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Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Westwood Studios

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 95/98 Windows 2000
Windows NT 4.0
Windows Millennium
Intel Pentium II 266mhz or higher
64MB free system RAM
4x CD-ROM drive
2MB Primary Video Card
Direct Sound Compatible Sound Card
Genre:
ESRB Rating: Teen
Genre: Real Time Strategy

Da Introduction:

Oh yes, it's back. Westwood has released Red Alert 2, the sequel to, quite possibly, the most cherished, anticipated, and played real time strategy game ever. All the gaming goodness of Red Alert has been refined and crammed into one box. The story for Red Alert 2 puts the Soviets once again on the offensive; this time they have their armies pointed at the United States of America. Those cunning commies have really thought ahead this time, and have already neutralized the American nuclear threat. With Soviet forces pounding up through Mexico and naval forces coming in from all sides the world is up for another world war.

Da Graphics:

The biggest change from Red Alert is the new levels of resolutions, ranging from 640x480 to a large 1024x860. A lot of attention has been spent making the units and structures well detailed and it shows even on the lowest resolution. Your base and troops are much more animated than they used be, Tanya stretches her arms, Tesla troopers take off their caps and ruffle their hair, and even some structures have construction animations.

The best thing about Red Alert 2 is the wide variety of environments capable, in the Tiberian Sun engine. For those of you who got bored of the colours in TS, such as those wonderful maroons, oranges, and browns, they all have been traded for more eye appealing colours. Most of the early game missions (for the allied campaign) take place in American cities and they are all very well designed with landmarks, buildings and roadways. The only painful graphics in Red Alert 2 are the winter missions: tiny units and white snow everywhere is a recipe for headaches.

Da Sound:

West wood has created some of the best and coolest sounds bytes and packed them all into Red Alert 2. Without a doubt Red Alert 2 has some of the finest unit sounds heard in recent memory. Every unit sound has an accent that corresponds to the unit's home country. The best lines are easily heard from the Soviet units and there are some particularly memorable lines such as the Allied Chrono Legionnaire who says, " They're history " when told to attack an enemy unit. The acknowledgement lines of the units can be extremely funny and are very fitting with the unit.

A big part of any Westwood Command & Conquer title has always been the music, and Red Alert 2 is no exception. For those who remember the old tracks from Red Alert, there will be some real nostalgia when Hell March 2 is heard. The music is also fairly notable because it all fits perfectly with the cold war theme that runs throughout most of the game.

Da Gameplay:

Red Alert 2 revives the fun of playing through a campaign several times and trying out each side thoroughly. Pacing myself, I tried (without success) to move through the Allied campaign slowly but ended up speeding through it. Like a good meal, the dozen or so missions leave you full but still wanting more. The appeal of the campaign was the diverse mission locations and goals. Many times I started off with a few units but ended up with a whole army and base. There was only one limited unit mission and it was outdoors, so that made the campaign flow a lot smoother. The other thing the Allied and Soviet campaigns have going for them is the cool between mission video briefings. The last time I can remember playing all the way through a RTS before descending into the multiplayer arena was Starcraft.

The units in Red Alert 2 are quite remarkable and keep with the strategy of each side perfectly. I'll say right now that I won't even discuss the Giant Squid or the Allied Dolphin because, well

Red Alert 2

 

