|Version Reviewed: PCCommand and Conquer is one of the greatest Real Time Strategy series. The Red Alert Saga is definitely my preferred version. While I am usually not a fan of strategy games, I am a fan of C&C. Red Alert 2 appears to be pretty similar to the original in terms of the basic story and style of gameplay. The Soviets still have the slower, more expensive and more powerful units, and the Allies still have the faster, weaker and cheaper units. Some of the units are even the same. However, aside from these, RA2 is definitely a different game from its predecessor.
The mission levels are all well though out and create an interesting story line. One of the things that impressed me about the game was how different each level was at varying difficulty levels. One level was beaten in 15 minutes on easy, but it took me 3 tries to beat it on hard. A lot of real time strategy games have almost no variance in difficulty but Red Alert 2 does. Between missions you are entertained with some well done movie sequences which are better then a lot of “B” movies. Along with some excellent sound effects and a good sound track you will not fall asleep bored while playing this game.
Red Alert 2 is one of the easiest games to use in terms of control. It’s pretty much a point and click game with some holding and dragging and the occasional force fire or force move thrown in. However, controlling your funds and managing the hundreds of units you are likely to make can be difficult, on more then one occasion I have accidentally run myself out of money and been forced to watch my miner slowly gather ore to bring back to base and convert into credits. However, once you gain some experience, situations like these happen less frequently as an experienced player knows how to develop their base. One of the unique new functions added to the game is the garrison function. Only basic infantry units can garrison a building, but doing so turns the building into a bunker. Units garrisoned in a building fire on enemy units while taking no damage (although the building they are in does take damage). Another new function is the promotion system where units gain a promotion based on their actions in combat. Promoted units get upgraded fire power, and there are three levels to the promotion system; basic level, veteran level and elite level.
These features definitely improved the game from its predecessor and completely changed the strategies from the ones used to take when playing the original Red Alert. It also makes the game much more entertaining in my opinion and I would highly recommend this game to anyone who wants a good strategy game take up hours of their time.