (UFC), Tim Curry (everything), George Takei (Mr Sulu on Star Trek!), JK Simmons (Spider-Man) and Peter Stormare (Prison Break). Oh did I mention that slamming British hottie Gemma Atkinson was in it as well... How the hell did that slip my mind!? Either way, the cast alone is enough to entice people in to Red Alert 3.
Red Alert 3 not only looks like another great RTS title for the Command & Conquer series but being able to play the campaign in co-op over Live is a fantastic addition because come on, there is nothing better than kicking ass with a mate. With an all star cast and plenty of bright vibrant environments as well, Red Alert surely has what it takes to rival the other RTS games that we’ll see over the coming months.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is available for Xbox 360 and PC this coming October/November.