Red Alert 2

ESRB: Rating Pending - RP
Platform: PC Games
Category: Strategy
 
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Author:
Publisher: EA Games Developer: Westwood Studios Minimum System Requirements: Windows 95/98 Windows 2000 Windows NT 4.0 Windows Millennium Intel Pentium II 266mhz or higher 64MB free system RAM 4x CD-ROM drive 2MB Primary Video Card Direct Sound Compatible Sound Card Genre: ESRB Rating: Teen Genre: Real Time Strategy Da Introduction: Oh yes, it's back. Westwood has released Red Alert 2, the sequel to, quite possibly, the most cherished, anticipated, and played real time strategy game ever. All the gaming goodness of Red Alert has been refined and crammed into one box. The story for Red Alert 2 puts the Soviets once again on the offensive; this time they have their armies pointed at the United States of America. Those cunning commies have really thought ahead this time, and have already neutralized the American nuclear threat. With Soviet forces pounding up through Mexico and naval forces coming in from all sides the world is up for another world war. Da Graphics: The biggest change from Red Alert is the new levels of resolutions, ranging from 640x480 to a large 1024x860. A lot of attention has been spent making the units and structures well detailed and it shows even on the lowest resolution. Your base and troops are much more animated than they used be, Tanya stretches her arms, Tesla troopers take off their caps and ruffle their hair, and even some structures have construction animations. The best thing about Red Alert 2 is the wide variety of environments capable, in the Tiberian Sun engine. For those of you who got bored of the colours in TS, such as those wonderful maroons, oranges, and browns, they all have been traded for more eye appealing colours. Most of the early game missions (for the allied campaign) take place in American cities and they are all very well designed with landmarks, buildings and roadways. The only painful graphics in Red Alert 2 are the winter missions: tiny units and white snow everywhere is a recipe for headaches. Da Sound: West wood has created some of the best and coolest sounds bytes and packed them all into Red Alert 2. Without a doubt Red Alert 2 has some of the finest unit sounds heard in recent memory. Every unit sound has an accent that corresponds to the unit's home country. The best lines are easily heard from the Soviet units and there are some particularly memorable lines such as the Allied Chrono Legionnaire who says, " They're history " when told to attack an enemy unit. The acknowledgement lines of the units can be extremely funny and are very fitting with the unit. A big part of any Westwood Command & Conquer title has always been the music, and Red Alert 2 is no exception. For those who remember the old tracks from Red Alert, there will be some real nostalgia when Hell March 2 is heard. The music is also fairly notable because it all fits perfectly with the cold war theme that runs throughout most of the game. Da Gameplay: Red Alert 2 revives the fun of playing through a campaign several times and trying out each side thoroughly. Pacing myself, I tried (without success) to move through the Allied campaign slowly but ended up speeding through it. Like a good meal, the dozen or so missions leave you full but still wanting more. The appeal of the campaign was the diverse mission locations and goals. Many times I started off with a few units but ended up with a whole army and base. There was only one limited unit mission and it was outdoors, so that made the campaign flow a lot smoother. The other thing the Allied and Soviet campaigns have going for them is the cool between mission video briefings. The last time I can remember playing all the way through a RTS before descending into the multiplayer arena was Starcraft. The units in Red Alert 2 are quite remarkable and keep with the strategy of each side perfectly. I'll say right now that I won't even discuss the Giant Squid or the Allied Dolphin because, well…take a guess. However if you scratch those two off the agenda both sides have a rather original array of units. The ocean units have been squared off more equally so that both the Allies and Soviets get some long-range surface ships in addition to the assortment of sub-hunters and air defence ships. Both sides also get some rather unique buildings that can make or a break the side during single and multiplayer games. In a skirmish or in multiplayer all countries also get one unique, side specific unit; for example the Russians get the tesla tank. The best features are the ability to garrison buildings and the addition of neutral tech buildings. Any "grunt" unit can now enter into certain buildings and have the protection of the building. This really makes the single player very interesting, especially when you surround Soviet airdrop zones or run into a Soviet garrisoned building. The tech buildings are neutral structures that can be taken over by running an engineer inside and give specific benefits to the player if taken. Oil Derricks will give you a small, but constant, supply of money, airports let you drop paratroopers, and the other tech buildings give other useful benefits. They also work to advance your defenses because you can build defensive structures around them. The new hot-key commands built into the game are a leap from the hot-keys of Red Alert. However the attack to a point command doesn't work quite as well for allowing coordinated attacks. Instead of attacking and destroying anything a unit encounters on the way to a point on the map, units just attack enemies as they move by usually without finishing the enemy unit. The function to bind points on the map to a key was very effective in both multiplayer and single player. Da Multiplayer: The question on any reader's mind at this point is probably, "Fine, fine, but what about the multiplayer?!" The Internet play is pretty easy to get into, because the signup and game menu is all integrated into the game. Westwood online has some nice features that help you get organized and into the game. In particular the "buddy list" was a real stroke of brilliance because it lets you connect with your friends, or online pals very easily. I really would like to sing praises to the multiplayer, but there is one flaw that really hinders it. The lag is absolutely horrible, of course resulting in long pauses between clicking and responding. The other issue that plagued (or made) Red Alert was the "rush." The infamous tank rush has been blunted slightly due to the more accurately and fairly priced tanks on both sides. That is not to say that it has been completely eliminated, but the removal of a cheaply priced, double-barreled tank really takes the teeth out of the Soviet rush. Instead the balance seems to have gone to the Allied side, giving them some very deadly units, and the means to use them. The most blatant changes in the multiplayer were the removal of the Soviet spy plane, and the increased speed of the Allied GPS. The problem scouting done by the soviets must be done with ground based forces or the notoriously slow Kirov zeppelins. While the soviets get a single air unit, the Allies have been given a boon with three easily accessible air superiority units. Combined with the GPS (removes the entire shroud for the Allies) there is a serious advantage for a quick allied strike. Da Conclusion: Command and Conquer Red Alert 2 is an excellent example of a game that was ready when it hit the shelves— nearly flawless. Westwood has retaken the Real time Strategy front with Red Alert 2, undoing the damage of Tiberian Sun. With tournaments already gearing up, Red Alert 2 will have no problem finding extra play on the Internet. I was completely won over by the simplicity of the resource management and gameplay, and will be playing it for many months to come. Graphics: 8.5 Sound: 9 Gameplay: 10 Tilt: 10 Red Alert 2 was reviewed by DA GAMEBOYZ contributor David Chapman on his; Celeron 400 64MB RAM Windows 98 Voodoo2 12MB Diamond Stealth II 4MB IntelliMouse Optical Sidewinder Pro




 
 

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