After being off the radar for nearly seven years, the big daddy of real-time strategy franchises - Command and Conquer: Red Alert - is back with another wartime offering. The older Red Alert games were developed by Westwood studios, the RTS veterans who revolutionized and popularized the genre. Once the studio got liquidated (no thanks to the crapfest Command and Conquer: Renegade was), the reins of the franchise went to EA Los Angeles. I had my doubts about the franchise then and expected Red Alert 3 to be a watered down commercialized product - and that's what it is (to an extent), but thankfully, it's a lot of fun to play.
For starters, the game's lost all its seriousness with some terribly enacted cutscenes where a lot of popular stars (including Peter Stormare, Ivana MiliÄeviÄ, Andrew Divoff and Tim Curry) ham it up big time with an appallingly fake accent and some terribly written dialogues to match up, that's sure to make you throw up a bit in your mouth. I can understand that EA's gone for a light-hearted approach here but the intro cutscene sets the mood completely wrong with some very cheesy acting that alienates the game from its forefathers. However, as if to redeem itself, the cutscenes are followed by a rather gorgeous animated video of rolling tanks and hulking battlemechs prepping up and engaging in battle. That is sure to stir some interest at least.
I'd barely rid myself of the bad taste the terrible intro left behind, when I was disappointed once more by the art style of the game. The training missions actually looked like a rainbow-colored space monkey had thrown up all over it. It featured completely saturated bright shades of red, blue and every other color you can imagine, making it look more like SimCity and Rollercoaster Tycoon than a wargame. If it's any consolation though, the game looks a little less jarringly colorful during the missions, and you grow used to it eventually.
Updated 25 May, 2013, 6:56 pm IST
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