Command&Conquer: Red Alert 2
Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Saturday, 06 May 2006
Westwood’s Command&Conquer series received a lot of attention, in 2000 they decided to release Command&Conquer Red Alert 2, and the sights were set high.

The Soviets decided to invade the United States, Soviet forces lands on the North American continent and occupies lots of it and the fight for freedom begins. While the whole Soviet communist storylines is a bit old in these days the concept does work.

The plot is evolved during the game using the now almost classic cut-scenes featuring real actors (although not always top of the line). The cut-scenes definitely add to the game. But the happenings in them are almost the same as in previous games, no new angles or other creative stuff.

Both Red Alert and Red Alert 2 is made using sprites, it’s a long way from the 3D modelling we see in today’s real time strategy games. The sprites in Red Alert 2 are however nicely done and you will get used to them quite quickly, but there isn’t much eye-candy. The shadowing has gone through a well needed upgrade though.

It’s instantly apparent that Westwood was a bit stuck when they released this game. The concept of communists in the future turned out to be hard to evolve into something that could stand sequels. For example the units in the game are very much like the ones in the predecessor.

There are however some new units in Red Alert 2, for example terror drones, small robots that attacks enemy units. Westwood has been known for making good balanced games but in this one they failed. The Soviets are way stronger than the Allies since they have more powerful units.

A lot of focus has been put on urban warfare in this game. There are more buildings, such as skyscrapers and even the Statue of Liberty. I like the new settings a lot, the ones in Red Alert failed to impress. Now it’s possible for the player to capture neutral structures and fire from them. This new feature alone could have been a huge leap forward for the Red Alert series.

However Westwood failed miserably with the AI in Red Alert 2. Capturing buildings and plotting tactics in an urban setting won’t get you anywhere. The best way to achieve victory is simply to build a large number of tanks and artillery. Put them outside your opponent’s base and start firing. The AI makes some pathetic attempts to counter attack (if you have set the AI level to hard) but most of the time it’s possible to reduce the enemy base to rubble.

I’ve always liked the music to the Command&Conquer games. Red Alert 2 doesn’t disappoint, they even made a new version of Hell March. Sure there are some tracks that make you wonder if the sound producer were on drugs, but most of them are quite nice.

Red Alert 2 fails to be as good as the original game. It has some bad AI flaws and the graphics isn’t really appealing anymore. It does give a good plotline that seduces to play more, but once you are through you will probably not touch this game again.

Related: Command&Conquer: Red Alert, Command&Conquer, Command&Conquer: Tiberian Sun, Dune 2000
Developer: Westwood
Website for Game:
Publisher: EA
O/S: Windows 98/ME/2000/NT/XP
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 2000

Pentium 266 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 2 MB VRAM
Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB

Comments (1)
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1. 19-07-2007 17:10
wtf, Failed at Balance?
I play multiplayer red alert ALOT... and i can assure you that the gameplay balance is almost perfect, its true that the soviet units are stronger head on, but the allies have other advantages, such as faster units, camouflaged units and generally longer range, you'll see online almost all players choose the Allied forces... and yes, the AI sucks. (you can download AI upgrades for the expansion pack, "Yuri's Revenge"). Thx for reading
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