You know you%26rsquo;re in for a strange ride when the intro sequence to a game is a Soviet flag with the anthem of the USSR playing in its entirety. Yes, this is the game everyone and his dog has been getting in a bit of a lather about, the one with the techno-dancing Stalin and the curious teenage girl bopping along between clips of tanks blowing up aliens.
The plot, such as it is, involves a secret war between the Soviet forces and Martian invaders in Siberia. As a promising commander in the Red Army, your task is to take your cannon fodder infantry and tanks into the surprisingly non-icy wastes and eliminate the extra-terrestrial threat. Then, after a few missions, the game decides to take a breather, showing a mind-boggling music video as a form of intermission.
Strip the game of all its comedy trappings and what you have is a very basic, very arcadey real-time strategy game. The action is generally frenetic and lacking in any real tactics, other than %26ldquo;select all, attack%26rdquo;. It gets boring very quickly and it seems almost certain the game was merely included to give the developers something to drape their Bolshevik-baiting satire over.
You%26rsquo;d have to be a real curmudgeon not to raise at least a smile at the numerous and sometimes overwhelming jokes and comedy interludes that crop up during play. Your units declare that they %26ldquo;like you%26rdquo; when you select them, the music is outlandish, the visuals are colorful and, of course, you can call upon the support of a 40ft tall Stalin to help you crush your Imperialist alien foes under his Communist feet. Stalin vs Martians really should be rubbish %26ndash; and it is %26ndash; but for 30 minutes or so, you%26rsquo;ll be having a strange amount of fun.
Jun 11, 2009