Command & Conquer : Red Alert (1996)

Command & Conquer : Red Alert (1996)

After playing the first C&C recently I went on to play Red Alert. Or at least I tried to. Unfortunately this one is even more plagued by the crashes that I experienced with the original. So much so that after a few missions I had to completely give up on the game as it would crash every 5-10 minutes, which is no fun. The only way to finish the game now is saving every minute to don't loose much progress.
So I'll try to rely on my memories from the last time I played the game, which was in 2010. I don't remember having any crash issues back then, so thank you W10, you ruined yet another thing.

As far as I can remember this was the most anticipated game ever by me. The game was released only a year later than the first. Which would be considered a rush job today. And it kind of is, but that doesn't take away anything from it. It only improves on the original. Yes, it uses the same engine, yes it uses some of the same units. But that's OK. It never bothered anyone.

The game is set in an alternative universe where WWII didn't happen, but the cold war escalated into a kind of WWIII between the allies and the soviets.
The two factions in the game have completely different units similar to the original. The Allies have mobility and stealth on land, and the navy on sea. While the soviets rely on brute force on land, and use stealth on sea. In my opinion this is the best balanced game by far of the franchise as far as factions go, despite the two being so different that they barely have any common units.
The graphics remained the same, even the FMV quality is the same. But the acting is much better this time. This game still has a serious tone to it. Which I much prefer over what they did to the alternative universe in later games.
The AI is much improved, it doesn't rely on cheating as much anymore, and there are no obvious exploits this time to beat it. As far as I can tell the only cheat on the part of the AI that remains is the money cheat. That one harvest replenishes it's stores completely.

The biggest change I guess in the game, is that there are some missions taking place inside bunkers. Which are quite difficult. You'll either love or hate these. The maps are much larger, and of course there are battles that take place mostly on sea, and forcing you to invade isolated islands where there is no land connection.


+

  • It's more C&C!  
  • Soundtrack if possible it goes one step beyond the already brilliant music of the original.  
  • Slightly improved artwork over the first, but the engine remains the same. Plus they added snowy theaters.  
  • Much improved acting  
  • Serious tone  
  • Large and varied maps  
  • Much more unit types  


-

  • Crashing made it unplayable (not the game's fault but I have to mention it)
  • AI pathfinding  
  • Enemy AI cheating  
  • Gap generator - the most annoying unit / structure ever conceived.  
  • Superweapons are worthless this time.  

Scoring chart:

graphics/realization: 9/10
story/atmosphere: 8/10
gameplay/controls: 9/10

Overall impression: 10/10

By far the best C&C ever created.