Players: 1 to 16 Player Game | Release Date: 10/21/00 | Genre: RTS
Westwood is back with yet another version of Command and Conquer. While their last version, Tiberiun Sun, was not quite as good as earlier versions, Westwood has proven they are still the King of Real Time Strategy titles with their latest release, Red Alert II. In the latest incarnation of Command and Conquer, you play as either the Soviets or the United States. Peace and prosperity exist throughout the world until the Soviets invade America, destroy the Statue of Liberty, and send our country into a defensive mode we have never seen.
As a proud American citizen, I was immediately drawn into a story with a foreign enemy invading American soil, taking us by surprise. As the events of Command and Conquer played out on my screen, I felt like I was America's last hope. I knew I had to dig deep and fight for my country. As the Soviet attacks continued between missions, I was planning my counter-attack as the FMV cinemas played out my next mission goals. Unlike other Real Time Strategy games, I felt like I was actually a part of the story and my actions on the screen were making a real difference.
Once a mission begins, the story continues to play out. At any time during a mission, one of your commanders can pop in and provide you with updated information on your current mission or provide you with new mission objectives. This adds much to the game, as mission objectives can change when you are in the middle of accomplishing them.
While Red Alert 2 has many positive features that make it an incredible title, the graphics are little dated. Even with the rise of 3D graphics, Westwood has not implemented 3D graphics into Red Alert 2, thus forcing gamers to play with sprite-based characters. In the future, I hope that Westwood will scrap the sprite-based engine and create a 3D engine that will incorporate incredible graphics along side the awe-inspiring gameplay.
Despite the less than desirable graphics, the challenge within Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 is suitable for players of all skill levels. When you first begin a new game, you can select what skill level you wish to play. Unlike other titles in this genre, easy is actually easy, providing little or no challenge-while hard will challenge players with a high level of difficulty in every level. This is also an incredible opportunity to get others involved in the Real Time Strategy genre, as an inexperienced gamer can have just as much fun as an experienced player.
The Soviets have invaded America and you are our last hope. What are you doing still sitting there? Go out and buy Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 and save America before it is too late. Westwood has created a masterpiece that has enough features to play it repeatedly. Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 belongs in every PC gamers' library. This is the new standard for Real Time Strategy gaming.