Red Alert 2 (2000)

Red Alert 2 (2000)

The second game in the alternate C&C universe, I'm not using the word sequel on purpose as the game has almost nothing in common with the first. It's a comedy reboot of the universe. This means the story and cutscenes are completely brain-dead and almost surreal. They try to make fun of some stereotypes. Emphasis on try. As it ends up being cringy instead of funny.

Though I really disliked the style of the story the game mechanics remained the same. They eliminated the biggest issue of Tiberian Sun, which was being extremely slow moving and boring at times. I think they even went overboard with it. As the game became so quick that most campaign missions can be wrapped up inside of 20 minutes. Making the whole campaign no longer than a few hours. The only map that took somewhat of an effort to beat is the last where the enemy constantly throws superweapons at you.

The reason the maps can be beaten quickly is down to balance issues. Buildings have very few hit points, while vehicles have too much. This means most buildings can be levelled in seconds, and you can wipe out the enemy bases with 6-7 carefully selected units. Or less if they're elite. As units can level up in the game, making them exponentially more effective. They are levelled up when they reach a certain multiple of their own value in kills, this makes cheap units actually much more effective as they level up in the game much quicker.

I'm not really a fan of some of the new units in the game either. Like the tesla soldier or jetpack soldier. They're both pretty worthless. But there are a few new features that I liked. One is that soldiers can dig in, making them actually effective instead of just worthless cannon fodder you only use before you're able to build better units. (At least the allied ones). Another is that Allies / Soviets use different ore harversters, and the new prism towers are pretty neat, as they can combine their firepower, which makes them very effective when strategically placed. But also there are units that I hated. Like the spiders which were extremely annoying when used by the enemy, and worthless when I tried to use them. Or the prism tanks which are as bad as the prism towers are good. Expensive and slow as snails. Regular tanks are far superior due to their speed and much smaller cost.


+

  • maybe Kari Wuhrer? Yes, 17 years ago that would've been a plus.  
  • Some new unit types
  • More varied units between the factions  




-

  • Cutscenes are not scaled to resolution.  
  • went completely 180 compared to the serious tone of the first game, this is completely flippant, never for a second takes itself seriously.
  • can be finished quickly
  • The graphics somehow seems worse than the older games. They tried to add too much detail, seems cluttered, and like it uses the wrong palette. Reminds me of EGA games.  



Scoring chart:

graphics/realization: 4/10
story/atmosphere: 1/10
gameplay/controls: 9/10

Overall impression: 6/10

It's enjoyable, but it never goes above and beyond being adequate.