One of the great franchises of PC gaming, Command & Conquer: Red Alert has been a firm favorite since the mid-Nineties thanks to its unique combination of real-time strategy, Cold War aesthetics and camp humor. The latest edition, Red Alert 3, continues this fine tradition with major improvements to the game's graphics and sound.
The Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 demo consists of three tutorial missions and a couple of playable campaign missions, one each for the Soviets and NATO, making for a decent-sized demo which will give you a good idea of whether or not you'll like the full game
As in previous editions of Red Alert, this latest version pits the Soviet Union against the Allies and manages to pack time travel, nuclear weapons and a hilariously high-camp series of performances into its 7-minute introductory movie. The movie also introduces Red Alert 3's main addition: the Empire of the Rising Sun, a new playable power bent on world domination.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 makes use of the new graphics and 3D effects that were unveiled in last year's Tiberium Wars title, meaning that C&C fans will already be completely familiar with the game's controls and appearance. We thought we detected slightly higher CPU and GPU load in this title over Command & Conquer 3 but this caused nothing more than minor glitching with the maximum settings applied. The sound, video and acting are all of superior quality, making the game feel like a really well-rounded product.
At the end of the day, though. what Red Alert 3 is really missing is something new. Sure, the vehicles and units have been shaken up a bit (including the bizarre War Bear addition for the Soviets), and Japan has been added to the roster of competitive powers. But Red Alert 3 really isn't that different from Command & Conquer 3, or Red Alert 2 for that matter. The graphics and sound are much improved but the gameplay is pretty much exactly the same.
Fans of the series will enjoy Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3's graphical improvements and comedic moments. But anyone expecting new gameplay features will be disappointed.