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Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 8.9
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.5
Value 8.8
Distributor: EA
Review Date:
December 2008
John Barrington


Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

The PC is the perfect medium for first person shooters (FPS) and real-time strategy (RTS) games and although the console world have successfully converted the FPS genre to the lounge room, real-time strategy games have unfortunately been a hit and miss phenomenon.

Thankfully EA have have perfectly converted the PC version of this franchise onto the XBox 360 which boasts great graphics, a sturdy control systems that actually works and one of the best RTS storylines to date!

The story revolves around the imminent fall of the Soviet Union who have created a time machine to murder Albert Einstein in order to remove their enemies technological advantage. Unfortunately the “butterfly” effect has occurred and although the Western Allies are now weaker than the Soviet Union, their meddling with time has created a paradox with the creation of Japan as a new world superpower.

Japan now have an army of cyber Samurai’s thanks to nanotechnology who are complimented with psychotic anime inspired school girl commandos. Japan’s not the only one with over the top units as the Soviet’s have War Bear scouts who actually are bears, however you still cannot beat the Japanese and their giant robots. The wackiness of Red Alert 3 is brilliant and rather than boring tanks, the developers have added a variety of amusing units such as combat dolphins.

The cutscenes in the game really helps progress the storyline and features some of Hollywood’s greats that includes Star Trek’s George Takei as the Japanese Empire and Playboy’s Jenny McCarthy as super commando Tanya. The most amusing actor involved in J.K. Simmons who plays the president of the United States who is oozing with insanity.

Controls and gameplay? Although Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 revolves around your classic RTS gameplay which includes creating units and battling other units, you are also limited to the number of resources at your disposal.

Where the title does shine on the XBox 360 are the almost perfect controls which easily allows you to control the gaming world with your 360 controller. With almost all buttons used on the controller, the shoulder buttons truly assist in this almost PC-like experience as you micromanage your units and use the various maps at your finger tips.

Although the control system has been slightly scaled back compared to the PC version, the essence of the game is still there as you build, defend and fight your way to victory. If you still have some difficulties, the game contains a great tutorial which will teach you all you need to play the title without it being too complicated or difficult.

Finished the single-player mode? Why not hook your 360 up to XBox Live and enjoy some great online skirmishes against other players from around the world. The online mode is great and will easily allow you to find another player to battle as your Dolphins and Bears duke it out in this over the top and classic RTS game that has been successfully converted to the XBox 360.

The single player experience includes the distinct campaigns of the three factions. Each campaign is made up of nine missions of varying length, composed of drastically different experiences to be had with each of the factions.

The developers have ensured that each of the factions are quite different in terms of units with different strengths and weaknesses. For instance, the Soviets are quite strong in their ability to damage, whereas the Allies are more holistic in their approach and the Japanese rely more on stealth. Best of all, a variety of units created in Red Alert have a secondary power which does add the uniqueness of the title when compared to other games of similar style.

A new addition to the world of C&C is that of the co-commander which assists you with your resources as they build their own bases to assist their main commander which is you. On higher difficulty levels, the co-commander generally gets attacked quite early, however while you're learning, it's a great touch to the game.

The soundtrack of Red Alert 3 is brilliant thanks to Tim Wynn, James Hannigan and Frank Klepacki who have created an engaging musical score which not only pays homage to the original games but has a healthy dose of Metal. Mach that with extremely professional and sometimes clichéd voice acting such as the Russians and the comedy aspect of the title just shines through. Graphically, the title looks great in high definition and for non-high definition TV owners, you might want to give this game a miss as you do need that extra clarity.

In conclusion, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 is a brilliant game on the 360 with great graphics (you really need a high definition TV to enjoy the title), decent console gameplay for a real-time strategy game and a kick ass story that features a bevy of Hollywood's greats in this "B" Grade Science Fiction experience. Definitely one for lovers of RTS or for those after a strategy challenge.


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