Interest in the Real-Time Strategy genre has certainly waned in
the past few years. Tiberian Sun, the sequel to Command &
Conquer, was met with decidedly unimpressed reviews. Is Red
Alert 2 going to be win over the hearts of the very same reviewers
that slammed Westwood's last attempt? I think so. This game is
definitely not revolutionary by any means, but it's a solid and
polished game that is one of the only jewels to be placed in the
RTS crown recently.
Good, not great. This game takes place in real cities, which
means you'll see quite a few unique landmarks as well as a variety
of civilian buildings. There are multiple levels of terrain that adds
a bit of variety to the levels, although the implementation of the
"levels" on grass or dirt result in weird and ugly angled ground
instead of a smooth gradient.
Units are pleasant to look at and well animated, but very small.
This might be a product of me playing at 1024x768, but it's often
hard to tell units apart. It's also very common (especially with
Naval units) to get units really crowded together. This is especially
a problem when you're trying to select a single unit (for example a
dolphin in a group of ships) - it's next to impossible.
Red Alert 2 uses a modified Tiberian Sun engine, which means the
lighting effects are quite nice. Unfortunately there is no concept of
time in RA2 so there is no day/night missions that were a neat
concept in Tiberian Sun. Prism towers fill the screen with flashes
of blue laser light, smoke comes off the tanks being shot at,
potholes form where tank shells hit.
The mini-map is alright in RA2, it has some nice effects such as
highlighting areas which are under attack or are otherwise worth
noting. But, the map itself is pretty tiny so forget trying to move
units by clicking on the map. It's very un-precise. I also found it
pretty hard to see your units on the map.
[ 40/50 ] Gameplay
[ 08/10 ] Graphics
[ 07/10 ] Sound
[ 09/10 ] Multiplayer
[ 08/10 ] Controls
[ 08/10 ] Fun Factor